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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XL
REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY
Chapter 692
CONVEYANCES BY OR TO PARTICULAR ENTITIES
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CHAPTER 692
CHAPTER 692
CONVEYANCES BY OR TO PARTICULAR ENTITIES
PART I
CONVEYANCES BY CORPORATIONS
(ss. 692.01-692.04)
PART II
CONVEYANCES TO OR BY TRUSTEES OF UNINCORPORATED
CHURCHES
(s. 692.101)
PART III
CONVEYANCES TO FOREIGN ENTITIES
(ss. 692.201-692.205)
PART I
CONVEYANCES BY CORPORATIONS
692.01 Conveyances executed by corporations.
692.02 Validation of conveyances.
692.03 Validity of conveyances by certain foreign corporations recorded for 7 years; limitation.
692.04 Validation of deeds and similar instruments executed by corporations.
692.01 Conveyances executed by corporations.Any corporation may execute instruments conveying, mortgaging, or affecting any interest in lands by instruments sealed with the common or corporate seal and signed in its name by its president or any vice president or chief executive officer. Assignments, satisfactions, or partial releases of mortgages and acquittances for debts may be similarly executed by any corporate officer. No corporate resolution need be recorded to evidence the authority of the person executing the deed, mortgage, or other instrument for the corporation, and an instrument so executed is valid whether or not the officer signing for the corporation was authorized to do so by the board of directors, in the absence of fraud in the transaction by the person receiving it. In cases of fraud, subsequent transactions with good faith purchasers for value and without notice of the fraud shall be valid and binding on the corporation.
History.RS 1955; GS 2459; s. 1, ch. 6183, 1911; RGS 3799; CGL 5672; s. 1, ch. 71-10; s. 1, ch. 79-290; s. 3, ch. 2008-35.
692.02 Validation of conveyances.Conveyances by corporations of lands in this state, heretofore executed, which have been sealed with the common or corporate seal of such corporation and signed in its name by a vice president or the chief executive officer thereof, shall be as valid and effective and shall bear the same presumptions as if signed in the name of such corporation by its president.
History.s. 2, ch. 6183, 1911; RGS 3800; CGL 5673.
692.03 Validity of conveyances by certain foreign corporations recorded for 7 years; limitation.
(1) Whenever any conveyance, by the surviving directors or trustees of a foreign corporation, which has been dissolved for any cause, or which has had its permit to transact business in the state canceled for failure to pay fees due the Department of State, or which has failed to comply with the provisions of laws of this state, has been executed and delivered to any grantee or grantees, and has for a period of 7 years or more been spread upon the records of a county wherein the land therein described is situated, the same shall be taken and held by all the courts of this state in the absence of any showing of fraud, adverse possession, or pending litigation, to have authorized the conveyance of, or to have conveyed, the fee simple title, or any interest therein, of the corporation on whose behalf said instrument has been executed to the land therein described.
(2) This section shall not apply to any conveyance, the validity of which shall be contested or shall have been contested by suit commenced heretofore or prior to July 1, 1954.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 28078, 1953; ss. 10, 35, ch. 69-106.
692.04 Validation of deeds and similar instruments executed by corporations.All deeds and other instruments relating to the conveyance, transfer, lease, assignment, release, subordination, encumbrance, or satisfaction of any right, title, interest, claim, lien, or demand in, to, or upon real property, heretofore made or hereafter made, and in all other respects executed in due form, by a corporation, not dissolved or expired, but delinquent for 6 months or more as to payment of capital stock taxes at the time of the making or executing of such deed or other instrument, are, notwithstanding said delinquency, hereby validated.
History.s. 1, ch. 57-264.
PART II
CONVEYANCES TO OR BY TRUSTEES
OF UNINCORPORATED CHURCHES
692.101 Conveyances to or by trustees of unincorporated churches.
692.101 Conveyances to or by trustees of unincorporated churches.
(1) Every deed or other instrument transferring real property to named or unnamed trustees of a named unincorporated church, including a deed or instrument executed prior to May 21, 1986, vests title to the real property in the trustees of the named unincorporated church and their successors with full power and authority to convey and mortgage the property transferred.
(2) Every deed or mortgage of real property in this state executed by the trustees of an unincorporated church and recorded in the public records of the county in which the real property is located prior to May 21, 1986, shall be held to be a good and valid deed or mortgage transferring or encumbering the church property described in the deed or mortgage.
