January 18, 2019
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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 498.025, Florida Statutes 2007

498.025  Exemptions.--

(1)  Except as provided in s. 498.022, the provisions of this chapter do not apply to:

(a)  The offer or disposition of an interest in subdivided lands by a purchaser for his or her own account in a single or isolated transaction.

(b)  The offer or disposition of an interest in subdivided lands by or to any government or government agency. This exemption shall not apply to registrants.

(c)  The offer or disposition of an interest in subdivided lands as cemetery lots or interest.

(d)  An offer or transfer of securities currently registered with the Office of Financial Regulation of the Financial Services Commission or the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, except when s. 498.023(4) applies.

(e)  Any offer or disposition constituting a single sale or offer to sell to a person when the purchase price is $50,000 or more.

(f)  The offer or disposition of an interest in subdivided lands to a person engaged in the business of constructing residential or commercial buildings, or to any person who acquires the land for the purpose of resale or lease to a person engaged in such business.

(g)  The offer or disposition of an interest in subdivided lands on which there is a residential, commercial, or industrial building or as to which the seller has a legal obligation to construct such a building within 2 years from date of disposition.

(h)  The offer or disposition of an interest in subdivided lands in which the registrant conveys a lot, unit, or parcel or portion thereof to the purchaser of the contiguous lot. If only a portion of a lot, unit, or parcel is conveyed to the purchaser of contiguous property, the remaining balance of the lot, unit, or parcel shall be conveyed only to a purchaser of contiguous property. The only purpose of this conveyance shall be to increase the size of a purchaser's holdings; and restrictions shall be recorded to restrict the use of such lots, units, or parcels and the contiguous portions for use only as single-family homesites.

(i)  Any offer or disposition constituting a single sale or offer to sell to a person if the lot, parcel, unit, or interest in the subdivision contains at least 20 acres. In determining eligibility for the exemption, easements for ingress and egress or public utilities are considered part of the total acreage of the lot, parcel, unit, or interest if the purchaser retains ownership of the property affected by the easement.

(j)  The disposition of fewer than 25 homesites located within this state by a person within a consecutive period of 12 calendar months beginning after December 31, 1997, provided that the grantor or lessor holds marketable title to the subdivided lands to be conveyed or leased to purchasers and the purchaser physically inspects the homesite prior to the execution of the contract or lease.

(k)  The offering or disposition of a homesite by one party together with the sale of a mobile home or manufactured home by another party if both contracts for purchase contain no provision which restricts the purchaser's remedy of bringing suit for specific performance and contain the following provisions:

1.  Each seller is obligated to perform contingent upon the other seller carrying out its obligations so that the mobile home or manufactured home will be installed on a homesite lot within 2 years after the date the purchaser signs the contract to purchase the lot.

2.  All funds or property paid by the purchaser shall be put in escrow until closing of the transaction.

3.  All funds or property received by the seller shall be released to the purchaser upon demand if the homesite on which the mobile home or manufactured home has been erected is not conveyed within 2 years.

4.  The homesite is developed in conformance with all applicable local land development laws and regulations pursuant to part II of chapter 163, including lots, parcels, units, or interest vested under such part.

5.  At the time of closing:

a.  Domestic water supply and sanitary sewage disposal are available to the homesite;

b.  Electric power has been extended to the lot line;

c.  The homesite is accessible by a street or road;

d.  All promised improvements, including any common areas or recreational facilities represented by the seller or the seller's agent, are complete and provisions for perpetual maintenance have been provided; and

e.  The purchaser receives marketable title to the homesite.

(l)  The offer of disposition of an interest in subdivided lands located within the boundaries of a special dependent or independent district, subject to the following conditions:

1.  All funds or property paid by a purchaser are put in escrow until closing; and

2.  Closing shall not occur until all promised improvements including infrastructure, facilities, and amenities represented in any manner by the seller or the seller's agent are complete and the plat of same is recorded in the official records of the county in which the subdivision is located.

