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The Florida Statutes

The 2016 Florida Statutes

Title XLIV
CIVIL RIGHTS
Chapter 760
DISCRIMINATION IN THE TREATMENT OF PERSONS; MINORITY REPRESENTATION
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F.S. 760.29
760.29 Exemptions.
(1)(a) Nothing in ss. 760.23 and 760.25 applies to:
1. Any single-family house sold or rented by its owner, provided such private individual owner does not own more than three single-family houses at any one time. In the case of the sale of a single-family house by a private individual owner who does not reside in such house at the time of the sale or who was not the most recent resident of the house prior to the sale, the exemption granted by this paragraph applies only with respect to one sale within any 24-month period. In addition, the bona fide private individual owner shall not own any interest in, nor shall there be owned or reserved on his or her behalf, under any express or voluntary agreement, title to, or any right to all or a portion of the proceeds from the sale or rental of, more than three single-family houses at any one time. The sale or rental of any single-family house shall be excepted from the application of ss. 760.20-760.37 only if the house is sold or rented:
a. Without the use in any manner of the sales or rental facilities or the sales or rental services of any real estate licensee or such facilities or services of any person in the business of selling or renting dwellings, or of any employee or agent of any such licensee or person; and
b. Without the publication, posting, or mailing, after notice, of any advertisement or written notice in violation of s. 760.23(3).

Nothing in this provision prohibits the use of attorneys, escrow agents, abstractors, title companies, and other such professional assistance as is necessary to perfect or transfer the title.

2. Rooms or units in dwellings containing living quarters occupied or intended to be occupied by no more than four families living independently of each other, if the owner actually maintains and occupies one of such living quarters as his or her residence.
(b) For the purposes of paragraph (a), a person is deemed to be in the business of selling or renting dwellings if the person:
1. Has, within the preceding 12 months, participated as principal in three or more transactions involving the sale or rental of any dwelling or interest therein;
2. Has, within the preceding 12 months, participated as agent, other than in the sale of his or her own personal residence, in providing sales or rental facilities or sales or rental services in two or more transactions involving the sale or rental of any dwelling or interest therein; or
3. Is the owner of any dwelling designed or intended for occupancy by, or occupied by, five or more families.
(2) Nothing in ss. 760.20-760.37 prohibits a religious organization, association, or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised, or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association, or society, from limiting the sale, rental, or occupancy of any dwelling which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose to persons of the same religion or from giving preference to such persons, unless membership in such religion is restricted on account of race, color, or national origin. Nothing in ss. 760.20-760.37 prohibits a private club not in fact open to the public, which as an incident to its primary purpose or purposes provides lodgings which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose, from limiting the rental or occupancy of such lodgings to its members or from giving preference to its members.
(3) Nothing in ss. 760.20-760.37 requires any person renting or selling a dwelling constructed for first occupancy before March 13, 1991, to modify, alter, or adjust the dwelling in order to provide physical accessibility except as otherwise required by law.
(4)(a) Any provision of ss. 760.20-760.37 regarding familial status does not apply with respect to housing for older persons.
(b) As used in this subsection, the term “housing for older persons” means housing:
1. Provided under any state or federal program that the commission determines is specifically designed and operated to assist elderly persons, as defined in the state or federal program;
2. Intended for, and solely occupied by, persons 62 years of age or older; or
3. Intended and operated for occupancy by persons 55 years of age or older that meets the following requirements:
a. At least 80 percent of the occupied units are occupied by at least one person 55 years of age or older.
b. The housing facility or community publishes and adheres to policies and procedures that demonstrate the intent required under this subparagraph. If the housing facility or community meets the requirements of sub-subparagraphs a. and c. and the recorded governing documents provide for an adult, senior, or retirement housing facility or community and the governing documents lack an amendatory procedure, prohibit amendments, or restrict amendments until a specified future date, then that housing facility or community shall be deemed housing for older persons intended and operated for occupancy by persons 55 years of age or older. If those documents further provide a prohibition against residents 16 years of age or younger, that provision shall be construed, for purposes of the Fair Housing Act, to only apply to residents 18 years of age or younger, in order to conform with federal law requirements. Governing documents which can be amended at a future date must be amended and properly recorded within 1 year after that date to reflect the requirements for consideration as housing for older persons, if that housing facility or community intends to continue as housing for older persons.
c. The housing facility or community complies with rules made by the Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development pursuant to 24 C.F.R. part 100 for verification of occupancy, which rules provide for verification by reliable surveys and affidavits and include examples of the types of policies and procedures relevant to a determination of compliance with the requirements of sub-subparagraph b. Such surveys and affidavits are admissible in administrative and judicial proceedings for the purposes of such verification.
(c) Housing shall not fail to be considered housing for older persons if:
1. A person who resides in such housing on or after October 1, 1989, does not meet the age requirements of this subsection, provided that any new occupant meets such age requirements; or
2. One or more units are unoccupied, provided that any unoccupied units are reserved for occupancy by persons who meet the age requirements of this subsection.
(d) A person shall not be personally liable for monetary damages for a violation of this subsection if such person reasonably relied in good faith on the application of the exemption under this subsection relating to housing for older persons. For purposes of this paragraph, a person may show good faith reliance on the application of the exemption only by showing that:
1. The person has no actual knowledge that the facility or the community is ineligible, or will become ineligible, for such exemption; and
2. The facility or community has stated formally, in writing, that the facility or community complies with the requirements for such exemption.
(e) A facility or community claiming an exemption under this subsection shall register with the commission and submit a letter to the commission stating that the facility or community complies with the requirements of subparagraph (b)1., subparagraph (b)2., or subparagraph (b)3. The letter shall be submitted on the letterhead of the facility or community and shall be signed by the president of the facility or community. This registration and documentation shall be renewed biennially from the date of original filing. The information in the registry shall be made available to the public, and the commission shall include this information on an Internet website. The commission may establish a reasonable registration fee, not to exceed $20, that shall be deposited into the commission’s trust fund to defray the administrative costs associated with maintaining the registry. The commission may impose an administrative fine, not to exceed $500, on a facility or community that knowingly submits false information in the documentation required by this paragraph. Such fines shall be deposited in the commission’s trust fund. The registration and documentation required by this paragraph shall not substitute for proof of compliance with the requirements of this subsection. Failure to comply with the requirements of this paragraph shall not disqualify a facility or community that otherwise qualifies for the exemption provided in this subsection.

A county or municipal ordinance regarding housing for older persons may not contravene the provisions of this subsection.

(5) Nothing in ss. 760.20-760.37:
(a) Prohibits a person engaged in the business of furnishing appraisals of real property from taking into consideration factors other than race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, familial status, or religion.
(b) Limits the applicability of any reasonable local restriction regarding the maximum number of occupants permitted to occupy a dwelling.
(c) Requires that a dwelling be made available to an individual whose tenancy would constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals or whose tenancy would result in substantial physical damage to the property of others.
(d) Prohibits conduct against a person because such person has been convicted by any court of competent jurisdiction of the illegal manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance as defined under chapter 893.
History.ss. 4, 8, ch. 83-221; s. 5, ch. 84-117; s. 5, ch. 89-321; s. 18, ch. 90-275; s. 1, ch. 96-191; s. 1792, ch. 97-102; s. 1, ch. 99-348; s. 4, ch. 2001-143; s. 59, ch. 2003-164.