Florida Senate - 2019                                     SB 420
       By Senator Baxley
       12-00602A-19                                           2019420__
    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
   18  read:
   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
   59  period;
   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
  101  section.
  102         (b) The following are excluded from the operation of this
  103  section:
  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
  116  services.
  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.
  134  212.08(7).
  135         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.