(3) The pastor or secretary of, or other administrative person authorized by, an unincorporated church may execute an affidavit stating the names of the trustees of the unincorporated church as of the date or dates stated in the affidavit. Such an affidavit is conclusive as to the facts stated therein as to purchasers and mortgagees without notice.
(4) This section does not apply to any conveyance or mortgage heretofore made the validity of which is contested by suit commenced within 2 years after May 21, 1986.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 86-25.
PART III
CONVEYANCES TO FOREIGN ENTITIES
692.201 Definitions.
692.202 Purchase of agricultural land by foreign principals prohibited.
692.203 Purchase of real property on or around military installations or critical infrastructure facilities by foreign principals prohibited.
692.204 Purchase or acquisition of real property by the People’s Republic of China prohibited.
692.205 Inapplicability of this part to real property for diplomatic purposes.
692.201 Definitions.As used in this part, the term:
(1) “Agricultural land” means land classified as agricultural under s. 193.461.
(2) “Critical infrastructure facility” means any of the following, if it employs measures such as fences, barriers, or guard posts that are designed to exclude unauthorized persons:
(a) A chemical manufacturing facility.
(b) A refinery.
(c) An electrical power plant as defined in s. 403.031(20).
(d) A water treatment facility or wastewater treatment plant.
(e) A liquid natural gas terminal.
(f) A telecommunications central switching office.
(g) A gas processing plant, including a plant used in the processing, treatment, or fractionation of natural gas.
(h) A seaport as listed in s. 311.09.
(i) A spaceport territory as defined in s. 331.303(18).
(j) An airport as defined in s. 333.01.
(3) “Foreign country of concern” means the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Cuba, the Venezuelan regime of Nicolás Maduro, or the Syrian Arab Republic, including any agency of or any other entity of significant control of such foreign country of concern.
(4) “Foreign principal” means:
(a) The government or any official of the government of a foreign country of concern;
(b) A political party or member of a political party or any subdivision of a political party in a foreign country of concern;
(c) A partnership, association, corporation, organization, or other combination of persons organized under the laws of or having its principal place of business in a foreign country of concern, or a subsidiary of such entity; or
(d) Any person who is domiciled in a foreign country of concern and is not a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States.
(e) Any person, entity, or collection of persons or entities, described in paragraphs (a) through (d) having a controlling interest in a partnership, association, corporation, organization, trust, or any other legal entity or subsidiary formed for the purpose of owning real property in this state.
(5) “Military installation” means a base, camp, post, station, yard, or center encompassing at least 10 contiguous acres that is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense or its affiliates.
(6) “Real property” means land, buildings, fixtures, and all other improvements to land.
History.s. 4, ch. 2023-33.
692.202 Purchase of agricultural land by foreign principals prohibited.
(1) A foreign principal may not directly or indirectly own, have a controlling interest in, or acquire by purchase, grant, devise, or descent agricultural land or any interest, except a de minimus indirect interest, in such land in this state. A foreign principal has a de minimus indirect interest if any ownership is the result of the foreign principal’s ownership of registered equities in a publicly traded company owning the land and if the foreign principal’s ownership interest in the company is either:
(a) Less than 5 percent of any class of registered equities or less than 5 percent in the aggregate in multiple classes of registered equities; or
(b) A noncontrolling interest in an entity controlled by a company that is both registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended, and is not a foreign entity.
(2) A foreign principal that directly or indirectly owns or acquires agricultural land or any interest in such land in this state before July 1, 2023, may continue to own or hold such land or interest, but may not purchase or otherwise acquire by grant, devise, or descent any additional agricultural land or interest in such land in this state.
(3)(a) A foreign principal that directly or indirectly owns or acquires agricultural land or any interest in such land in this state before July 1, 2023, must register with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services by January 1, 2024. The department must establish a form for such registration, which, at minimum, must include all of the following:
1. The name of the owner of the agricultural land or the owner of the interest in such land.
2. The address of the agricultural land, the property appraiser’s parcel identification number, and the property’s legal description.
3. The number of acres of the agricultural land.
(b) A foreign principal that fails to timely file a registration with the department is subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 for each day that the registration is late. The department may place a lien against the unregistered agricultural land for the unpaid balance of any penalties assessed under this paragraph.
(4) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a foreign principal may acquire agricultural land on or after July 1, 2023, by devise or descent, through the enforcement of security interests, or through the collection of debts, provided that the foreign principal sells, transfers, or otherwise divests itself of the agricultural land within 3 years after acquiring the agricultural land.
