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Florida’s Timeshare Regulations Undergo Changes

Florida's timeshare regulations undergo changes

Florida’s Timeshare Regulations Undergo Changes

Florida, known for its sunny beaches and vacation spots, is set to implement a substantial legislative shift starting July 1, 2023. The change, referred to as House Bill 869 (HB 869), brings about new statewide standards for licensing across multiple sectors, including the timeshare industry. Governor Ron DeSantis signed this bill into law, aiming to streamline the licensing process for over a million professionals. Here is how Florida’s timeshare regulations undergo changes.

Florida's Timeshare Regulations Undergo ChangesLegislative Impact on the Timeshare Industry

The Florida Vacation Plan and Timesharing Act, a piece of legislation that governs the timeshare industry, has experienced a series of significant alterations under the new law, House Bill 869. These changes are poised to reshape the landscape of the timeshare industry in Florida, impacting various stakeholders, including timeshare developers, salespeople, brokers, and consumers.

The Florida Timesharing Act, which has been the cornerstone of timeshare regulations in the state, has been updated to reflect the evolving needs of the timeshare industry. The new modifications aim to streamline processes, modernize procedures, and enhance consumer protection in Florida.

For timeshare developers, the removal of certain prerequisites for offering incidental benefits in the sale of a timeshare plan appears to simplify the process and potentially accelerates the development and offering of timeshares. This was modified to the benefit of the developers and potentially could lead to increased business opportunities and growth within the industry.

For consumers, the changes bring about enhanced protections. The extension of the period during which a contract can be voided if the closing occurred unlawfully before the expiration of the cancellation period provides consumers with a longer window to reconsider their timeshare contracts. This change could potentially prevent consumers from being locked into unsatisfactory deals.

Simplified Process for Offering Incidental Benefits

The first significant change is the removal of certain prerequisites previously necessary for offering incidental benefits in the sale of a Florida timeshare plan. This alteration simplifies the process for timeshare developers, potentially accelerating the development and offering of timeshares.

Extended Period for Voiding Unlawful Contracts

The second change extends the period during which a contract can be voided if the closing occurred unlawfully before the expiration of the cancellation period. The previous law allowed for a one-year period, but the new law extends this to five years. However, the one-year right for a purchaser to void a contract remains if they knowingly or unknowingly waived their right to cancel the contract within the 10-day cancellation period. This change offers consumers a longer window to reconsider their timeshare contracts and potentially cancel them if they find the deal unsatisfactory.

Timeshare public offering statement shift from paper to electronic
Modernized Public Offering Statement

Lastly, the public offering statement, a document that provides detailed information about a timeshare plan to potential buyers, has been updated. The new law permits the developer’s description of each component site for a multisite timeshare plan to be provided to the purchaser electronically.

This change not only modernizes the process but also makes it more convenient for both developers and some consumers who wish to receive the public offering statement electronically as opposed to a physical copy.

The Role of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) stands as a cornerstone state agency, holding significant influence and authority in the timeshare industry of Florida. Established with the primary aim of overseeing and regulating the timeshare sector, the DBPR’s functions span a wide range of activities, from licensing to ensuring compliance and enforcing regulations.

Timeshare Licensing

A major facet of the DBPR’s role in the timeshare industry is its responsibility for licensing. Acting as the primary authority, the DBPR is tasked with ensuring that only those who meet stringent criteria can operate within the timeshare sector in Florida. This means that every individual or business entity, be it a developer, salesperson, or broker, must undergo a rigorous vetting process before they are granted a license to operate.

The licensing process is comprehensive, ensuring that applicants possess the necessary qualifications, experience, and integrity to operate ethically and professionally in the industry. This meticulous approach not only ensures the industry’s integrity but also serves as a safeguard for consumers. By ensuring that only qualified professionals are allowed to operate, the DBPR provides an essential layer of protection for consumers, shielding them from potential fraud and malpractice.

Administrative compliance of timeshare regulationsAdministrative Compliance

Compliance is another crucial aspect of the DBPR’s role. The department is tasked with ensuring that all licensed timeshare professionals adhere to the state’s laws and regulations. This involves routine inspections and audits to verify that businesses are operating within the legal framework.

The Florida DBPR’s role in compliance helps to maintain a fair and transparent industry where consumers can feel confident in their transactions.

State Regulatory Enforcement

Enforcement is the final piece of the DBPR’s responsibilities. When timeshare professionals violate state laws or regulations, the DBPR has the authority to take disciplinary action. This can include imposing fines, suspending or revoking licenses, and even pursuing legal action in severe cases. Through its enforcement powers, the DBPR holds the industry accountable and deters unethical practices.

Timeshare regulations in Florida pass the House and Senate. Wrapping Up on HB 869

The recent changes brought about by House Bill 869 will also be overseen by the DBPR. The department will be responsible for ensuring that the industry adapts to these changes and continues to operate within the legal framework. For more information you can visit the DBPR’s website.

This article is for information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. If you have an issue with a Florida based timeshare, you can contact the DBPR or a qualified timeshare attorney.

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Led by timeshare attorneys J. Andrew Meyer and Michael D. Finn with over 75 years of combined legal experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm that specializes in Timeshare Law. Please reach out to us for a free consultation if you feel you need to speak with an attorney about a specific timeshare related matter. Call (727) 214-0700 or email us at [email protected]

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