New Foreign Buyer Law of Real Property

On May 8, 2023, Governor DeSantis signed into law Senate Bill 264, creating Part II of Chapter 692, Florida Statutes. This new law places significant prohibitions on foreign citizens and entities from certain foreign countries from purchasing certain real property within the State of Florida.

Here are a few key takeaways from this bill:

  • With certain exceptions, foreign principals from foreign countries of concern (defined below) are prohibited from owning or acquiring the following:
    • Agricultural land, or
    • Real property on or within 10 miles of any military installation or critical infrastructure facility in the state.
  • If the foreign principal is from The People’s Republic of China, the prohibition, with certain exceptions, extends to all lands in the State of Florida.
  • The statute requires an affidavit from each purchaser confirming that they are not prohibited under the law from acquiring the property in question.
  • Foreign countries of concern are defined as the following:
    • The People’s Republic of China
    • The Russian Federation
    • The Islamic Republic of Iran
    • The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
    • The Republic of China
    • The Venezuelan regime of Nicolas Maduro
    • The Syrian Arab Republic
    • And agency of or any other entity of significant control of such foreign country of concern.

There are a few exceptions to the new law, which include the following:

  • Acquisition prior to July 1, 2023
    • If a foreign principal already owns any prohibited property, they may continue to own such land, however, they must timely register with the applicable department of the State.
  • Acquisitions on or after July 1, 2023
    • A foreign principal may acquire prohibited land on or after July 1, 2023, by devise or descent, through the enforcement of security instruments, or through the collection of debts, however, the foreign principal must sell, transfer, or otherwise divest of the land within 3 years after acquiring it.
  • Purchase of certain real property
    • There is a limited exception; a foreign person may purchase one residential real property that is up to 2 acres in size so long as the parcel is not within 5 miles of any military installation, the person has a current US Visa that is not limited to authorizing tourism-based travel or official documentation confirming that the person has been granted asylum in the United States.
  • De Minimus Indirect Interest
    • The interest held by the foreign principal is exempt from the prohibition.

The statute that directs the FREC (Florida Real Estate Commission) is responsible for establishing the form of the required affidavits. FREC has not yet created the form of the requirement affidavits and advised it would not be able to do so by July 1, 2023. You must rely on your local title company for this!
Have questions about this new law? Listen to our recent podcast episode that dives further into the complexities of this law.