(5)(a) At the time of purchase, a buyer of agricultural land or an interest in such land must provide an affidavit signed under penalty of perjury attesting that the buyer is:
1. Not a foreign principal; and
2. In compliance with the requirements of this section.
(b) The failure to obtain or maintain the affidavit does not:
1. Affect the title or insurability of the title for the agricultural land; or
2. Subject the closing agent to civil or criminal liability, unless the closing agent has actual knowledge that the transaction will result in a violation of this section.
(c) The Florida Real Estate Commission shall adopt rules to implement this subsection, including rules establishing the form for the affidavit required under this subsection.
(6)(a) The agricultural land or an interest in such land that is owned or acquired in violation of this section may be forfeited to the state.
(b) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services may initiate a civil action in the circuit court of the county in which the property lies for the forfeiture of the agricultural land or any interest therein.
(c) Upon filing such action, the clerk must record a lis pendens in accordance with s. 48.23. The court must advance the cause on the calendar. The defendant may at any time petition to modify or discharge the lis pendens based upon a finding that there is no probable cause to believe that the agricultural land, or any portion thereof, is owned or held in violation of this section.
(d) If the court finds that the agricultural land, or any portion thereof, is owned or held in violation of this section, the court must enter a final judgment of forfeiture vesting title to the agricultural land in this state, subject only to the rights and interests of bona fide lienholders, and such final judgment relates back to the date of the lis pendens.
(e) The department may sell the agricultural land subject to a final judgment of forfeiture. Any proceeds from the sale must first be paid to any lienholders of the land, followed by payment of any outstanding fines assessed pursuant to this section, after which the department must be reimbursed for all costs related to the forfeiture civil action and any costs related to the sale of the land. Any remaining proceeds must be paid to the property owner.
(f) At any time during the forfeiture proceeding, the department may seek an ex parte order of seizure of the agricultural land upon a showing that the defendant’s control of the agricultural land constitutes a clear and present danger to the state.
(7) A foreign principal that purchases or acquires agricultural land or any interest therein in violation of this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(8) A person who knowingly sells agricultural land or any interest therein in violation of this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(9) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall adopt rules to implement this section.
History.s. 5, ch. 2023-33.
692.203 Purchase of real property on or around military installations or critical infrastructure facilities by foreign principals prohibited.
(1) A foreign principal may not directly or indirectly own, or have a controlling interest in, or acquire by purchase, grant, devise, or descent any interest, except a de minimus indirect interest, in real property on or within 10 miles of any military installation or critical infrastructure facility in this state. A foreign principal has a de minimus indirect interest if any ownership is the result of the foreign principal’s ownership of registered equities in a publicly traded company owning the land and if the foreign principal’s ownership interest in the company is either:
(a) Less than 5 percent of any class of registered equities or less than 5 percent in the aggregate in multiple classes of registered equities; or
(b) A noncontrolling interest in an entity controlled by a company that is both registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended, and is not a foreign entity.
(2) A foreign principal that directly or indirectly owns or acquires any interest in real property on or within 10 miles of any military installation or critical infrastructure facility in this state before July 1, 2023, may continue to own or hold such real property, but may not purchase or otherwise acquire by grant, devise, or descent any additional real property on or within 10 miles of any military installation or critical infrastructure facility in this state.
(3)(a) A foreign principal must register with the Department of Economic Opportunity if the foreign principal owns or acquires real property on or within 10 miles of any military installation or critical infrastructure facility in this state as authorized under subsection (4) or if the foreign principal owned or acquired an interest, other than a de minimus indirect interest, in such property before July 1, 2023. The department must establish a form for such registration which, at a minimum, must include all of the following:
1. The name of the owner of the real property.
2. The address of the real property, the property appraiser’s parcel identification number, and the property’s legal description.
(b) A foreign principal that fails to timely file a registration with the department is subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 for each day that the registration is late. A foreign principal must register a property interest owned before July 1, 2023, by December 31, 2023. The registration is considered to be late after January 31, 2024. A foreign principal who owns or acquires real property on or after July 1, 2023, as authorized under subsection (4), must register the real property within 30 days after the property is owned or acquired. The department may place a lien against the unregistered real property for the unpaid balance of any penalties assessed under this paragraph.
(4) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a foreign principal who is a natural person may purchase one residential real property that is up to 2 acres in size if all of the following apply:
(a) The parcel is not on or within 5 miles of any military installation in this state.
