(1) The presence of each resident in a facility shall be covered by a contract, executed at the time of admission or prior thereto, between the licensee and the resident or his or her designee or legal representative. Each party to the contract shall be provided with a duplicate original thereof, and the licensee shall keep on file in the facility all such contracts. The licensee may not destroy or otherwise dispose of any such contract until 5 years after its expiration.
(2) Each contract must contain express provisions specifically setting forth the services and accommodations to be provided by the facility; the rates or charges; provision for at least 30 days’ written notice of a rate increase; the rights, duties, and obligations of the residents, other than those specified in s. 429.28; and other matters that the parties deem appropriate. Whenever money is deposited or advanced by a resident in a contract as security for performance of the contract agreement or as advance rent for other than the next immediate rental period:
(a) Such funds shall be deposited in a banking institution in this state that is located, if possible, in the same community in which the facility is located; shall be kept separate from the funds and property of the facility; may not be represented as part of the assets of the facility on financial statements; and shall be used, or otherwise expended, only for the account of the resident.
(b) The licensee shall, within 30 days of receipt of advance rent or a security deposit, notify the resident or residents in writing of the manner in which the licensee is holding the advance rent or security deposit and state the name and address of the depository where the moneys are being held. The licensee shall notify residents of the facility’s policy on advance deposits.
(3)(a) The contract shall include a refund policy to be implemented at the time of a resident’s transfer, discharge, or death. The refund policy shall provide that the resident or responsible party is entitled to a prorated refund based on the daily rate for any unused portion of payment beyond the termination date after all charges, including the cost of damages to the residential unit resulting from circumstances other than normal use, have been paid to the licensee. For the purpose of this paragraph, the termination date shall be the date the unit is vacated by the resident and cleared of all personal belongings. If the amount of belongings does not preclude renting the unit, the facility may clear the unit and charge the resident or his or her estate for moving and storing the items at a rate equal to the actual cost to the facility, not to exceed 20 percent of the regular rate for the unit, provided that 14 days’ advance written notification is given. If the resident’s possessions are not claimed within 45 days after notification, the facility may dispose of them. The contract shall also specify any other conditions under which claims will be made against the refund due the resident. Except in the case of death or a discharge due to medical reasons, the refunds shall be computed in accordance with the notice of relocation requirements specified in the contract. However, a resident may not be required to provide the licensee with more than 30 days’ notice of termination. If after a contract is terminated, the facility intends to make a claim against a refund due the resident, the facility shall notify the resident or responsible party in writing of the claim and shall provide said party with a reasonable time period of no less than 14 calendar days to respond. The facility shall provide a refund to the resident or responsible party within 45 days after the transfer, discharge, or death of the resident. The agency shall impose a fine upon a facility that fails to comply with the refund provisions of the paragraph, which fine shall be equal to three times the amount due to the resident. One-half of the fine shall be remitted to the resident or his or her estate, and the other half to the Health Care Trust Fund to be used for the purpose specified in s. 429.18.
(b) If a licensee agrees to reserve a bed for a resident who is admitted to a medical facility, including, but not limited to, a nursing home, health care facility, or psychiatric facility, the resident or his or her responsible party shall notify the licensee of any change in status that would prevent the resident from returning to the facility. Until such notice is received, the agreed-upon daily rate may be charged by the licensee.
(c) The purpose of any advance payment and a refund policy for such payment, including any advance payment for housing, meals, or personal services, shall be covered in the contract.
(4) The contract shall state whether or not the facility is affiliated with any religious organization and, if so, which organization and its general responsibility to the facility.
(5) Neither the contract nor any provision thereof relieves any licensee of any requirement or obligation imposed upon it by this part or rules adopted under this part.
(6) In lieu of the provisions of this section, facilities certified under chapter 651 shall comply with the requirements of s. 651.055.
(7) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, facilities which consist of 60 or more apartments may require refund policies and termination notices in accordance with the provisions of part II of chapter 83, provided that the lease is terminated automatically without financial penalty in the event of a resident’s death or relocation due to psychiatric hospitalization or to medical reasons which necessitate services or care beyond which the facility is licensed to provide. The date of termination in such instances shall be the date the unit is fully vacated. A lease may be substituted for the contract if it meets the disclosure requirements of this section. For the purpose of this section, the term “apartment” means a room or set of rooms with a kitchen or kitchenette and lavatory located within one or more buildings containing other similar or like residential units.
(8) The department may by rule clarify terms, establish procedures, clarify refund policies and contract provisions, and specify documentation as necessary to administer this section.
History.—s. 11, ch. 75-233; ss. 12, 23, ch. 80-198; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 52, 79, 83, ch. 83-181; s. 10, ch. 87-371; s. 1, ch. 88-364; s. 15, ch. 91-263; ss. 19, 38, 39, ch. 93-216; s. 775, ch. 95-148; s. 2, ch. 98-148; ss. 2, 46, ch. 2006-197.