Riverside Realty Group
2053 W. First St.
Fort Myers, FL 33901
Phone: 239-313-5544


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New Real Estate Laws go in effect July 1

New Fla. laws go into effect July 1


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – June 28, 2017 – Seven real estate laws drafted by the 2017 Florida Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Scott go into effect Saturday, including a Florida Realtors priority: estoppel fee caps.

Laws effective July 1

  • Cap on estoppel certificate fees – Sellers of properties who live in an HOA, condo association or co-op will have a limit on the amount they'll pay for an estoppel certificate, a document that informs a buyer if the seller is current with their dues and assessments. SB 398 (Sen. Passidomo, R-Naples) caps estoppel certificate fees at $250 for unit owners who are current in their assessments. Associations may charge an additional $100 for expedited estoppel certificates (delivered within three business days) and another $150 to owners who are delinquent in their assessments. The bill sets the price of estoppel certificates for multiple units owned by the same person and establishes a uniform, statewide format that ensures buyers and closing agents receive the appropriate information needed to close the real estate transaction. This bill also requires certificates to be valid for 30 days if delivered electronically or 35 days if delivered by mail.
  • Florida's natural resources – More than $500 million is earmarked for Everglades restoration, beach renourishment and springs restoration. During the session, SB 10 (Sen. Bradley, R-Orange Park) served as the primary piece of policy legislation for Everglades restoration and establishes how the funding will be used for these projects. A key provision of SB 10 is the construction of a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee that is designed to curb nutrient and salinity levels that are harmful to Florida's valuable natural resources.
  • Condominium termination law – Legislation passed in 2015 to protect condo owners from being forced to sell – possibly at a loss – has several loopholes that real estate investors and bulk buyers exploited. SB 1520 (Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater) fine-tunes the rules and modifies the process by reducing the percentage of owners required to reject the termination – from 10 percent to 5 percent.
  • Condominium oversight – A South Florida news report of fraud in condo board elections, misappropriation of funds and rigged bids resulted in a Miami-Dade grand jury recommending changes to Florida's Condominium Act. HB 1237 (Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami) provides several new condo oversight rules: (1) a condo association with more than 150 units must publish its financial reports and other documents (bylaws, articles of incorporation, condo rules) on a password-protected web page; (2) if an owner is denied documents and fraud is proven, persons responsible for fraudulent activity could face felony charges; (3) the term of a condo board director is limited to eight years, with some exceptions.
  • Private flood insurance – As Realtors petition Congress to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), Florida lawmakers continue to work to attract private flood insurance capital to Florida. HB 813 (Rep. Larry Lee Jr., D-Fort Pierce) accomplishes two primary goals: (1) Rating flexibility for flood insurers is extended from 2019 until 2025 before they must follow guidelines similar to other lines of coverage – a way to encourage private insurers to enter the Florida market; (2) insurance agents can place flood policies with surplus lines insurers for two more years – until 2019 – before they must make a "diligent effort" to place the coverage with carriers regulated by the state. Diligent effort requires an agent to seek coverage and be rejected by at least three regulated carriers writing the same type of coverage.
  • Drone regulationHB 1027 (Clay Yarborough, R-Jacksonville) preempts the regulation of unmanned aircraft systems (drones) by local governments and grants oversight to the state of Florida. This will prevent drone operators from having to potentially comply with ordinances adopted by 400+ local governments.
  • Pollution notificationSB 1018 (Sen. Denise Grimsley, R-Lake Placid) sets a threshold for when an operator is required to notify the Division of Emergency Management and the Department of Environmental Protection about a pollution event. It also provides a timeframe for the notification and defines what a reportable event means. This legislation is the result of pollution from a sinkhole at the Mosaic fertilizer facility in Mulberry, Fla., last summer. The Scott administration created an emergency rule that shifted the burden of pollution notification from the state to the owner of the property where the spill occurred. Florida Realtors was part of a coalition that successfully challenged the legal authority for this rule, creating an opportunity for the passage of this friendly legislation.

This Article is from Florida Realtor.org

Lake Okeechobee reservoir bill becomes law

 It's the law: Build a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee to curb disastrous discharges to the St. Lucie River.

 Last week Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday signed Senate Bill 10, the legislation authorizing a significant increase in water stored south of Lake Okeechobee to further the goal of reducing and eventually eliminating harmful discharges from the lake.

The reservoir was Senate President Joe Negron's top priority during the Florida Legislature's session that ended Monday.

"After 20 years of talking, southern storage is finally becoming a reality," Negron, a Republican from Stuart, said Tuesday in a news release. "We are well on our way to putting the harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee into the pages of history, instead of the front pages of daily newspapers."

