Qualifying for a Florida Homestead Exemption

The March 1st deadline to apply for a Florida homestead exemption is rapidly approaching.  If you moved to a new home within the last year, this is a deadline you do not want to miss.  This article will explain the benefits of the Florida homestead exemption, the requirements for an exemption, how to apply for an exemption, and what to do if your application is denied.  It will also address some of the thornier issues, such as rental of homestead property and claiming multiple exemptions per family.

Benefits of a Homestead Exemption

There are numerous financial benefits to having a homestead exemption on your property.  On the most basic level, the homestead exemption itself entitles most homeowners to a deduction of $25,000 off of their property’s assessed value, which can result in several hundred dollars in tax savings.  If your home is worth at least $75,000, you will receive an additional $25,000 deduction from your assessed value, although that additional deduction will not apply to school tax levies.  Once you establish your right to a basic homestead exemption on your property, you may also qualify for additional homestead exemptions if you are over 65 years old or have a disability.  But perhaps most importantly, receipt of a homestead exemption means that, pursuant to the Save Our Homes Amendment to the Florida Constitution, the assessed value of your homestead property cannot increase more than 3% per year or the percent change in the Consumer Price Index.  Moreover, in many cases, this tax savings can  now be transferred to a new Florida residence if you move.  Thus, while the basic homestead exemption may only save you a few hundred dollars per year, the rights that come with a homestead exemption can be extremely valuable.

How to Apply for a Homestead Exemption

Homestead exemption applications must be filed with the county Property Appraiser by March 1st of the tax year for which the exemption is sought.  Thus, in order to receive a 2010 homestead exemption, you must apply by March 1, 2010.  If you acquired or moved into your new home after January 1, 2010, then you would not qualify for a 2010 homestead exemption, but you can go ahead and apply now for a 2011 homestead exemption.   If you already have a homestead exemption, you probably do not need to re-apply, as most counties use an automatic renewal process, whereby you only need to notify the Property Appraiser if you are no longer entitled to the exemption.

What property qualifies for a homestead exemption?

Pursuant to Fla. Stat. 196.031, in order to qualify for a homestead exemption, as of January 1st of the tax year in question, you must have either legal or beneficial title to the property for which you are seeking an exemption, and the property must be the permanent residence of either yourself or someone who is legally or naturally dependent on you.  Thus, the property can be owned by a trust, as long as the applicant retains beneficial title and a possessory interest in the property.  However, the homestead exemption may not be claimed by a corporation.

The property must also be you or your natural dependent’s “permanent residence,” which is defined by Fla. Stat. 196.012(18) as “that place where a person has his or her true, fixed, and permanent home and principal establishment to which, whenever absent, he or she has the intention of returning.”   In determining whether the property is your permanent residence, the Property Appraiser may consider a number of  statutory factors, including but not limited to the existence of a formal declaration of domicile, where your children are registered for school, your place of employment, residency in another state, the address where you are registered to vote, the address on your driver’s license or identification card, vehicle registration, the address on your federal income tax returns, the address on your bank statements, and proof of payment for utilities at the subject property.

Also, the homestead exemption only applies to that portion of the property that is classified and assessed as owner-occupied residential property.  Thus, mixed-use properties may only receive the homestead exemption benefits on a portion of the property.

Can a taxpayer claim more than one homestead exemption?

No.  In fact, Fla.Stat. 196.031 prohibits anyone who receives the benefit of a residency-based property tax exemption or tax credit in another state from also receiving a Florida homestead exemption.  Thus, not only can you not claim two Florida homestead exemptions, but you also cannot claim an additional residency-based exemption in another state.

Can my spouse claim a separate homestead exemption on property that they own independently?

Possibly.  The Florida Constitution only allows for one homestead exemption per family unit.  While the proper interpretation of “family unit” could, and likely will, take up an entirely separate article, most Property Appraisers interpret this provision to mean that a married couple can only receive one homestead exemption.  The Attorney General’s office and some trial courts have interpreted this provision to occasionally allow for separate homestead exemptions where the couple is separated or can prove financial independence.  However, not all Property Appraisers agree with this interpretation and this issue continues to wind its way through the courts.  Anyone who plans to try to obtain separate homestead exemptions should seek the advice of an attorney in order to avoid potentially costly penalties in the future.

Can I still receive a homestead exemption if I rent my property?