(m)  The offer or disposition of an interest in subdivided lands to an accredited investor, as defined by rule of the Financial Services Commission in accordance with Securities and Exchange Commission Regulation 230.501, 17 C.F.R. s. 230.501.

(n)  An offer or disposition of any interest in a subdivision that has received a development order pursuant to s. 380.06 or s. 380.061, or the offer or disposition of any interest in subdivided lands by a person who has entered into a development agreement with local government in accordance with part II of chapter 163, subject to the following conditions:

1.  All funds or property paid by a purchaser are escrowed until closing; and

2.  Closing shall not occur until all promised improvements including infrastructure, facilities, and amenities represented by the seller or the seller's agent are deemed complete and the plat of same is recorded in the official records of the county in which the subdivision is located.

(o)  The offer or disposition of an interest in subdivided lands which are zoned by the appropriate governmental authority for industrial or commercial development or which are restricted to such use by restrictive covenants which have been recorded in the official records of the city or county in which such real estate is located, when:

1.  Local authorities have approved access from such real estate to a public street or highway;

2.  The purchaser of such real estate is a duly organized corporation, partnership, trust, or business entity engaged in commercial or industrial business;

3.  The purchaser of such real estate is represented in the transaction of sale or lease by a representative of its own selection;

4.  The purchaser of such real estate affirms in writing to the seller or lessor that it either:

a.  Is purchasing such real estate substantially for its own use; or

b.  Has a binding commitment to sell, lease, or sublease such real estate to an entity which is engaged in commercial or industrial business, and is not affiliated with the seller, lessor, or agent thereof; and

5.  A policy of title insurance or a title opinion is issued in connection with the transaction showing that title to the real estate purchased is vested in the seller or lessor, subject only to such exceptions as may be approved in writing by such purchaser prior to recordation of the instrument of conveyance or execution of a lease.

a.  Nothing in this subparagraph shall be construed as requiring the recordation of a lease; and

b.  Any purchaser may waive, in writing in a separate document, the requirement of this subparagraph that a policy of title insurance or title opinion be issued in connection with the transaction.

(p)  The offer or disposition of condominium or cooperative parcels pursuant to chapter 718 or chapter 719, respectively.

(2)  Except as provided in s. 498.022, the provisions of this chapter do not apply to offers or dispositions of interests in lots, parcels, or units contained in a recorded subdivision plat, or resulting from the subdivision of land in accordance with applicable local land development laws and regulations pursuant to part II of chapter 163, including lots, parcels, units, or interest vested under such part, if all of the following conditions exist:

(a)  Each lot, parcel, or unit is situated on an existing, dedicated road or street that is constructed to the specifications of the appropriate local governing body which has voluntarily agreed to accept the road or street for maintenance, and, if a waiting period is required, adequate assurances have been established with the appropriate local governing body. Alternatively, maintenance may be provided by an acceptable homeowners' association, community development district, or special dependent or independent district. A homeowners' association shall be acceptable if it is a duly incorporated, not-for-profit corporation whose governing documents, which provide for the assessment of the cost of maintenance of the roads on a pro rata basis, have been incorporated into the restrictive covenants imposed upon the subdivision.

(b)  The subdivision has drainage structures and fill necessary to prevent flooding, which have been approved by the appropriate local governing body and, if a waiting period is required, adequate assurances have been established with the appropriate local governing body. In addition, provisions for perpetual maintenance of these drainage structures must be established with the appropriate local governing body, community development district, special dependent or independent district, or an acceptable homeowners' association or through restrictive covenants.

(c)  Electric power is available at or near each lot, parcel, or unit.

(d)  Domestic water supply and sanitary sewage disposal meeting the requirements of the applicable governmental authority are available at or near each lot, parcel, or unit.

(e)  The subdivider is the fee simple owner of the subdivided land offered and to be leased or conveyed to purchasers.

(f)  All promised improvements, including infrastructure, facilities, and amenities represented by the seller or the seller's agent, are complete.

(g)  The contract for purchase or lease contains, and the subdivider complies with, the following provisions:

1.  The purchaser must inspect the subdivided land prior to the execution of the contract or lease.

2.  The purchaser shall have an absolute right to cancel the contract or lease for any reason whatsoever for a period of 7 business days following the date on which the contract or lease was executed by the purchaser.

