Residential Seller’s Disclosures
The following represents a list of disclosures to be made by residential sellers under Florida and/or federal law:
1. General Disclosures. A seller must disclose all known defects which affect the value of the residential property to be sold, including all improvements thereon. This disclosure is typically made in a Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement to be completed by the seller prior to listing the property with a broker, or if no broker is used, prior to the time that the seller places the property up for sale.
2. Septic Tank Disclosures. Escambia County Ordinance No. 99-24 and Santa Rosa County Ordinance No. 2000-22 require inspections on existing septic tanks on certain residential property. It is the seller’s responsibility to request a septic tank inspection by the County Health Department and to ensure the appropriate disclosures are made to the buyer prior to closing. For more information regarding particular requirements, contact the Escambia County Health Department at (850)595-6786 or the Santa Rosa County Health Department at (850) 934-5177.
3. Condominium Disclosures. The Florida Condominium Act requires that certain disclosures be made each time a condominium unit is sold. The disclosures are usually set forth in a form rider to the purchase and sale agreement. If you are selling a condominium unit, ask your realtor for a form condominium disclosure rider.
4. Planned Unit Development Disclosures. Florida law requires that a disclosure be made any time property encumbered by covenants and restrictions of a planned unit development is sold. Like the condominium disclosure, the planned unit development disclosure is typically made in a rider to the purchase and sale agreement.
5. Lead Based Paint Disclosures. Florida law requires that a lead based paint disclosure be provided in connection with the sale of any pre-1978 buildings. The appropriate language for this disclosure can be found in most form purchase and sale contracts, including the standard form used by most realtors (FAR/BAR).
6. Energy Efficiency Disclosures. A seller of residential property must give any prospective buyer an opportunity to conduct a test on the home’s energy efficiency ratings prior to the prospective buyer’s execution of the purchase and sale agreement. Prior to the execution of the contract, the seller must provide the prospective buyer with a copy of an information brochure setting forth various information on energy efficiency ratings prepared by the Florida Department of Community Affairs.
7. Radon Gas Disclosures. A radon gas disclosure should be provided in any purchase and sale agreement including language which is substantially similar to the following:
“Radon Gas: Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that, when it has accumulated in a building in sufficient quantities, may present health risks to persons who are exposed to it over time. Levels of radon that exceed federal and state guidelines have been found in buildings in Florida. Additional information regarding radon and radon testing may be obtained from your county public health unit.”
8. FIRPTA (Florida Investment in Real Property Tax Act) Disclosures. Prior to the execution of the purchase and sale agreement, a decision should be made as to whether withholding will be required under FIRPTA. With respect to residential real estate, there are several exceptions to any withholding requirements:
1. If the seller is a United States citizen, no withholding is required.
2. If there is a Notice of Non-Recognition of Gain or Loss from the transferor, no withholding is required.
3. In the event the sale is of a residence for a purchase price of $300,000.00 or less, which buyer intends to use at least 50% of the time during the next two years, no withholding is required.
4. If the amount realized by the transferor is zero.
** The list above does not necessarily include all the required disclosures to be made in connection with the sale of residential property.