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Title XL REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY
CHAPTER 715
PROPERTY: GENERAL PROVISIONS

715.10-715.111 may be cited as the "Disposition of Personal Property Landlord and Tenant Act."

Application of ss. 715.10-715.111:
(1)  Sections 715.10-715.111 apply to all tenancies to which part I or part II of chapter 83 are applicable.
(2)  Sections 715.10-715.111 provide an optional procedure for the disposition of personal property which remains on the premises after a tenancy has terminated or expired and the premises have been vacated by the tenant through eviction, surrender, abandonment, or otherwise.
(3)  Sections 715.10-715.111 do not apply to property which exists for the purpose of providing utility services and is owned by a utility, whether or not such property is actually in operation to provide such utility services.
(4)  If the requirements of ss. 715.10-715.111 are not satisfied, nothing in ss. 715.10-715.111 affects the rights and liabilities of the landlord, the former tenant, or any other person. Title XL, Ch. 715, Sec. 715.101

Definitions of terms used in ss. 715.10-715.111:  As used in ss. 715.10-715.111, unless some other meaning is clearly indicated, the term:
(1)  "Landlord" means any operator, keeper, lessor, or sublessor of furnished or unfurnished premises for rent, or her or his agent or successor-in-interest.
(2)  "Owner" means any person other than the landlord who has any right, title, or interest in personal property.
(3)  "Premises" includes any common areas associated therewith.
(4)  "Reasonable belief" means the actual knowledge or belief a prudent person should have without making an investigation, including any investigation of public records; except that, when the landlord has specific information indicating that such an investigation would more probably than not reveal pertinent information and the cost of such an investigation would be reasonable in relation to the probable value of the personal property involved, the term "reasonable belief" includes the actual knowledge or belief a prudent person would have if such an investigation were made.
(5)  "Tenant" includes any paying guest, lessee, or sublessee of any premises for rent, whether a dwelling unit or not. Title XL, Ch. 715, Sec. 715.102

Lost property:  Personal property which the landlord reasonably believes to have been lost shall be disposed of as otherwise provided by law. However, if the appropriate law enforcement agency or other government agency refuses to accept custody of property pursuant to chapter 705, the landlord may dispose of the property pursuant to ss. 715.10-715.111. The landlord is not liable to the owner of the property if she or he complies with this section and the other provisions of ss. 715.10-715.111. Title XL, Ch. 715, Sec. 715.103

Notification of former tenant of personal property remaining on premises after tenancy has terminated:
(1)  When personal property remains on the premises after a tenancy has terminated or expired and the premises have been vacated by the tenant, through eviction or otherwise, the landlord shall give written notice to such tenant and to any other person the landlord reasonably believes to be the owner of the property.
(2)  The notice shall describe the property in a manner reasonably adequate to permit the owner of the property to identify it. The notice may describe all or a portion of the property, but the limitation of liability provided by s. 715.11 does not protect the landlord from any liability arising from the disposition of property not described in the notice, except that a trunk, valise, box, or other container which is locked, fastened, or tied in a manner which deters immediate access to its contents may be described as such without describing its contents. The notice shall advise the person to be notified that reasonable costs of storage may be charged before the property is returned, and the notice shall state where the property may be claimed and the date before which the claim must be made. The date specified in the notice shall be a date not fewer than 10 days after the notice is personally delivered or, if mailed, not fewer than 15 days after the notice is deposited in the mail.
(3)  The notice shall be personally delivered or sent by first-class mail, postage prepaid, to the person to be notified at her or his last known address and, if there is reason to believe that the notice sent to that address will not be received by that person, also delivered or sent to such other address, if any, known to the landlord where such person may reasonably be expected to receive the notice. Title XL, Ch. 715, Sec. 715.104

Form of notice to former tenant:
(1)  A notice to the former tenant which is in substantially the following form satisfies the requirements of s. 715.104:
Notice of Right to Reclaim Abandoned Property
To:   (Name of former tenant)
    (Address of former tenant)

When you vacated the premises at  (address of premises, including room or apartment number, if any) , the following personal property remained:  (insert description of personal
property) .

You may claim this property at  (address where property may be claimed) .

Unless you pay the reasonable costs of storage and advertising, if any, for all the above-described property and take possession of the property which you claim, not later than  (insert date not fewer than 10 days after notice is personally delivered or, if mailed, not fewer than 15 days after notice is deposited in the mail), this property may be disposed of pursuant to s. 715.109.

