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The Florida Senate

Senator Bracy, District 11 — Press Release


June 20, 2020

CONTACT: Alex Redkin, 407-297-2045

Senator Randolph Bracy Closes Heirs’ Property Loophole in Florida

Orlando, FL —

Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 580, the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act, into law. State Senator Randolph Bracy (D-Ocoee) was the chief sponsor of the legislation which passed unanimously in both chambers of the Florida Legislature. “The signing of this bill into law marks a huge victory for housing justice because it secures home ownership for families, especially those of low- and middle-class income” said Senator Bracy.

Heirs’ property is property that you inherit; only without a clear will. What happens as a result is many people end up owning a portion of the same property. The major problem lies in the fact that it takes just one person to force the sale of the entire property. One group cashing in on this loophole includes real estate speculators who would buy one small share of property and then force a sale of the entire property way below fair market value.

Senator Bracy’s legislation stops this from happening. It closes the Heirs’ property loophole in Florida and puts an end to the predatory tactics. This legislation helps to preserve the wealth of heirs who want to retain property while allowing other heirs to sell their share of property at a fair price through a series of due process protections such as notice, appraisal, right of first refusal, and court supervised sales for co-tenants who choose to sell.

Senator Bracy highlighted the importance of SB 580 for the estimated 40-60 percent of Americans who die without leaving behind a will:

 “My bill, the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act, levels the playing field between speculators and families, making a complicated process clearer and fairer. It provides homeowners with crucial protections by ensuring that property speculators cannot take advantage of families who inherit property after losing a loved one and then suddenly being forced to sell that very same property through a partition. Passage of this bill will also make these properties eligible for USDA assistance through the 2018 Family Farm Act.”