Adopted ordinance to protect buyers of foreclosed homes

Effective on March 13, 2009 , buyers of foreclosed properties in unincorporated Miami-Dade County will get some protection against unexpected repairs or other deficiencies of the property under an ordinance adopted by the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners (BCC) on December 2, 2008.

Ordinance No. 08-133 applies to all residential properties in unincorporated Miami-Dade County which are acquired through a Certificate of Title (Foreclosures and Judgments), in accordance with Chapter 45, Florida Statutes. Residential properties affected include single-family homes, condominiums, townhouses and duplexes.

The adopted ordinance requires that title holders of foreclosed properties obtain a Certificate of Use (CU) prior to offering the property for sale, transfer or alienation.

On March 3, 2009 the BCC adopted the implementing orders addressing this new requirement. These implementing orders contain changes to the CU process administered by the Department of Planning and Zoning (DP&Z) in order to provide for the new CU requirement and for the $300 (plus 8% surcharge) per-property filing and processing fee.

The new CU includes the preparation of a disclosure of findings report , which identifies building or zoning code violations for such properties and contains a good faith estimate of the cost to remedy any deficiencies. This report must be completed by an architect or professional engineer licensed and registered in the State of Florida. The new CU process can be briefly described as follows:

  • Completed  disclosure of findings report  will be submitted to the Zoning Permits Section of the Department at the Miami-Dade Permitting and Inspection Center on Coral Way (11805 SW 26 Street), along with the initial filing fee of $250 + 8% surcharge.
  • Department of Planning and Zoning staff will review the report and determine acceptance or denial (neither of which is contingent upon resolution of reported violations). Staff will report potential violations to the appropriate agencies.
  • If the disclosure of findings report is rejected and must be re-submitted, an additional $50 + 8% surcharge fee will be charged.
  • If the disclosure of findings report is accepted, the holder of the Certificate of Title will file the accepted report with the Clerk of the Courts.
  • The recorded document will then be submitted to DP&Z (along with the remaining filing fee amount of $50 + 8% surcharge ) in order to obtain the final Certificate of Use

Failure to obtain the required CU will result in penalties as provided in Chapter 8CC of the County code. For additional information and filing forms: