Monthly Archives: February 2022

Fla. RE teams must follow FREC’s team-ad rule

Some Fla. real estate team names go against FREC rules – words that became banned on July 1, 2019. According to Florida Realtors Hotline calls, FREC has stepped up enforcement, and some teams have already been contacted.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) created a team-advertising rule that became effective on July 1, 2019, after giving agents working in teams time to prepare for the changes.

However, a year-and-a-half later, FREC has initiated some enforcement actions against teams that include the banned words, either because it was never changed or because newer teams may have decided to use the words without realizing they weren’t allowed.

The team ad rule, 61J2-10.026 Team or Group Advertising, impacts office procedures and team advertising. Words no longer allowed in team names found within the rule include:

(4) Team or group names. Real estate team or group names may include the word “team” or “group” as part of the name. Real estate team or group names shall not include the following words:

  1. Agency
  2. Associates
  3. Brokerage
  4. Brokers
  5. Company
  6. Corporation
  7. Corp.
  8. Inc.
  9. LLC
  10. LP, LLP or Partnership
  11. Properties
  12. Property
  13. Real Estate
  14. Realty
  15. Or similar words suggesting the team or group is a separate real estate brokerage or company

Other details of the rule

  • “Team or group advertising” means a name or logo used by one or more real estate licensees who represent themselves to the public as a team or group. The team or group must perform licensed activities under the supervision of the same broker or brokerage.
  • Each team or group shall file with the broker a designated licensee to be responsible for ensuring that the advertising is in compliance with chapter 475, Florida Statutes, and division 61J2, Florida Administrative Code.
  • At least once monthly, the registered broker must maintain a current written record of each team’s or group’s members.
  • Advertisements containing the team or group name shouldn’t be in larger print than the name of the registered brokerage. All advertising must be in a manner in which reasonable persons would know they’re dealing with a team or group.
  • Nothing in this rule shall relieve the broker of his or her legal obligations under chapter 475, Florida Statutes, and division 61J2, Florida Administrative Code.

© 2022 Florida Realtors


Grandfathered Rental Rules for Condos and HOAs?

For years, new condo rental restrictions applied only to current owners who voted for them, but new HOA restrictions were effective for everyone. That changed last July when HOA owners who rent out units received somewhat similar protections.

NAPLES, Fla. – For many years now, Chapter 718, Florida Statutes has provided that any new rental restrictions approved by the membership of a condominium as an amendment to the governing documents only applied to those who voted for the amendment or those who obtained title to the unit after the amendment was approved and recorded in the County Public Records.

Section 718.110(14), Florida Statutes, applicable to Condominiums, provides that: “An amendment prohibiting unit owners from renting their units or altering the duration of the rental period applies only to unit owners who consent to the amendment and unit owners who acquire title to their units after the effective date of the amendment.”

There was nothing similar in the law governing Homeowners Associations (HOAs) when they amended their governing documents to change permissible lease-period durations and the number of leases per year. If the membership properly approved more restrictive amendments, they applied to all homeowners.

This changed effective July 1, 2021, after the Florida Legislature passed Senate Bill 630. Now, for all amendments to HOAs’ governing documents enacted after July 1, 2021, more restrictive rental regulations approved by the members will also, like condos, only apply to a parcel owner who acquires title to the parcel after the effective date of the amendment or a parcel owner who consented to, or voted to approve, the more restrictive rental regulation.

However, there are exceptions to this new regulation in HOAs.

If the amendment is to prohibit or regulate rental agreements for a term of less than six (6) months and/or the rental of a parcel for more than three (3) times in a calendar year, then the amendments will apply to all parcel owners.

So in HOAs, approved short-term rental restrictions of less than six (6) months and limiting of rentals to no more than three (3) times a year will apply to all owners; rental restrictions of six (6) months or more or limits of three (3) times, two (2) times or one (1) time a year are applicable to owners who voted to approve the amendments and those who acquire title to the parcel after the effective date of the amendment.

The intent of this new provision in HOAs appears to be to disfavor short-term leases less than six (6) months as well as multiple leases of four (4) or more times per year, while still allowing grandfathering of current owners who want to lease at least six (6) months or shorter periods up to three (3) times a year. At the same time, it’s acknowledging that some owners purchased their homes with collection of rental income in mind.

