New Law Restricts Florida Property Ownership for People from Specified Countries

Article Summary by Tess Rio

The Florida Legislature has passed Senate Bill 264 (SB 264), a law that imposes new restrictions on persons and entities from certain foreign countries. The law, signed by Governor Ron DeSantis on May 8, 2023, targets countries such as China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, and Syria. The law prohibits governmental entities in Florida from contracting with these countries and entering into economic incentive agreements with them. It also restricts the ownership of agricultural land and certain asset classes by foreign principals from these countries, and imposes significant limitations on ownership by foreign principals from China. The law has a few exceptions, and its implications are expected to be widely felt in the Florida real estate industry. Specifically, the new law prohibits foreign principals from owning or acquiring agricultural land, except for a de minimus indirect interest. It also restricts the purchase of real property near military installations and critical infrastructure facilities by foreign principals. The law prohibits the purchase or acquisition of real property in Florida by the People's Republic of China and certain other entities or individuals from China. There are registration requirements and penalties for non-compliance with these ownership restrictions.

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