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The Florida Statutes

The 2007 Florida Statutes

Title XXXIII
REGULATION OF TRADE, COMMERCE, INVESTMENTS, AND SOLICITATIONS
Chapter 498
LAND SALES PRACTICES
View Entire Chapter
Section 498.005, Florida Statutes 2007

498.005  Definitions.--As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, the term:

(1)  "Advertising" means the publication of or the causing to be published of any information for the purpose of inducing any other person to purchase or to acquire an interest in subdivided lands, including any photographs, drawings, or artist's representations of existing or planned physical conditions or facilities on the property, by means of any:

(a)  Newspaper or periodical;

(b)  Radio or television broadcast;

(c)  Written, printed, or photographic matter produced by any duplicating process producing 10 copies or more;

(d)  Material used in connection with the disposition or offer of subdivided lands by radio, television, telephone, computer, or any other electronic means;

(e)  Material used by subdividers or their agents, distributors, or any other persons to induce prospective purchasers to visit this state, particularly vacation certificates which involve a land sales presentation by a subdivider or her or his agents; or

(f)  Billboards.

(2)  "Closing" means the transfer of ownership or lease of an interest in subdivided lands to a purchaser as evidenced by the delivery of a deed to the purchaser or to the clerk of the court for recording in the official records of the county in which the subdivided lands are located.

(3)  "Conviction" means a determination of guilt resulting from a plea or trial, regardless of whether adjudication was withheld or imposition of sentence was suspended on an offense prohibited by this chapter, or forfeiture of a bond when charged with a criminal offense prohibited by this chapter.

(4)  "Disposition" means any transaction involving any interest in subdivided lands entered into for profit, including any sale, resale, lease for more than 5 years, assignment, or award by lottery.

(5)  "Division" means the Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums, and Mobile Homes of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

(6)  "Escrow" means the delivery to, or deposit with, an escrow agent of funds or property to be held and disbursed by such escrow agent consistent with the provisions of this act.

(7)  "Escrow agent" means:

(a)  A savings and loan association or bank located in Florida or any other financial institution located in Florida having a net worth in excess of $5 million;

(b)  An attorney who is a member in good standing of The Florida Bar;

(c)  A real estate broker who is licensed pursuant to chapter 475 and in good standing with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation; or

(d)  A title insurance agent licensed pursuant to s. 626.8417 or a title insurance agency licensed pursuant to s. 626.8418.

(8)  "Governing documents" means the recorded declaration of covenants for a community, and all duly adopted and recorded amendments thereto; and the articles of incorporation and bylaws of the homeowners' association, and any duly adopted amendments thereto.

(9)  "Homeowners' association" or "association" means a Florida corporation responsible for the operation of a community in which the voting membership is made up of parcel owners or their agents, or a combination thereof, and in which membership is a mandatory condition of parcel ownership, and which is authorized to impose assessments that, if unpaid, may become a lien on the parcel. The term "homeowners' association" or "association" does not include a community development district or other similar special taxing district created pursuant to statute.

(10)  "Homesite" means a lot, parcel, unit, or interest contained within a subdivision which is physically accessible by a public or private road at the time of deeding and usable by the purchaser for constructing or installing a single-family residential building without draining, filling, or other improvement, except for reasonable preparation for construction or installation, and that no fact or circumstance exists which prohibits the immediate use of the lot for such purpose upon deeding.

(11)  "Material change" means any act or failure to act by a registrant or its agents that would directly and adversely affect the registrant's legal or financial ability to fulfill its contractual commitments to its purchasers or that would alter or change the legal obligations or commitments of the registrant to its purchasers or to the division.

(12)  "Notice" means a communication in writing from the division executed by its director or other duly authorized officer.

(13)  "Offer" includes every inducement, solicitation, or attempt to encourage a person to acquire any interest in subdivided lands, if undertaken for gain or profit.

(14)  "Offering" means any document, material, representation, agreement, or assurance contained in:

(a)  Advertising material used in connection with the offer of subdivided lands;

(b)  A public offering statement;

(c)  A contract or other agreement which a purchaser executes in connection with the purchase of subdivided land;

(d)  A document or other material submitted to the division as part of an application for registration and upon which application an order of registration is issued; or

(e)  An order of registration.

(15)  "Order of registration" means the license issued by the division to evidence the registration status of the registrant for specified subdivided lands.

(16)  "Person" means one or more individuals, corporations, governments or governmental subdivisions or agencies, business trusts, estates, trusts, partnerships, unincorporated associations, or any other legal or commercial entity having a common interest.

(17)  "Purchaser" means a person who acquires, attempts to acquire, or succeeds to an interest in subdivided land.

(18)  "Registrant" means the person or persons specifically named in the order of registration.

(19)  "Registration" means the completion of all application requirements and the furnishing of all required exhibits to the division.

(20)  "Subdivider" means a person who owns any interest in subdivided lands or is engaged in the disposition of subdivided lands either directly, indirectly, or through the services of an employee, agent, or independent contractor.

(21)  "Subdivision" or "subdivided lands" means:

(a)  Any contiguous land which is divided or is proposed to be divided for the purpose of disposition into 50 or more lots, parcels, units, or interests; or

(b)  Any land, whether contiguous or not, which is divided or proposed to be divided into 50 or more lots, parcels, units, or interests which are offered as a part of a common promotional plan.

(22)  "Common promotional plan" means an offering of subdivided lands by a person in a similar plan of disposition. Elements relevant to whether the subdivided lands are being offered as part of a common promotional plan include but are not limited to: the physical relationship of the properties being offered; whether the offered properties are known, designated, or advertised as a common unit or by a common name; the utilization of a common broker or sales personnel, common sales office or facilities, or common promotional methods; the utilization of cross-referrals of prospective purchasers between sales operations; and common ownership interests.

History.--s. 2, ch. 63-129; s. 1, ch. 65-274; s. 2, ch. 67-229; ss. 16, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 69-393; s. 2, ch. 71-98; s. 1, ch. 73-53; s. 1, ch. 73-54; s. 131, ch. 73-333; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 3, ch. 76-262; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 3, ch. 78-366; ss. 3, 30, 32, ch. 79-347; ss. 1, 21, ch. 81-177; s. 378, ch. 81-259; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; s. 3, ch. 83-265; s. 1, ch. 84-71; s. 3, ch. 85-60; ss. 3, 33, 34, ch. 88-90; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 197, ch. 94-218; s. 570, ch. 97-103; s. 1, ch. 97-192.

Note.--Former s. 478.021.

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