September 30, 2020
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       Florida Senate - 2009                     CS for SB's 674 & 1422
       
       
       
       By the Committee on Regulated Industries; and Senators
       Constantine and Baker
       
       
       
       580-04109A-09                                          2009674c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to construction contracting; amending
    3         s. 489.103, F.S.; requiring that owners of property
    4         acting as their own contractor and providing direct,
    5         onsite supervision of all work not performed by
    6         licensed contractors read and sign a disclosure
    7         statement before a permit is issued; requiring that
    8         the disclosure statement contain certain statements
    9         and provisions; amending ss. 489.128 and 489.532,
   10         F.S.; providing that certain individuals or business
   11         organizations may not be considered unlicensed for
   12         failure to have a required local jurisdiction license;
   13         providing for retroactive application; providing an
   14         effective date.
   15  
   16  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   17  
   18         Section 1. Subsection (7) of section 489.103, Florida
   19  Statutes, is amended to read:
   20         489.103 Exemptions.—This part does not apply to:
   21         (7) Owners of property when acting as their own contractor
   22  and providing direct, onsite supervision themselves of all work
   23  not performed by licensed contractors:
   24         (a) When building or improving farm outbuildings or one
   25  family or two-family residences on such property for the
   26  occupancy or use of such owners and not offered for sale or
   27  lease, or building or improving commercial buildings, at a cost
   28  not to exceed $75,000, on such property for the occupancy or use
   29  of such owners and not offered for sale or lease. In an action
   30  brought under this part, proof of the sale or lease, or offering
   31  for sale or lease, of any such structure by the owner-builder
   32  within 1 year after completion of same creates a presumption
   33  that the construction was undertaken for purposes of sale or
   34  lease.
   35         (b) When repairing or replacing wood shakes or asphalt or
   36  fiberglass shingles on one-family, two-family, or three-family
   37  residences for the occupancy or use of such owner or tenant of
   38  the owner and not offered for sale within 1 year after
   39  completion of the work and when the property has been damaged by
   40  natural causes from an event recognized as an emergency
   41  situation in an designated by executive order issued by the
   42  Governor declaring the existence of a state of emergency as a
   43  result and consequence of a serious threat posed to the public
   44  health, safety, and property in this state.
   45  
   46  This subsection does not exempt any person who is employed by or
   47  has a contract with such owner and who acts in the capacity of a
   48  contractor. The owner may not delegate the owner’s
   49  responsibility to directly supervise all work to any other
   50  person unless that person is registered or certified under this
   51  part and the work being performed is within the scope of that
   52  person’s license. For the purposes of this subsection, the term
   53  “owners of property” includes the owner of a mobile home
   54  situated on a leased lot. To qualify for exemption under this
   55  subsection, an owner must personally appear and sign the
   56  building permit application and must satisfy local permitting
   57  agency requirements, if any, proving that the owner has a
   58  complete understanding of the owner’s obligations under the law
   59  as specified in the disclosure statement in this section. If any
   60  person violates the requirements of this subsection, the local
   61  permitting agency shall withhold final approval, revoke the
   62  permit, or pursue any action or remedy for unlicensed activity
   63  against the owner and any person performing work that requires
   64  licensure under the permit issued. The local permitting agency
   65  shall provide the person with a disclosure statement, which
   66  shall be read and signed by the property owner or owner-builder,
   67  in substantially the following form:
   68         1.I understand that state law requires construction to be
   69  done by licensed contractors and I have applied for an owner
   70  builder permit under an exemption to that law. The exemption
   71  provides that I, as the owner of the property listed, may act as
   72  my own contractor with certain restrictions even though I do not
   73  have a license.
   74  
   75         2.I understand that building permits are not required to
   76  be signed by a property owner unless the owner is responsible
   77  for the construction and is not hiring a licensed contractor to
   78  assume this responsibility.
   79  
   80         3.I understand that as an owner-builder, I am the
   81  responsible party of record on the permit. I understand that I
   82  may protect myself from potential financial risk by hiring a
   83  licensed contractor and having the permit filed in his or her