The shovels aren't coming out right away: The legislation calls for the state and the Army Corps of Engineers to each pitch in $800 million to build the 78.2 billion-gallon reservoir. So Congress has to authorize it, and President Donald Trump has to add his signature, as well.

Smaller, deeper

The reservoir is two-thirds the size of the 117.3 billion-gallon project Negron originally sought, but farmers south of the lake and members of the state House of Representatives recoiled at his plan to buy 60,000 acres of farmland south of the lake.

The larger reservoir, combined with other water control projects already in the pipeline, was estimated to reduce annual average Lake O discharges east and west by about 90 percent. The smaller, deeper reservoir to be built on state-owned land, along with the other projects, is estimated to reduce discharges by up to 60 percent.

The project's size can be increased by possible land swaps and purchases. SB 10 prohibits the use of eminent domain. It also provides grants to establish training programs for agricultural workers.

"I look forward to the work ahead as we continue to work with Governor Scott and our federal partners to expedite the planning and construction of this critical project," Negron said in his statement. "Together, we will end the plague of toxic blue-green algae that harms the health of our citizens and destroys our environment and our economy, once and for all."


After years of stops and starts, the bill puts the reservoir project on a speedy pace. By July 1, the South Florida Water Management District is supposed to ask the Corps to jointly develop what's known as a "post-authorization change report" to revise plans on the A-2 site where the reservoir is to be built.

If the Corps agrees, work on the report is supposed to start by Aug. 1. Congress has to approve the report by Dec. 1, 2019, or the A-2 parcel will revert to its earlier use and the state will have to look for another place to build the reservoir.

U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, a Palm City Republican, has said he'll introduce legislation Thursday he's calling the Everglades FIRST Act – it stands for Flow Increases Rely on Storage and Treatment – directing the to expedite work on reports needed for the reservoir and other projects to increase water storage around Lake O.

Another one of the Homes being featured at our Open House event April 23,2017

Fabulous mid-century modern pool home never before on the market. This custom home is being sold by the original owners' family. This 4 bedroom, 4 bath home is located 3 houses from the river. Fantastic layout, high ceilings, custom built-ins, parquet floors, tons of storage and a HUGE bonus room with plumbing make this house truly unique! The bonus room could be a perfect man cave or easily converted into a mother-in-law suite. The large carport could also be converted to a 2 car garage and the driveway has plenty of parking even for your RV or boat! Great views of the river from your front yard. Wonderful screened lanai with large swimming pool and plenty of space to entertain. Walk to the end of the street and enjoy the fabulous sunsets from the neighborhood park. The roof was replaced in 2015 and the plumbing was updated in 2009. Home also has hurricane panels and shutters! Please come see this one of a kind home today and make it your own.

Another one of the Homes being featured at our Open House event April 23,2017

One of the largest lots in Historic Edison Park at .65 acres. Gorgeous oaks and fruit trees surround the property and the fantastic back porch and private fenced back yard gives you the feeling you are out in the country. Fantastic home in Edison Park! Tons of charm and lots of original features, including tile & wood flooring, wood burning fireplace and wood ceilings in the dining room. Some of the updates include kitchen, hurricane windows and doors & cork flooring. The large addition was built with steel insulated panels (SIP) but is in keeping with the character of the house and it includes a large walk-in closet in the master and a very large ensuite bathroom. The fourth bedroom has a separate outside entrance so it would make a great guest room or home office. There is a large detached 2 car garage with workshop and covered boat parking. There is also an attached 1 car garage that could easily be converted to expand the fourth bedroom and make a true in-law suite, or just keep it for tons of extra storage. Please see the virtual tour for additional photos.

Another one of the Homes being featured at our Open House event April 23,2017

Come see this fantastic property in the estate section of McGregor Blvd. This home is directly across from the multi-million dollar homes on the river. It boasts a wonderful floor plan with lots of little reading nooks and cozy get away areas and includes a fireplace with charming built-ins. There is a also a custom bar, home office and a beautifully updated kitchen. The split floor plan is wonderful for entertaining and makes your master bedroom truly private. The master suite with its own private entrance and breezeway has two separate sitting areas and makes you feel like you are on vacation the moment you enter. With incredible views of the pool and patio and the gorgeous backyard you have your own private oasis. The large jetted tub, and walk-in shower complete the package and give you that spa like sensation. There is plenty of room to entertain on the large screened patio and the vaulted ceilings make it feel even more spacious. The back yard is completely fenced and surrounded with gorgeous native plants. The majority of the garage has been converted to living space but there is still plenty of room for all your garden tools and outdoor toys. Please make your appt. today!