12D-7.013 Homestead Exemptions – Abandonment.
(1) Temporary absence from the homestead for health, pleasure or business reasons would not deprive the property of its homestead character. (Lanier v. Lanier, 116 So. 867 (Fla. 1928)).
(2) When a resident and citizen of Florida, now entitled to tax exemption under Section 6, Article VII of the State Constitution upon certain real property owned and occupied by him, obtains an appointment of employment in Federal Government services that requires him to reside in Washington, District of Columbia, he does not lose his right to homestead exemption if his absence is temporary. He may not, however, acquire another homestead at the place of his employment, nor may he rent the property during his absence as this would be considered abandonment under Section 196.061, F.S.
(3) Temporary absence, regardless of the reason for such, will not deprive the property of its homestead character, providing an abiding intention to return is always present. This abiding intention to return is not to be determined from the words of the homesteader, but is a conclusion to be drawn from all the applicable facts. (City of Jacksonville v. Bailey, 30 So.2d 529 (Fla. 1947)).
(4) Commitment to an institution as an incompetent will not of itself constitute an abandonment of homestead rights.
(5) Property used as a residence and also used by the owner as a place of business does not lose its homestead character. The two uses should be separated with that portion used as a residence being granted the exemption and the remainder being taxed.
(6) Homestead property that is uninhabitable due to damage or destruction by misfortune or calamity shall not be considered abandoned in accordance with the provisions of Section 196.031(6), F.S., where:
(a) The property owner notifies the property appraiser of his or her intent to repair or rebuild the property,
(b) The property owner notifies the property appraisers of his or her intent to occupy the property after the property is repaired or rebuilt,
(c) The property owner does not claim homestead exemption elsewhere, and
(d) The property owner commences the repair or rebuilding of the property within three (3) years after January 1 following the damage or destruction to the property.
(7) After the three (3) year period, the expiration, lapse, nonrenewal, or revocation of a building permit issued to the property owner for such repairs or rebuilding also constitutes abandonment of the property as homestead.
Rulemaking Authority 195.027(1), 213.06(1) FS. Law Implemented 196.001, 196.031, 196.041, 196.061, 196.071, 213.05 FS. History–New 10-12-76, Formerly 12D-7.13, Amended 10-2-07, 11-1-12.