   84  name instead of my own. I also understand that contractors are
   85  required by law to be licensed in Florida and to list their
   86  license numbers on permits and contracts.
   87  
   88         4.I understand that I may build or improve a one-family or
   89  two-family residence or a farm outbuilding. I may also build or
   90  improve a commercial building if costs do not exceed $75,000.
   91  The commercial building or residence that I improve must be for
   92  my own occupancy. I understand that I may not build or
   93  substantially improve a building for sale or lease. If a
   94  building I have built or substantially improved myself is sold
   95  or leased within 1 year after the date on which construction is
   96  complete, the law will presume that I built or substantially
   97  improved it for sale or lease, which is a violation of this
   98  exemption. I may repair or replace wood shakes or asphalt or
   99  fiberglass shingles on a one-family, two-family, or three-family
  100  residence for myself or my tenant’s occupancy or use only if the
  101  property has been damaged by natural causes from an event
  102  recognized as an emergency situation in an executive order
  103  issued by the Governor declaring a state of emergency.
  104  
  105         5.I understand that, as the owner-builder, I must provide
  106  direct, onsite supervision of the construction.
  107  
  108         6.I understand that I may not hire an unlicensed person to
  109  act as my contractor or to supervise people working on my
  110  building. It is my responsibility to make certain that people I
  111  employ have the licenses required by state law or by county or
  112  municipal licensing ordinances.
  113  
  114         7.I understand that a frequent practice of unlicensed
  115  persons is to have the property owner obtain an owner-builder
  116  permit that erroneously implies that the property owner is
  117  providing his or her own labor and materials. I, as an owner
  118  builder, may be held liable and subject to serious financial
  119  risk for any injuries sustained by an unlicensed person and his
  120  or her employees while working on my property. My homeowner’s or
  121  business insurance may not provide coverage for those injuries.
  122  I am willfully acting as an owner-builder and am aware of the
  123  limits of my insurance coverage for injuries to workers on my
  124  property.
  125  
  126         8.I understand that I may not delegate the responsibility
  127  for supervising work to a licensed contractor who is not
  128  licensed to perform the work being done. Any person working on
  129  my residence or building who is not licensed must work under my
  130  direct supervision and must be employed by me, which means that
  131  I must deduct FICA contributions and withholding tax and provide
  132  workers’ compensation for that employee, all as prescribed by
  133  law. I understand my failure to abide by these laws may subject
  134  me to serious financial risk.
  135  
  136         9.I agree that, as the party legally and financially
  137  responsible for this proposed construction activity, I will
  138  abide by all applicable laws and requirements that govern owner
  139  builders as well as employers. I also understand that the
  140  construction must comply with all applicable laws, ordinances,
  141  building codes, and zoning regulations.
  142  
  143         10.I understand that I may obtain more information
  144  regarding my obligations as an employer from the Internal
  145  Revenue Service, the United States Small Business
  146  Administration, the Florida Department of Financial Services,
  147  and the Florida Department of Revenue. I also understand I may
  148  contact the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB)
  149  at 850-487-1395 or www.myflorida.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/index.html
  150  for more information about licensed contractors.
  151  
  152         11.I am aware of and consent to an owner-builder building
  153  permit applied for in my name, and understand that I am the
  154  party legally and financially responsible for proposed
  155  construction activity at the following address:
  156  
  157  ...(Address of location of construction activity)...
  158  
  159         12.I agree to notify the issuer of this form immediately
  160  of any additions, deletions, or changes to any of the
  161  information I have provided on this form.
  162  
  163         Licensed contractors are regulated by laws designed to
  164  protect the public. If you contract with someone who does not
  165  have a license, the Construction Industry Licensing Board and
  166  Department of Business and Professional Regulation may be unable
  167  to assist you with any financial loss you may sustain as a
  168  result of a complaint. Your only remedy against unlicensed
  169  contractors may be in civil court. It is also important for you
  170  to understand that if an unlicensed contractor, or the
  171  unlicensed contractor’s employee, is injured while working on
  172  your property, you may be held liable for damages. If you obtain
  173  an owner-builder permit and wish to hire licensed contractors,
  174  you will be responsible for verifying that the contractors are
