Florida's Disclosure Requirements

by Karen Montgomery 06/28/2020

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

When you sell a house in Florida, you have to make certain disclosures to any person interested in buying your property. However, if you don’t live on the property, this could lead to some trouble if you do not disclose a problem that you are required to share. The disclosure form a real estate agent asks you to sign will ask if you live on the property, and if not, if you rent the property out. Even if a defect is not easily seen, you must disclose it.

The Disclosures

The defects do not necessarily have to be physical defects. You must also disclose whether federal, state or local authorities, including zoning, ask you to make repairs, and whether you made those repairs. You also need to disclose any homeowner’s restrictions and deed restrictions, including proposed changes to the restrictions, whether the property has resale restrictions, restrictions on leasing the property out and whether the access roads are public or private. If the property is governed by a homeowner’s association, you must also disclose that and any associated fees.

Property Boundaries

You also have to disclose whether you’ve had the property surveyed, if you have any boundary disputes with the neighbors, the date any common features, such as a shared fence, were installed, if the property has easements or if it has setback violations — when a building is too close to a boundary. If the property is fenced you also have to disclose that and the location of the fence.

Because much of Florida floods, sometimes surveyors issue an elevation certificate. If you received one when you had the property surveyed, you should provide the certificate.

The Land and Environment

Disclose if you know of any settling, sinkhole issues, and flooding or drainage issues. For environmental issues, you must disclose whether the property was built prior to 1978, and if you know of any environmental hazards on the property, including chemical storage tanks, lead-based paint, asbestos and other hazards. The disclosure form has additional environmental disclosures.

Additional Disclosures

You must also answer questions about:

  • Zoning;

  • Flooding;

  • Pests, including termites and other bugs that destroy wood;

  • Structure damage;

  • Roof damage;

  • Plumbing damage;

  • Issues with the electrical system;

  • Information about the heating and cooling; and

  • Information about other equipment including a security system, smoke detectors, sprinklers and garage door openers.

How Disclosures Affect the Sale

You do have to disclose the defects, but they may not be a deal-breaker. The buyer might request that you repair the defects, or might request a lower sale price to compensate for the defects. For example, if you list a home at $250,000, but it shows signs of termite damage and the HVAC system doesn’t work properly, the buyer might ask you to tent the house for the termites and replace the HVAC system, or the buyer might get estimates for doing the work himself or herself, and ask you to reduce the price by the amount of those defects.

About the Author
Author

Karen Montgomery

Venice is what Karen calls “home.” Since the beginning her Real Estate career in 2005, her clients testify she is informative and friendly and that’s why they return to her with their real estate needs. Her creativity and dedication are why her customers refer their friends, co-workers and family members to Karen when they need a Professional Realtor. Karen works hard for her clients and prides herself on being detailed oriented, keeping current with market conditions, finance programs, and future Sarasota County growth & development. “It’s not just about a customer buying or selling real estate, it’s about assisting customers to make well-informed decisions.” Karen focuses on providing customers with the best experience possible in residential sales and rentals. Karen is a member of the Venice Area Board of Realtors, National Association of Realtors and Florida Association of Realtors. 

If you are ready to turn your dreams into an address, contact Karen's Team at

Anchor Realty of the Gulf Coast 941-786-9912 or [email protected]