Possibly.  Fla. Stat. 196.061 provides that the rental of an entire dwelling constitutes the abandonment of that dwelling as a homestead.  However, under the Florida Constitution, the ultimate issue is whether the property was your permanent residence on January 1st of that tax year.  In recognition of that fact, the statute contains an exception, which states that abandonment of a homestead after January 1st of any year shall not affect that year’s homestead exemption as long as the property is not abandoned after January 1st for two consecutive years.  Thus, a snowbird who heads up north for the summer could conceivably rent their property every other year during the warmer months without losing their homestead exemption.

But isn’t it okay to rent homestead property, as long as you don’t rent it for more than 6 months?

No.  The confusion on this issue came about because, pursuant to Florida Statutes 196.081, 196.091 and 196.101, certain disabled veterans and other totally and permanently disabled persons are entitled to a complete exemption from all property taxes for their “real estate that is used and owned as a homestead.”  Florida Statute 196.012(13) then defines this phrase “real estate used and owned as a homestead” as the person’s homestead property, less any portion thereof used for commercial purposes.  The statute then states that “property rented for more than 6 months is presumed to be used for commercial purposes.”

In effect, if a permanently disabled veteran used a portion of their homestead property for commercial purposes, such as by renting a room or using a portion of the property for a home office, they would not receive a complete tax exemption on that portion of the property, although they would arguably still be entitled to the homestead exemption on the entire property.  In the author’s opinion, this definitional statute applies only to the total exemption for certain disabled persons, and not to the basic homestead exemption.  However, some Property Appraisers apply the 6 month rental limitation in their homestead exemption determinations, and a recent appellate decision may add fuel to that argument.

Conversely, just because the property is presumed to be used for commercial purposes if rented for more than 6 months does not mean that you can safely rent your property for less than 6 months without losing your homestead exemption.  As discussed above, your right to a homestead exemption is determined as of January 1st.  Thus, rental of homestead property on January 1st of any tax year, even for a few months, is a risky move.

Appealing a Denial of Your Homestead Exemption Application

The Property Appraisers are required to notify taxpayers by July 1st if they plan to deny their application for a homestead exemption for that tax year.   Fla. Stat. 194.011 then gives the taxpayer 30 days to file a petition to the county Value Adjustment Board.  Please note that if the Value Adjustment Board denies your petition, you have only 15 days in which to file an appeal to the circuit court.  See Fla. Stat. 196.151.  If you do not want to file a petition to the VAB, you can file an action directly in the circuit court, but such a lawsuit must be filed within 60 days of certification of the tax roll.


220 Responses to “Qualifying for a Florida Homestead Exemption”

  1. Catherine Forbes Says:

    I recently purchased a condo on 3/26/10 in Altomonte Springs, Fl. I want to apply for the homestead exemption, I am a widow over 65 years of age. This is my permanent home.
    Please tell me what I have to do to obtain this exemption.
    Thank you,
    Catherine Forbes

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      You would not qualify for a homestead exemption in 2010. However, you can apply for a 2011 homestead exemption by going to the Property Appraiser’s office and completing an exemption application no later than March 1, 2011.

    • M. Coello Says:

      You say that people over 65 “may also qualify for additional homestead exemptions” What other requirements are there for people over 65 to qualify?

      • Sherri Johnson Says:

        It is up to the county to decide whether to adopt an ordinance giving an additional $50,000 homestead exemption to those 65 and over. In addition, the applicant must not exceed the statutory household income limitation (which was originally $20,000, but has been adjusted annually).

    • Mark Lepzinski Says:

      My ex-wife recently lost the homestead exemption in January 2012, as the home was rented , now if she moves back in….how and when can she get the exemption back on the property? Thanks, Mark

  2. Sherri Johnson Says:

    You can look up your property on the Dade County Property Appraiser’s website, and it should tell you if you have a homestead exemption on the property. Or you can call the Property Appraiser’s office and ask them.

  3. Peggy Lachapelle Says:

    We closed on a home in Polk County in March 2010, we will split our time between Alaska and Florida. We will retain our Alaska Driver’s License. Will we be entitled to file for a homestead exemption for 2011?

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      You may be entitled to a homestead exemption on your Florida property in 2011 if you can establish that it is your permanent residence as of January 1, 2011. If you keep your Alaska driver’s license, that would be one factor militating against your right to a Florida exemption, but the Property Appraiser will consider other factors as well, such as where you are registered to vote, and the addresses on other documents such as tax returns, bank statements, etc.