(Insert here the statement required by subsection (2))

 Dated:_____

                                                          (Signature of landlord)

(Type or print name of landlord)

(Telephone number)

(Address)
(2)  The notice set forth in subsection (1) shall also contain one of the following statements:
(a)  "If you fail to reclaim the property, it will be sold at a public sale after notice of the sale has been given by publication. You have the right to bid on the property at this sale. After the property is sold and the costs of storage, advertising, and sale are deducted, the remaining money will be paid over to the county. You may claim the remaining money at any time within 1 year after the county receives the money."
(b)  "Because this property is believed to be worth less than $250, it may be kept, sold, or destroyed without further notice if you fail to reclaim it within the time indicated above." Title XL, Ch. 715, Sec. 715.105

Form of notice to owner other than former tenant:
(1)  A notice which is in substantially the following form given to a person who is not the former tenant and whom the landlord reasonably believes to be the owner of any of the abandoned personal property satisfies the requirements of s. 715.104:
Notice of Right to Reclaim Abandoned Property

To:   (Name)
    (Address)

When  (name of former tenant)  vacated the premises at  (address of premises, including room or apartment number, if any), the following personal property remained:  (insert description of personal property) .

If you own any of this property, you may claim it at  (address where property may be claimed). Unless you pay the reasonable costs of storage and advertising, if any, and take possession of the property to which you are entitled, not later than (insert date not fewer than 10 days after notice is personally delivered or, if mailed, not fewer than 15 days after notice is deposited in the mail), this property may be disposed of pursuant to s. 715.109.

(Insert here the statement required by subsection (2))

Dated:_____

                                                       (Signature of landlord)

(Type or print name of landlord)

(Telephone number)

(Address)
(2)  The notice set forth in subsection (1) shall also contain one of the following statements:
(a)  "If you fail to reclaim the property, it will be sold at a public sale after notice of the sale has been given by publication. You have the right to bid on the property at this sale. After the property is sold and the costs of storage, advertising, and sale are deducted, the remaining money will be paid over to the county. You may claim the remaining money at any time within 1 year after the county receives the money."
(b)  "Because this property is believed to be worth less than $250, it may be kept, sold, or destroyed without further notice if you fail to reclaim it within the time indicated above."   Title XL, Ch. 715, Sec. 715.106

Storage of abandoned property:  The personal property described in the notice either shall be left on the vacated premises or be stored by the landlord in a place of safekeeping until the landlord either releases the property pursuant to s. 715.108 or disposes of the property pursuant to s. 715.109. The landlord shall exercise reasonable care in storing the property, but she or he is not liable to the tenant or any other owner for any loss unless caused by the landlord's deliberate or negligent act.  Title XL, Ch. 715, Sec. 715.107

Release of personal property:
(1)  The personal property described in the notice shall be released by the landlord to the former tenant or, at the landlord's option, to any person reasonably believed by the landlord to be its owner, if such tenant or other person pays the reasonable costs of storage and advertising and takes possession of the property not later than the date specified in the notice for taking possession.
(2)  Where personal property is not released pursuant to subsection (1) and the notice has stated that the personal property will be sold at a public sale, the landlord shall release the personal property to the former tenant if she or he claims it prior to the time it is sold and pays the reasonable costs of storage, advertising, and sale incurred prior to the time the property is withdrawn from sale.  Title XL, Ch. 715, Sec. 715.108

Sale or disposition of abandoned property:
(1)  If the personal property described in the notice is not released pursuant to s. 715.108, it shall be sold at public sale by competitive bidding. However, if the landlord reasonably believes that the total resale value of the property not released is less than $250, she or he may retain such property for her or his own use or dispose of it in any manner she or he chooses. Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude the landlord or tenant from bidding on the property at the public sale. The successful bidder's title is subject to ownership rights, liens, and security interests which have priority by law.
(2)  Notice of the time and place of the public sale shall be given by an advertisement of the sale published once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation where the sale is to be held. The sale must be held at the nearest suitable place to that where the personal property is held or stored. The advertisement must include a description of the goods, the name of the former tenant, and the time and place of the sale. The sale must take place at least 10 days after the first publication. If there is no newspaper of general circulation where the sale is to be held, the advertisement must be posted at least 10 days before the sale in not less than six conspicuous places in the neighborhood of the proposed sale. The last publication shall be at least 5 days before the sale is to be held. Notice of sale may be published before the last of the dates specified for taking possession of the property in any notice given pursuant to s. 715.104.
(3)  The notice of the sale shall describe the property to be sold in a manner reasonably adequate to permit the owner of the property to identify it. The notice may describe all or a portion of the property, but the limitation of liability provided by s. 715.11 does not protect the landlord from any liability arising from the disposition of property not described in the notice, except that a trunk, valise, box, or other container which is locked, fastened, or tied in a manner which deters immediate access to its contents may be described as such without describing its contents.
(4)  After deduction of the costs of storage, advertising, and sale, any balance of the proceeds of the sale which is not claimed by the former tenant or an owner other than such tenant shall be paid into the treasury of the county in which the sale took place not later than 30 days after the date of sale. The former tenant or other owner or other person having interest in the funds may claim the balance within 1 year from the date of payment to the county by making application to the county treasurer or other official designated by the county. If the county pays the balance or any part thereof to a claimant, neither the county nor any officer or employee thereof is liable to any other claimant as to the amount paid.  Title XL, Ch. 715, Sec. 715.109