(b) The person has a current verified United States Visa that is not limited to authorizing tourist-based travel or official documentation confirming that the person has been granted asylum in the United States, and such visa or documentation authorizes the person to be legally present within this state.
(c) The purchase is in the name of the person who holds the visa or official documentation described in paragraph (b).
(5) Notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2), a foreign principal may acquire real property or any interest therein which is on or within 10 miles of any military installation or critical infrastructure facility in this state on or after July 1, 2023, by devise or descent, through the enforcement of security interests, or through the collection of debts, provided that the foreign principal sells, transfers, or otherwise divests itself of such real property within 3 years after acquiring the real property.
(6)(a) At the time of purchase, a buyer of the real property that is on or within 10 miles of any military installation or critical infrastructure facility in this state must provide an affidavit signed under penalty of perjury attesting that the buyer is:
1. Not a foreign principal or not a foreign principal prohibited from purchasing the subject real property; and
2. In compliance with the requirements of this section.
(b) The failure to obtain or maintain the affidavit does not:
1. Affect the title or insurability of the title for the real property; or
2. Subject the closing agent to civil or criminal liability, unless the closing agent has actual knowledge that the transaction will result in a violation of this section.
(c) The Florida Real Estate Commission shall adopt rules to implement this subsection, including rules establishing the form for the affidavit required under this subsection.
(7)(a) If any real property is owned or acquired in violation of this section, the real property may be forfeited to the state.
(b) The Department of Economic Opportunity may initiate a civil action in the circuit court of the county in which the property lies for the forfeiture of the real property or any interest therein.
(c) Upon filing such action, the clerk must record a lis pendens in accordance with s. 48.23. The court must advance the cause on the calendar. The defendant may at any time petition to modify or discharge the lis pendens based upon a finding that there is no probable cause to believe that the real property, or any portion thereof, is owned or held in violation of this section.
(d) If the court finds that the real property, or any portion thereof, is owned or held in violation of this section, the court must enter a final judgment of forfeiture vesting title to the real property in this state, subject only to the rights and interests of bona fide lienholders, and such final judgment relates back to the date of the lis pendens.
(e) The department may sell the real property subject to a final judgment of forfeiture. Any proceeds from the sale must first be paid to any lienholders of the land, followed by payment of any outstanding fines assessed pursuant to this section, after which the department must be reimbursed for all costs related to the forfeiture civil action and any costs related to the sale of the land. Any remaining proceeds must be paid to the property owner.
(f) At any time during the forfeiture proceeding, the department may seek an ex parte order of seizure of the real property upon a showing that the defendant’s control of the real property constitutes a clear and present danger to the state.
(8) A foreign principal that purchases or acquires real property or any interest therein in violation of this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(9) A person who knowingly sells real property or any interest therein in violation of this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(10) The Department of Economic Opportunity shall adopt rules to implement this section.
History.s. 6, ch. 2023-33.
692.204 Purchase or acquisition of real property by the People’s Republic of China prohibited.
(1)(a) The following persons or entities may not directly or indirectly own, have a controlling interest in, or acquire by purchase, grant, devise, or descent any interest, except a de minimus indirect interest, in real property in this state:
1. The People’s Republic of China, the Chinese Communist Party, or any official or member of the People’s Republic of China or the Chinese Communist Party.
2. Any other political party or member of a political party or a subdivision of a political party in the People’s Republic of China.
3. A partnership, an association, a corporation, an organization, or any other combination of persons organized under the laws of or having its principal place of business in the People’s Republic of China, or a subsidiary of such entity.
4. Any person who is domiciled in the People’s Republic of China and who is not a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States.
5. Any person, entity, or collection of persons or entities described in subparagraphs 1. through 4. having a controlling interest in a partnership, association, corporation, organization, trust, or any other legal entity or subsidiary formed for the purpose of owning real property in this state.
(b) A person or entity has a de minimus indirect interest if any ownership is the result of the person’s or entity’s ownership of registered equities in a publicly traded company owning the land and if the person’s or entity’s ownership interest in the company is either:
1. Less than 5 percent of any class of registered equities or less than 5 percent in the aggregate in multiple classes of registered equities; or
2. A noncontrolling interest in an entity controlled by a company that is both registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended, and is not a foreign entity.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a natural person described in paragraph (1)(a) may purchase one residential real property that is up to 2 acres in size if all of the following apply:
(a) The parcel is not on or within 5 miles of any military installation in this state.