  4. Sarasota Hotels FL Says:

    You may be entitled to a homestead exemption on your Florida property in 2011 if you can establish that it is your permanent residence as of January 1, 2011.

    I agree with this statement 100%. I’m buying a house in a couple months and have been doing tons of research. Thanks for all this info.


  5. nestor Says:

    If I get my florida ID card, will that put my name into the jury duty pool?

  6. James Says:

    Sherri Johnson
    What part of the Florida Statutes deals with when new home constuction is subject to property taxes as a residence instead of as a vacant lot. When does the new home go on the tax roll by statute?
    Thank you,
    James Johnson

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      Fla. Stat. 192.042 provides that improvements may only be placed on the tax roll if they were substantially completed as of January 1st of the tax year in question.

  7. Jeff Says:

    About 8 yeras ago we bought a condominuim for my retited parents and granted them life tenancy. We obtained a homestead exemption for this propoerty. We recently bought our own home in Florida in another county and wish to apply for the Homestead Exemption for 2011. What do we need to do?

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      Assuming you are otherwise qualified for a homestead exemption on your new home, applying is as easy as going down to the Property Appraiser’s office and filling out an application. But I think your question relates to how the homestead exemption on your parents’ condo would affect you. Your question makes it sound like you obtained a homestead exemption on your parents’ condo, but I suspect you meant to say that your parents obtained a homestead exemption. Assuming that is the case, your parents’ homestead exemption should not affect your right to a homestead exemption on your new residence.

  8. lori vernon Says:

    Can I claim homestead exemption on my home if I am living elsewhere while it is up for sale, due to foreclosure?

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      Did you still own the property as of January 1st? If so, you might be able to establish that it was still your permanent residence and homestead, but I think it would be somewhat difficult. This issue would really depend on the specific factual circumstances, so I would hesitate to offer an opinion.

  9. Richard Says:

    My home has a homestead exemption. I am considering adding an addition to the house and I am concerned doing so may jeopardize the exemption. What are the limitations when adding to a house so I do not lose the homestead exemption.

  10. Sam Says:

    Thank you for the great forum.
    I own and lived in a condo in Jacksonville. I moved out of state, and my grandmother, who is my dependent exclusively in all respects, moved into my condo as a permanent resident. I have continued to claim the homestead exemption, as I believe I am entitled to, based on her being my dependent. This year, I have rented a room in that condo to another person. (This person gets a small rent discount to help with the caretaking). Am I still entitled to the homestead exemption, or does a rent paying tenant sharing the unit with my dependent alter anything?

  11. mary t. pineiro Says:

    I have purchased a condo in Margate, Fla. and I’m wondering if I qualify for the Homestead excemption. I am a snowbird and am in Fla. for three to six months out of the year.
    Can I claim an exemption for myself if I change my N.Y. drivers license to a florida license?? and my husband retains his New York residency??

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      This is definitely iffy, so I would be hesitant to offer a response based on the limited facts you’ve shared. But if you would like further assistance, you may call my office for an appointment.

  12. Jeff Duncan Says:

    My mother is a widow, and has a homestead exemption on her property. If she adds me to the title, as her legal heir and son, could this disqualify her or the property for this current homestead exemption? Would any changes occur?

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      If you were added as a tenant in common, then she would only be entitled to a homestead exemption on her proportionate interest in the property.

      • Anicka Micio Says:

        Hi, I am looking for an advise please: I own a property for many years, but never had on it homestead exemption because I didn’t qualify due to my working visa’s status. Two years ago, I had a baby, who is an American citizen and we both live together in this property, it our primary residence. If I add him to my deed (by QCD the property to both of us) can I apply for homestead through him? Thank you kindly.

  13. Mandy Says:

    I am about to send out homestead form everything is filled out. But our voters reg part… do we have to be reg voters to get homestead?? Also there is a place on the top right that says to be completed by the property appraiser… will that be done when the rev the forms or I am suppose to get that done prior to sending it in???

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      You do not need to be a registered voter to obtain a homestead exemption. However, one factor the Property Appraiser may consider in determining whether the propert is in fact your permanent residence is whether you are registered to vote at that address. If you are registered to vote elsewhere (i.e. in another state), that will likely count against you.