Nonliability of landlord after disposition of property:
(1)  Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 715.101, after the landlord releases to the former tenant property which remains on the premises after a tenancy is terminated, the landlord is not liable with respect to that property to any person.
(2)  After the landlord releases property pursuant to s. 715.108 to a person who is not the former tenant and who is reasonably believed by the landlord to be the owner of the property, the landlord is not liable with respect to that property to:
(a)  Any person to whom notice was given pursuant to s. 715.104; or
(b)  Any person to whom notice was not given pursuant to s. 715.104 unless such person proves that, prior to releasing the property, the landlord believed or reasonably should have believed that such person had an interest in the property and also that the landlord knew or should have known upon reasonable investigation the address of such person.
(3)  Where property is disposed of pursuant to s. 715.109, the landlord is not liable with respect to that property to:
(a)  Any person to whom notice was given pursuant to s. 715.104; or
(b)  Any person to whom notice was not given pursuant to s. 715.104 unless such person proves that, prior to disposing of the property pursuant to s. 715.109, the landlord believed or reasonably should have believed that such person had an interest in the property and also that the landlord knew or should have known upon reasonable investigation the address of such person.  Title XL, Ch. 715, Sec. 715.11

Assessing costs of storage:
(1)  Costs of storage for which payment may be required under ss. 715.10-715.111 shall be assessed in the following manner:
(a)  When a former tenant claims property pursuant to s. 715.108, she or he may be required to pay the reasonable costs of storage for all the personal property remaining on the premises at the termination of the tenancy, which costs are unpaid at the time the claim is made.
(b)  When an owner other than the former tenant claims property pursuant to s. 715.108, she or he may be required to pay the reasonable costs of storage for only the property in which she or he claims an interest.
(2)  In determining the costs to be assessed under subsection (1), the landlord may not charge more than one person for the same costs.
(3)  If the landlord stores the personal property on the premises, the costs of storage shall be the fair rental value of the space reasonably required for such storage for the term of the storage.  Title XL, Ch. 715, Sec. 715.111

Construction Contract Prompt Payment Law:
(1)  This section may be cited as the "Construction Contract Prompt Payment Law."
(2)  This section applies only to written contracts to improve real property entered into after December 31, 1992, and for which a construction lien is authorized under part I of chapter 713.
(3)  The terms used in this section have the same definitions as the terms defined in s. 713.01. As used in this section, the term:
(a)  "Obligor" means an owner, contractor, subcontractor, or sub-subcontractor who has an obligation to make payments under a contract that is subject to this section.
(b)  "Obligee" means a contractor, subcontractor, sub-subcontractor, or materialman who is entitled to receive payments under a contract that is subject to this section.
(c)  "Chain of contracts" means the contracts between the owner and the contractor, the contractor and any subcontractor or materialman, the subcontractor and any sub-subcontractor or materialman, and the sub-subcontractor and any materialman.
(4)  An obligor must pay an obligee with whom the obligor has a contract when all of the following events have occurred:
(a)  The obligee is entitled to a payment at the time and under the terms specified in the contract between the obligor and the obligee, and the obligee has furnished the obligor with a written request for payment; and
(b)  The obligor, except an owner, has been paid for the obligee's labor, services, or materials described in the obligee's request for payment by the person immediately above the obligor in the chain of contracts; and
(c)  The obligee has furnished the obligor with all affidavits or waivers required for the owner to make proper payments under s. 713.06.
(5)(a)  Any payment due under the provisions of subsection (4), excluding any amounts withheld pursuant to subsection (7), shall bear interest at the rate specified in s. 55.03, computed beginning on the 14th day after payment is due pursuant to subsection (4).
(b)  If the request for payment is incomplete or contains an error, the obligor has 14 days within which to return the request for payment to the obligee for completion or correction. The obligor must specify in writing the reasons for the return of the request for payment. If the obligor does not return the request for payment, together with the specified reasons within the time provided in paragraph (a), the obligor must pay interest as provided in paragraph (a). If the obligor does return the request for payment within the time provided in paragraph (a), the time period for computing interest begins to run on the 14th day after the request for payment is completed or corrected and payment is otherwise due pursuant to subsection (4).
(6)(a)  The right to receive interest on a payment under this section is not an exclusive remedy. This section does not modify the remedies available to any person under the terms of a contract or under any other statute. This section does not modify the rights of any person to recover prejudgment interest awarded to the prevailing party in any civil action or arbitration case. During the period that interest accrues under this section, the interest rate shall be the rate specified in s. 55.03 or the rate specified in the contract, whichever is greater. A person shall not be entitled to receive both the contract interest and the statutory interest specified in this section.
(b)  This section does not create a separate cause of action other than for the collection of interest due pursuant to subsection (5).
(c)  If an obligor pays an amount less than the full amount due under the contract between the obligor and the obligee, the obligor may designate the portion of the labor, services, or materials to which the payment applies. In the absence of such a designation by the obligor, the obligee may apply the payment in any manner the obligee deems appropriate. This paragraph does not modify the obligation to make or demand a designation under the provisions of s. 713.14.
(d)  An obligee may not waive the right to receive interest before a payment is due under a contract subject to this section. An obligee may waive the interest due on any late payment on or after the date the payment is due under subsection (4).
(e)  Unless the contract specifically provides to the contrary, a dispute between an obligor and obligee does not permit the obligor to withhold payment from the obligee or from any other obligee for labor, services, or materials provided to the obligor and which are not subject to or affected by the dispute.
(7)(a)  An owner and a contractor may agree to a provision that allows the owner to withhold a portion of each progress payment until substantial completion of the entire project. The owner shall pay the contractor the balance of the contract price, including the amounts withheld from the progress payments, within 14 days after any of the following events occur.