(b) The person has a current verified United States Visa that is not limited to authorizing tourist-based travel or official documentation confirming that the person has been granted asylum in the United States and such visa or documentation authorizes the person to be legally present within this state.
(c) The purchase is in the name of the person who holds the visa or official documentation described in paragraph (b).
(3) A person or entity described in paragraph (1)(a) that directly or indirectly owns or acquires any interest in real property in this state before July 1, 2023, may continue to own or hold such real property, but may not purchase or otherwise acquire by grant, devise, or descent any additional real property in this state.
(4)(a) A person or entity described in paragraph (1)(a), subsection (2), or subsection (5) must register with the Department of Economic Opportunity if the person or entity owns or acquires more than a de minimus indirect interest in real property in this state. The department must establish a form for such registration which, at a minimum, must include all of the following:
1. The name of the owner of the real property.
2. The address of the real property, the property appraiser’s parcel identification number, and the property’s legal description.
(b) A person or entity that fails to timely file a registration with the department is subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 for each day that the registration is late. The person or entity subject to the registration requirements must register the property or property interests owned or acquired before July 1, 2023, by December 31, 2023. The registration is considered to be late 30 days after January 31, 2024. A person or entity that owns or acquires real property or an interest in real property as authorized under subsection (2) or subsection (5), other than a de minimus indirect interest, on or after July 1, 2023, must register the real property or interest within 30 days after the property or interest is owned or acquired. The department may place a lien against the unregistered real property for the unpaid balance of any penalties assessed under this paragraph.
(5) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a person or an entity described in paragraph (1)(a) may acquire real property in this state on or after July 1, 2023, by devise or descent, through the enforcement of security interests, or through the collection of debts, provided that the person or entity sells, transfers, or otherwise divests itself of such real property within 3 years after acquiring the real property, unless the person or entity is exempt under s. 692.205.
(6)(a) At the time of purchase, a buyer of real property in this state must provide an affidavit signed under penalty of perjury attesting that the buyer is:
1. Not a person or entity described in paragraph (1)(a) or that the buyer is a person described in paragraph (1)(a) but is authorized under subsection (2) to purchase the subject property; and
2. In compliance with the requirements of this section.
(b) The failure to obtain or maintain the affidavit does not:
1. Affect the title or insurability of the title for the real property; or
2. Subject the closing agent to civil or criminal liability, unless the closing agent has actual knowledge that the transaction will result in a violation of this section.
(c) The Florida Real Estate Commission shall adopt rules to implement this subsection, including rules establishing the form for the affidavit required under this subsection.
(7)(a) If any real property is owned or acquired in violation of this section, the real property may be forfeited to the state.
(b) The Department of Economic Opportunity may initiate a civil action in the circuit court of the county in which the property lies for the forfeiture of the real property or any interest therein.
(c) Upon filing such action, the clerk must record a lis pendens in accordance with s. 48.23. The court must advance the cause on the calendar. The defendant may at any time petition to modify or discharge the lis pendens based upon a finding that there is no probable cause to believe that the real property, or any portion thereof, is owned or held in violation of this section.
(d) If the court finds that the real property, or any portion thereof, is owned or held in violation of this section, the court must enter a final judgment of forfeiture vesting title to the real property in this state, subject only to the rights and interests of bona fide lienholders, and such final judgment relates back to the date of the lis pendens.
(e) The department may sell the real property subject to a final judgment of forfeiture. Any proceeds from the sale must first be paid to any lienholders of the land, followed by payment of any outstanding fines assessed pursuant to this section, after which the department must be reimbursed for all costs related to the forfeiture civil action and any costs related to the sale of the land. Any remaining proceeds must be paid to the property owner.
(f) At any time during the forfeiture proceeding, the department may seek an ex parte order of seizure of the real property upon a showing that the defendant’s control of the real property constitutes a clear and present danger to the state.
(8) A violation of this section constitutes a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(9) A person who knowingly sells real property or any interest therein in violation of this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(10) The Department of Economic Opportunity shall adopt rules to implement this section.
History.s. 7, ch. 2023-33.
692.205 Inapplicability of this part to real property for diplomatic purposes.This part does not apply to a foreign principal that acquires real property for a diplomatic purpose that is recognized, acknowledged, or allowed by the Federal Government.
History.s. 8, ch. 2023-33.