Section 489.140, F.S., provides that a Florida Homeowners’ Construction Recovery Fund must exist and kept as a separate account in the Professional Regulation Trust Fund. The existence of the fund isn’t of much use to a homeowner, however, if they’re unware that it exists and how to obtain funds from it. Section 489.1425, F.S., imposes a duty on contractor to notify residential property owners of the recovery fund. The notification must be contained within each agreement or contract for repair, restoration, improvement, or construction to residential real property as a written statement explaining the consumer’s rights under the recovery fund. The requirement doesn’t apply when the value of all labor and materials doesn’t exceed $2,500. The written statement must be substantially in the following form:
FLORIDA HOMEOWNERS’ CONSTRUCTION RECOVERY FUND
PAYMENT, UP TO A LIMITED AMOUNT, MAY BE AVAILABLE FROM THE FLORIDA HOMEOWNERS’ CONSTRUCTION RECOVERY FUND IF YOU LOSE MONEY ON A PROJECT PERFORMED UNDER CONTRACT, WHERE THE LOSS RESULTS FROM SPECIFIED VIOLATIONS OF FLORIDA LAW BY A LICENSED CONTRACTOR. FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE RECOVERY FUND AND FILING A CLAIM, CONTACT THE FLORIDA CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY LICENSING BOARD AT THE FOLLOWING TELEPHONE NUMBER AND ADDRESS:
Contractors must follow the above language with the board’s address and telephone number. A violation of the requirement is punishable by a fine of $500 for the first violation and the fine deposited into the recovery fund. Subsequent violations are punishable by a fine of $1,000 per violation,and the moneys deposited into the recovery fund.