  175  properly licensed and have the required workers’ compensation
  176  insurance coverage.
  177  
  178         Before a building permit is issued, this form must be
  179  completed and signed by the property owner and returned to the
  180  local permitting agency responsible for issuing the permit. A
  181  copy of the property owner’s driver’s license, form
  182  notarization, or other verification acceptable to the local
  183  permitting agency is required to be presented when the permit is
  184  issued to verify the property owner’s signature.
  185  
  186  ...(Signature of property owner)...
  187  
  188  ...(Name of property owner)...
  189  
  190  ...(Date)...
  191                        Disclosure Statement                       
  192  
  193         State law requires construction to be done by licensed
  194  contractors. You have applied for a permit under an exemption to
  195  that law. The exemption allows you, as the owner of your
  196  property, to act as your own contractor with certain
  197  restrictions even though you do not have a license. You must
  198  provide direct, onsite supervision of the construction yourself.
  199  You may build or improve a one-family or two-family residence or
  200  a farm outbuilding. You may also build or improve a commercial
  201  building, provided your costs do not exceed $75,000. The
  202  building or residence must be for your own use or occupancy. It
  203  may not be built or substantially improved for sale or lease. If
  204  you sell or lease a building you have built or substantially
  205  improved yourself within 1 year after the construction is
  206  complete, the law will presume that you built or substantially
  207  improved it for sale or lease, which is a violation of this
  208  exemption. You may not hire an unlicensed person to act as your
  209  contractor or to supervise people working on your building. It
  210  is your responsibility to make sure that people employed by you
  211  have licenses required by state law and by county or municipal
  212  licensing ordinances. You may not delegate the responsibility
  213  for supervising work to a licensed contractor who is not
  214  licensed to perform the work being done. Any person working on
  215  your building who is not licensed must work under your direct
  216  supervision and must be employed by you, which means that you
  217  must deduct F.I.C.A. and withholding tax and provide workers’
  218  compensation for that employee, all as prescribed by law. Your
  219  construction must comply with all applicable laws, ordinances,
  220  building codes, and zoning regulations.
  221         Section 2. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
  222  489.128, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  223         489.128 Contracts entered into by unlicensed contractors
  224  unenforceable.—
  225         (1) As a matter of public policy, contracts entered into on
  226  or after October 1, 1990, by an unlicensed contractor shall be
  227  unenforceable in law or in equity by the unlicensed contractor.
  228         (a) For purposes of this section, an individual is
  229  unlicensed if the individual does not have a license required by
  230  this part concerning the scope of the work to be performed under
  231  the contract. A business organization is unlicensed if the
  232  business organization does not have a primary or secondary
  233  qualifying agent in accordance with this part concerning the
  234  scope of the work to be performed under the contract. For
  235  purposes of this section, if no state or local license is
  236  required for the scope of work to be performed under the
  237  contract, the individual performing that work shall not be
  238  considered unlicensed.
  239         Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
  240  489.532, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  241         489.532 Contracts entered into by unlicensed contractors
  242  unenforceable.—
  243         (1) As a matter of public policy, contracts entered into on
  244  or after October 1, 1990, by an unlicensed contractor shall be
  245  unenforceable in law or in equity by the unlicensed contractor.
  246         (a) For purposes of this section, an individual is
  247  unlicensed if the individual does not have a license required by
  248  this part concerning the scope of the work to be performed under
  249  the contract. A business organization is unlicensed if the
  250  business organization does not have a primary or secondary
  251  qualifying agent in accordance with this part concerning the
  252  scope of the work to be performed under the contract. For
  253  purposes of this section, if no state or local license is
  254  required for the scope of work to be performed under the
  255  contract, the individual performing that work shall not be
  256  considered unlicensed.
  257         Section 4. The amendments made by this act to ss. 489.128
  258  and 489.532, Florida Statutes, apply retroactively to contracts
  259  entered into on or after October 1, 2000, and apply to all
  260  actions that are pending on or are filed on or after the
  261  effective date of this act.
  262         Section 5. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

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