2023 Legislature                    CS for SB 360, 1st Engrossed
    2         An act relating to causes of action based on
    3         improvements to real property; amending s. 95.11,
    4         F.S.; revising the time in which an action founded on
    5         the design, planning, or construction of an
    6         improvement to real property must be commenced;
    7         revising the date on which the statute of limitations
    8         period begins; providing for the calculation of the
    9         statute of limitations period for multi-dwelling
   10         buildings; amending s. 553.84, F.S.; defining the term
   11         “material violation”; conforming provisions to changes
   12         made by the act; providing applicability; providing an
   13         effective date.
   15  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   17         Section 1. Paragraph (c) of subsection (3) of section
   18  95.11, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   19         95.11 Limitations other than for the recovery of real
   20  property.—Actions other than for recovery of real property shall
   21  be commenced as follows:
   22         (3) WITHIN FOUR YEARS.—
   23         (c) An action founded on the design, planning, or
   24  construction of an improvement to real property, with the time
   25  running from the date of actual possession by the owner, the
   26  date the authority having jurisdiction issues of the issuance of
   27  a temporary certificate of occupancy, a certificate of
   28  occupancy, or a certificate of completion, or the date of
   29  abandonment of construction if not completed, or the date of
   30  completion of the contract or termination of the contract
   31  between the professional engineer, registered architect, or
   32  licensed contractor and his or her employer, whichever date is
   33  earliest latest; except that, when the action involves a latent
   34  defect, the time runs from the time the defect is discovered or
   35  should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence.
   36  In any event, the action must be commenced within 7 10 years
   37  after the date the authority having jurisdiction issues a
   38  temporary certificate of occupancy, of actual possession by the
   39  owner, the date of the issuance of a certificate of occupancy,
   40  or a certificate of completion, or the date of abandonment of
   41  construction if not completed, or the date of completion of the
   42  contract or termination of the contract between the professional
   43  engineer, registered architect, or licensed contractor and his
   44  or her employer, whichever date is earliest latest. However,
   45  counterclaims, cross-claims, and third-party claims that arise
   46  out of the conduct, transaction, or occurrence set out or
   47  attempted to be set out in a pleading may be commenced up to 1
   48  year after the pleading to which such claims relate is served,
   49  even if such claims would otherwise be time barred. With respect
   50  to actions founded on the design, planning, or construction of
   51  an improvement to real property, if such construction is
   52  performed pursuant to a duly issued building permit and if the
   53  authority having jurisdiction a local enforcement agency, state
   54  enforcement agency, or special inspector, as those terms are
   55  defined in s. 553.71, has issued a temporary final certificate
   56  of occupancy, a certificate of occupancy, or a certificate of
   57  completion, then as to the construction which is within the
   58  scope of such building permit and certificate, the correction of
   59  defects to completed work or repair of completed work, whether
   60  performed under warranty or otherwise, does not extend the
   61  period of time within which an action must be commenced. If a
   62  newly constructed single-dwelling residential building is used
   63  as a model home, the time begins to run from the date that a
   64  deed is recorded first transferring title to another party.
   65  Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary,
   66  if the improvement to real property consists of the design,
   67  planning, or construction of multiple buildings, each building
   68  must be considered its own improvement for purposes of
   69  determining the limitations period set forth in this paragraph
   70  Completion of the contract means the later of the date of final
   71  performance of all the contracted services or the date that
   72  final payment for such services becomes due without regard to
   73  the date final payment is made.
   74         Section 2. Section 553.84, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   75  read:
   76         553.84 Statutory civil action.—Notwithstanding any other
   77  remedies available, any person or party, in an individual
   78  capacity or on behalf of a class of persons or parties, damaged
   79  as a result of a material violation of this part or the Florida
   80  Building Code, has a cause of action in any court of competent
   81  jurisdiction against the person or party who committed the
   82  material violation; however, if the person or party obtains the
   83  required building permits and any local government or public
   84  agency with authority to enforce the Florida Building Code
   85  approves the plans, if the construction project passes all
   86  required inspections under the code, and if there is no personal
   87  injury or damage to property other than the property that is the
   88  subject of the permits, plans, and inspections, this section
   89  does not apply unless the person or party knew or should have
   90  known that the material violation existed. For purposes of this
   91  section, the term “material violation” means a Florida Building
   92  Code violation that exists within a completed building,
   93  structure, or facility which may reasonably result, or has
   94  resulted, in physical harm to a person or significant damage to
   95  the performance of a building or its systems.
   96         Section 3. The amendments to s. 95.11(3)(c), Florida
   97  Statutes, made by this act apply to any action commenced on or
   98  after the effective date of this act, regardless of when the
   99  cause of action accrued, except that any action that would not
  100  have been barred under s. 95.11(3)(c), Florida Statutes, before
  101  the amendments made by this act must be commenced on or before
  102  July 1, 2024. If the action is not commenced by July 1, 2024,
  103  and is barred by the amendments to s. 95.11 (3)(c), Florida
  104  Statutes, made by this act, then the action is barred.
  105         Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.