On April 13, 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 360 (Chapter 2023-22, Laws of Florida) into law. The law shortens the statute of repose for latent defects to seven years, clarifies that the four-year statute of limitations and seven-year statute of repose run from the earlier of (1) the issuance of a TCO, CO or certificate of completion or (2) the date of abandonment of construction. In the case of a model home, the limitations and repose period do not begin to run until the date of the deed transferring the property from the builder to the first purchaser. In the case of a multi-building project, each building is considered its own improvement for purposes of calculating the limitations and repose period.
SB 360 also adds a "materiality" requirement to claims for statutory violations of the Florida Building Code. Meaning in order to prevail on a claim for violation of the Florida Building Code under Fla. Stat. § 553.84, an owner must show that the violation exists and has resulted in physical harm or significant damage to the performance of a building or system.
SB 360 takes effect as of April 13, 2023, and applies to all design and construction defect actions filed on or after this date. Any claims that would be time barred due to the amendment of Fla. Stat. 95.11(c)(3) must be filed by July 1, 2024, or will be forever barred.