A new Florida law passed under Senate Bill 264, which Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed, enacts several new real estate ownership restrictions on persons or entities from China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and Syria. The new law, which is expected to have significant ramifications for the state’s real estate industry, provides for particularly stringent restrictions against most ownership by principals from China.
The new law prohibits governmental entities in Florida from contracting with any of these foreign countries of concern or entering into any contract or agreement granting them economic incentives. It prohibits the ownership of agricultural land and property located near military installations or critical infrastructure by foreign principals from the countries, and most ownership by principals from China will be banned.
The new law exempts agricultural land owned before it goes into effect on July 1, 2023, but it creates a registration requirement for foreign principals who continue to own such parcels. It also mandates that agricultural land buyers must provide an affidavit under penalty of perjury attesting they are not a foreign principal and are in compliance with the law. Violations include civil actions for forfeiture and seizures in cases of clear and present danger to the state, and knowingly violating the statute is a second-degree misdemeanor.
Similarly, principals from the countries of concern will not be allowed to own real property on or within 10 miles of any military installation or critical infrastructure facility in Florida, with exemptions and registrations for properties owned before July 1.