Florida Senate - 2019 SB 420
By Senator Baxley
1 A bill to be entitled
2 An act relating to consumer protection; amending s.
3 489.126, F.S.; revising the definition of the term
4 “contractor”; reducing the period of time within which
5 a contractor must begin to perform certain work on
6 residential real property after receiving initial
7 payment for such work and during which the contractor
8 may refuse to perform substantial work on such
9 property; defining the term “substantial work”; making
10 technical changes; amending s. 501.022, F.S.; removing
11 an exemption from permitting requirements for certain
12 solicitors, salespersons, and agents; providing an
13 effective date.
15 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
17 Section 1. Section 489.126, Florida Statutes, is amended to
19 489.126 Moneys received by contractors.—
20 (1) For purposes of this section, the term “contractor” has
21 the same meaning as provided
includes all definitions as set
22 forth in s. 489.105(3), and includes any person who performs,
23 contracts to perform, or promises to perform services performing
24 or contracting or promising to perform work described in that
25 subsection, or who provides or performs, contracts to provide or
26 perform, or promises to provide or perform goods or services,
27 respectively, related to a residential home and the extended
28 parcel of land on which the home is located, including, but not
29 limited to, driveways, lawns, trees, gardens, landscaping areas,
30 walls, and other vegetation or fixtures located therein, without
31 regard to the licensure of the person.
32 (2) A contractor who receives, as initial payment, money
33 totaling more than 10 percent of the contract price for the
34 repair, restoration, improvement, or construction of or addition
35 to residential real property must:
36 (a) Apply for permits necessary to do work within 30 days
37 after the date payment is made, unless except where the work
38 does not require a permit under the applicable codes and
39 ordinances, and
40 (b) Start the work within 30 90 days after the date all
41 necessary permits for work, if any, are issued,
43 unless the person who made the payment agreed, in writing, to a
44 longer period to apply for the necessary permits or start the
45 work or to longer periods for both.
46 (3)(a) A contractor who receives money for repair,
47 restoration, addition, improvement, or construction of
48 residential real property in excess of the value of the work
49 performed may shall not, with intent to defraud the owner, fail
50 or refuse to perform any substantial work for any 30-day 90-day
51 period after the date all necessary permits for work, if any,
52 are issued.
53 (b) Proof that a contractor received money for the repair,
54 restoration, addition, improvement, or construction of
55 residential real property and that the amount received exceeds
56 the value of the work performed by the contractor and that:
57 1. The contractor failed to perform any substantial of the
58 work for which he or she contracted during any 30-day 60-day
60 2. The failure to perform any substantial such work during
61 the 30-day 60-day period was not related to the owner’s
62 termination of the contract or a material breach of the contract
63 by the owner; and
64 3. The contractor failed, for an additional 30-day period
65 after the date of mailing of notification as specified in
66 paragraph (c), to perform any substantial work for which he or
67 she contracted,
69 gives rise to an inference that the money in excess of the value
70 of the work performed was taken with the intent to defraud.
71 (c) Notification pursuant to as contemplated in paragraph
72 (b) consists of a certified letter, return receipt requested,
73 mailed to the address of the contractor as listed in the written
74 contracting agreement. The letter must indicate that the
75 contractor has failed to perform any substantial work for a 30
76 day 60-day period, that the failure to perform the work was not
77 the result of the owner’s termination of the contract or a
78 material breach of the contract by the owner, and that the
79 contractor must resume work recommence construction within 30
80 days after the date the letter is mailed of mailing of the
81 letter. If there is not an no address for the contractor listed
82 in the written contracting agreement, or if a no written
83 contracting agreement does not exist exists, the letter must be
84 mailed to the address of the contractor listed in the building
85 permit application.
86 (d) For the purposes of this subsection, the term
87 “substantial work” means work performed by the contractor that
88 equals or exceeds the amount of money received by the contractor
89 for work to be performed on the residential real property.
90 (4) A Any person who violates any provision of this section
91 commits is guilty of theft, punishable as provided in and shall
92 be prosecuted and punished under s. 812.014.
93 Section 2. Paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (1) of
94 section 501.022, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
95 501.022 Home solicitation sale; permit required.—
96 (1)(a) It is unlawful for any person to conduct any home
97 solicitation sale, as defined in s. 501.021, or to supervise
98 excluded minors conducting such sales provided in subparagraph
99 (b)4. subparagraph ( b)5., in this state without first obtaining
100 a valid home solicitation sale permit as provided in this
102 (b) The following are excluded from the operation of this
104 1. Bona fide agents, business representatives, or
105 salespersons making calls or soliciting orders at the usual
106 place of business of a customer regarding products or services
107 for use in connection with the customer’s business.
108 2. Solicitors, salespersons, or agents making a call or
109 business visit upon the express invitation, oral or written, of
110 an inhabitant of the premises or her or his agent.
111 3. Telephone solicitors, salespersons, or agents making
112 calls which involve transactions that are unsolicited by the
113 consumer and consummated by telephone and without any other
114 contact between the buyer and the seller or its representative
115 before prior to delivery of the goods or performance of the
117 4. Solicitors, salespersons, or agents conducting a sale,
118 lease, or rental of consumer goods or services by sample,
119 catalog, or brochure for future delivery.
120 4. 5. Minors, as defined in s. 1.01(13), conducting home
121 solicitation sales under the supervision of an adult supervisor
122 who holds a valid home solicitation sale permit. Minors excluded
123 from operation of this section must, however, carry personal
124 identification which includes their full name, date of birth,
125 residence address, and employer and the name and permit number
126 of their adult supervisor.
127 5. 6. Those sellers or their representatives that are
128 currently regulated as to the sale of goods and services by
129 chapter 475 or chapter 497.
130 6. 7. Solicitors, salespersons, or agents making calls or
131 soliciting orders on behalf of a religious, charitable,
132 scientific, educational, or veterans’ institution or
133 organization holding a sales tax exemption certificate under s.
135 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.