How do I declare my property as Homestead for tax purposes?

To declare your property as Homestead for tax purposes, bring the following documents to the Property Appraiser’s office no later than March 1st of the year for which the exemption is to be effective.

  • A recorded deed or tax bill in your name
  • Florida driver’s license
  • Florida auto tag registration
  • If you are a registered voter in Collier County, a voter registration card
  • Social Security numbers for applicant and spouse, if applicable
  • A Declaration of Domicile filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court, if there is one recorded
  • Documentation from out of state assessor or property appraiser that any residency based exemptions on prior out of state property has been removed
  • If the proposed Homestead property is held in a trust, a copy of the trust must be submitted for review and qualification
  • An applicant who is not a U.S. Citizen must present a resident alien card (green card)

All documentation must be dated prior to January 1st of the tax year for which you are applying for the exemption.

Note: The Homestead exemption does not automatically transfer.  A new application must be filed if you move within Collier County.

See the Collier County Property Appraiser’s website for more information: http://www.collierappraiser.com/Main_Homestead/MainHomestead.html?ccpaver=1.9.0

What are the benefits of declaring my property as Homestead?

There are several benefits to declaring your property as Homestead.  The most well-known benefit is that Homestead property is entitled to a reduction of up to $50,000 from the assessed value of the dwelling and there is a 3% cap on assessed value increases.  Each year following the effective date of the Homestead Exemption, the assessed value increase on Homestead Property cannot exceed 3% or the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less.  Additionally, Homestead Property is protected from forced sale by creditors (except for several special circumstances—e.g. a voluntary encumbrance of the Homestead property, such as a mortgage as collateral for a promissory note).  Finally, a surviving spouse and minor children’s Homestead interests are protected after the death of the Property owner.

Emotional Support Animals under Fair Housing Act

Many Condominium Associations and some Homeowner Associations impose restrictions on or prohibit pets within their community.  However, the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”), which prohibits discrimination against certain classes of persons in the housing context, prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the rental or purchase of property.  The FHA requires that an Association make a “reasonable accommodation” for persons with certain disabilities to allow an emotional support animal.

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Are You Up To Date On The 2017 Real Estate Contracts?

The Florida Realtors and Florida Bar (“FRBAR”) have rolled out significant revisions to their Real Estate Sales Contracts this year.  Some of the changes are minor; others should give a Real Estate Sales Associate pause to reflect how these changes might affect their client’s rights and obligations in a transaction.  A few of these FRBAR Contract revisions are addressed below.

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