Sales taxes come into play with rentals at six (6) months, and if a parcel is advertised for sale for more than three (3) times a year for less than thirty (30) days, the State of Florida could consider the unit a “hotel/motel.” If so, it could then have to retrofit the parcel with the same fire, life safety and handicap equipment as a hotel/motel in Florida.

This column is not based on specific legal advice to anyone and is based on principles subject to change from time to time.

© 2022 Journal Media Group, Naples Daily News. Rob Samouce is a principal attorney in the Naples law firm of Samouce & Gal, P.A. He is a Florida Bar Board Certified Specialist in Condominium and Planned Development and concentrates his practice representing condominium, cooperative and homeowners’ associations.


Confirming the Presentation of Offers

Dear Joey: Can I receive confirmation that my client’s offer has been presented to the sellers?

ORLANDO, Fla. – Dear Joey: In this market especially, when most properties have multiple offers, how can I know my client’s offer was presented? I want to make sure I’m the expert for my clients.

Dear Real Estate Professional: Great question! The answer is yes, there is a way to know your offer was presented– and, the Code of Ethics has an article and two standards of practice to support this.

You said you want to be the expert for your clients – serve them and their interests to the best of your ability – which of course includes confirming that their offer was presented, especially in today’s market when many buyers get their hopes up only to find out their offer was rejected.

Article 1 in the Code of Ethics says that Realtors® have an obligation to promote the interests of their clients. And Standard of Practice 1-7 expands on this in confirming that offers were presented. It states:

“When acting as listing brokers, Realtors shall continue to submit to the seller/landlord all offers and counter-offers until closing or execution of a lease unless the seller/landlord has waived this obligation in writing. Upon the written request of a cooperating broker who submits an offer to the listing broker, the listing broker shall provide, as soon as practical, a written affirmation to the cooperating broker stating that the offer has been submitted to the seller/landlord, or a written notification that the seller/landlord has waived the obligation to have the offer presented. Realtors shall not be obligated to continue to market the property after an offer has been accepted by the seller/landlord. Realtors shall recommend that sellers/landlords obtain the advice of legal counsel prior to acceptance of a subsequent offer except where the acceptance is contingent on the termination of the pre-existing purchase contract or lease. (Amended 1/20)”

One note: Standard of Practice 1-8 was amended in January of this year and the same rule now applies to buyer’s/tenant’s brokers as well:

“Realtors, acting as agents or brokers of buyers/tenants, shall submit to buyers/tenants all offers and counter-offers until acceptance but have no obligation to continue to show properties to their clients after an offer has been accepted unless otherwise agreed in writing. Upon the written request of the listing broker who submits a counter-offer to the buyer’s/tenant’s broker, the buyer’s/tenant’s broker shall provide, as soon as practical, a written affirmation to the listing broker stating that the counter-offer has been submitted to the buyers/tenants, or a written notification that the buyers/tenants have waived the obligation to have the counter-offer presented. Realtors, acting as agents or brokers of buyers/tenants, shall recommend that buyers/tenants obtain the advice of legal counsel if there is a question as to whether a pre-existing contract has been terminated. (Amended 1/22)” 

As you can see, Standard of Practice 1-7 states that “upon written request of a cooperating broker who submits an offer to the listing broker,” the listing broker shall (this word creates an obligation) provide as soon as practical a written affirmation to the cooperation broker stating that the offer has been submitted or that the seller has waived the obligation to the have the offer presented.  Similar language is in Standard of Practice 1-8 in reference to buyer’s/tenant’s broker’s obligation to respond in writing with regards to the submission of counter-offers.

To make sure you receive confirmation that your offer or counter-offer has been submitted or that the party has waived the obligation to have it presented, request it in writing. 

Now, you may be thinking, “What if the broker refuses to provide the written affirmation after I have requested it in writing?” If that does occur, they could be opening themselves up to a potential Article 1 violation.

Joey Sale is the former Director of Local Association Services for Florida Realtors
Note: Advice deemed accurate on date of publication

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