3.  In the event the purchaser elects to cancel within the period provided, all funds or other property paid by the purchaser shall be refunded without penalty or obligation within 20 days of the receipt of the notice of cancellation by the developer.

4.  All funds or property paid by the purchaser shall be put in escrow until closing has occurred and the lease or deed has been recorded.

5.  Unless otherwise timely canceled, closing shall occur within 180 days of the date of execution of the contract by the purchaser.

6.  When title is conveyed, said title shall be conveyed by statutory warranty deed unencumbered by any lien or mortgage except for any first purchase money mortgage given by the purchaser and restrictions, covenants, or easements of record.

7.  The subdivider presents to the purchaser the disclosure required by s. 720.401 prior to the execution of the contract or lease.

(h)  The agreement for deed contains, and the subdivider complies with, the following provisions:

1.  The purchaser must inspect the subdivided land prior to the execution of the agreement for deed.

2.  The purchaser shall have an absolute right to cancel the agreement for deed for any reason whatsoever for a period of 7 business days following the date on which the agreement for deed was executed by the purchaser.

3.  If the purchaser elects to cancel within the period provided, all funds or other property paid by the purchaser shall be refunded without penalty or obligation within 20 days after the receipt of the notice of cancellation by the developer.

4.  All funds or property paid by the purchaser shall be put in escrow until the agreement for deed has been recorded in the county in which the subdivision is located.

5.  Unless otherwise timely canceled, the agreement for deed shall be recorded within 180 days after its execution by the purchaser.

6.  Sale of lots in the subdivision shall be restricted solely to residents of the state.

7.  The underlying mortgage or other ancillary documents shall contain release provisions for the individual lot purchased.

8.  The subdivider presents to the purchaser the disclosure required by s. 720.401 prior to the execution of the agreement for deed.

(3)  A registrant or other person may obtain an exemption advisory opinion from the division stating whether or not a particular method of disposition or offer is exempt from the provisions of this chapter. Any opinion request shall be accompanied by the required fee as provided in s. 498.017, a comprehensive statement of facts and applicable law under which the petitioner believes the method of disposition or offer to be exempt, and any other information as is required by rule or requested by the division. Within 30 days after the date adequate information has been provided, the division shall issue an exemption advisory opinion indicating whether or not the method of disposition or offer is exempt. The advisory opinion shall not bind the division with regard to future action if circumstances should change, nor shall it affect any right which any purchaser may have under this chapter.

(4)  Whenever the division determines, on the basis of material facts presented and a demonstration that adequate safeguards and assurances exist with respect to a particular offer or disposition, the division shall have the discretion to issue a letter stating that it will take no action. The letter shall not bind the division with regard to future action relating to these matters if circumstances should change nor affect any right which any purchaser may have under this chapter.

(5)  Under this section or other provisions of this chapter, the burden of establishing the right to any exemption shall be upon the person claiming the benefit of such exemption, and it shall not be necessary for the division to negate any of the exemptions provided in this chapter in any notice to show cause, cease and desist order, complaint, or other suit or proceedings brought under this chapter.

History.--s. 19, ch. 67-229; ss. 12, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 5, ch. 69-393; s. 2, ch. 71-98; s. 1, ch. 73-108; s. 3, ch. 76-168; ss. 14, 15, ch. 76-262; s. 178, ch. 77-104; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 6, ch. 78-366; ss. 13, 30, 32, ch. 79-347; ss. 6, 21, ch. 81-177; s. 379, ch. 81-259; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; s. 3, ch. 83-265; ss. 13, 33, 34, ch. 88-90; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 3, ch. 93-190; s. 23, ch. 96-389; s. 1153, ch. 97-103; s. 8, ch. 97-192; s. 16, ch. 2001-63; s. 562, ch. 2003-261; s. 27, ch. 2004-345; s. 23, ch. 2004-353.

Note.--Former s. 478.221.

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