1.  Pursuant to the terms of the contract, an architect or engineer certifies that the project is substantially complete and, within the time provided in the contract between the owner and the contractor, the owner submits a written punchlist to the contractor and the contractor substantially completes all of the items on the punchlist.
2.  The issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the project, and within the time provided in the contract between the owner and the contractor, the owner submits a written punchlist to the contractor and the contractor substantially completes all of the items on the punchlist.
3.  The owner or a tenant of the owner takes possession of the construction project and, within the time provided in the contract between the owner and the contractor, the owner submits a written punchlist to the contractor and the contractor substantially completes all of the items on the punchlist.

Any funds retained by the owner beyond the time period specified in this subsection shall accrue interest at the rate specified in subsection (5), computed from the date the payment is due to the date the payment is received by the contractor. If the contract between the owner and the contractor does not provide a time period for the owner to submit a written punchlist to the contractor, the time period shall be 15 days from the issuance of the certificate of substantial completion, the issuance of the certificate of occupancy, or the date the owner or the owner's tenant takes possession of the project, whichever first occurs. If no written punchlist is given to the contractor within the time provided in this subsection, interest begins to accrue 14 days after the issuance of the certificate of substantial completion, the issuance of the certificate of occupancy, or the date the owner or the owner's tenant takes possession of the project, whichever first occurs. For construction projects that are to be built in phases, this subsection applies to each phase of the total project. The contract between the owner and the contractor may specify a shorter time period for disbursing all or any portion of the final payment and the retainage.
(b)  Except as provided in paragraph (a), an obligor and obligee may agree to a provision that allows the obligor to withhold a portion of each progress payment until completion of the entire project. The amounts withheld shall bear interest 14 days after payment of such amounts are due under the terms of the contract between the obligor and obligee and the other requirements of subsection (4) have been satisfied.
(c)  An obligee may, from time to time, withdraw all or any portion of the amount retained from progress payments upon depositing with the obligor:
1.  United States Treasury bonds, United States Treasury notes, United States Treasury certificates of indebtedness, or United States Treasury bills;
2.  Bonds or notes of the State of Florida; or
3.  Certificates of deposit, within the insured limits, from a state or national bank or state or federal savings and loan association authorized to do business in this state.

Amounts may not be withdrawn in excess of the market value of the securities listed in subparagraphs 1., 2., and 3. at the time of such withdrawal or in excess of the par value of such securities, whichever is less. The obligee shall execute and deliver all documents reasonably required to allow the obligor to document the transfer and the obligee shall pay any recording or registration costs incurred by the obligor in connection with the transfer. The obligor shall pay the obligee any interest or income earned on the securities so deposited within 30 days after the date such interest or income is received by the obligor. If the deposit is in the form of coupon bonds, the obligor shall deliver each coupon to the obligee within 30 days after the date the coupon matures. An obligee may withdraw funds retained from progress payments only to the extent the obligor has withdrawn such funds for the obligee's labor, services, or materials from the person immediately above the obligor in the chain of contracts.  Title XL, Ch. 715, Sec. 715.12            

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