  14. Robert Updegraff Says:

    Purchased a condo in Titusville, FL November, 2008. I have been making repairs/upgraded and living part time in Florida since purchase of the condo. I will be living in Florida for more than 6 months this year so I obtained a Florida drivers license and changed my voter registration to Florida on 4-6-2010. I am a consultant and work out of my condo. Do I qualify for the homestead exemption and if so, how do I go about filing?

    Thank you


    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      You can apply for a 2011 homestead exemption any time before March 1, 2011. It sounds like you may qualify, but the Property Appraiser will consider a variety of factors in ascertaining whether you permanently reside on the property on January 1, 2011.

  15. Tracey Says:

    Aside from filling out the paperwork for AD VALOREM TAX EXEMPTION, what other info do I have to send in with the application? This is my first house and I am clueless!!

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      Helpful documents would include your driver’s license, voter’s registration, vehicle registrations, any declaration of domicle, bank statements, utility bills, etc.

  16. marg Says:

    We purchased our house 6/10 & have rec’d a tax bill for 2010 – for the full year – Are we responsible for the months (Jan thru May) when we did not own the property? – Of we cannot apply for homestead exemption for this year since we did not own property until 6/10

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      The taxes are a lien on the property and must be paid or the property can be sold. Usually the estimated taxes are prorated between the buyer and seller at the closing.

  17. Donald Day Says:

    My wife and I are living in a condo in West Palm Beach that she inherited in the late 80s from her father. It was rented (as much as possible) between the time she inherited it and February 2010, when we moved in from out of state and made it our primary residence. We’ve not filed for homestead exemption because we plan to move to another condo that we own in Jacksonville sometime next year and are concerned that filing at hour current residence may disadvantage the more important homestead application that we plan to file in Jacksonville. My question is whether a homestead exemption filed in West Palm could be abandoned and “transferred” to a condo in Jacksonville, when we more — with no unintended consequences. If so, we may file for 2011, because our plan to move is tentative and could well not happen until 2012.

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      If you apply for and receive a homestead exemption on the WPB property in 2011 and a homestead exemption on the Jacksonville property in 2010, you may be able to “port” some of your tax savings to the new Jacksonville residence under the new portability rules. For more information on portability, you may want to read the article that I posted on that subject.

  18. Ken Says:

    My Mom was a Florida resident and received the homestead exemption on her condo. She passed last year and I am the trustee for the property. Having just received the 2010 tax bill, I find the exemption no longer applicable thus raising the taxes x3+. She placed the property for sale 18 mos prior to her passing. The condo has remained unoccupied and will continue to remain unoccupied until it sells. Is there any opportunity for tax relief under these circumstances? Thanks.

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      Under those facts, the property would not qualify for a homestead exemption. The only relief you could potentially get is a reduction of the assessed value of the property if the Property Appraiser as assessed it at more than it was worth on January 1, 2010.

  19. Sany Says:

    My parents bought us a house in June 2010 and now we are paying them back. our taxes are a lot higher than we thought because the house was paid off eVen though we are paying our parents back for the purchase. The deed is in our name, but I’m not sure the title was transferred. Can we still qualify for H. Exemption?

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      I’m not sure what you mean when you say that the deed is in your name, but you’re not sure if title was transferred. Title is transferred by recording a deed. If the recorded deeded lists you as the owner, you may qualify for a homestead exemption if you meet the other requirements.



  21. Rick Says:

    I and five other family members own an undivided interest in 160 acres in florida that has six homes on. Can each of us claim an individual homestead exemption on the house we live in without changing the title?

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      It would depend on whether you each made one of the houses your permanent residence. If everyone qualified for the exemption, it would be apportioned among them.

      • john willbur Says:

        Sherri, first you’re a saint, secondly, I’m fairly confident what you answered here is not a legitimate question, but a freaking law school hypo. I mean, seriously it fits PERFECTLY into the statute? No way.

  22. John Says:

    I individually own a house (Fee Simple prior to my current marriage) in Michigan that likely will not sell for a couple years. I now jointly own a Palm Bay home with my wife. Can we (she) claim Homestead Exemption on the Florida home since she has no interest in the Michigan home?

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      Most Property Appraisers would probably deny her the exemption, based on the “one exemption per family unit” language of the Florida Constitution. You may want to read my article on Separate Homestead Exemptions for Married Couples for more information.

  23. John P Says:

    I am buying a house in Lake County and I will be responsible for the mortgage. My daughter has lived in Florida for 7 yrs. and is a Florida resident. Can I transfer the deed to the house to her and then can she get the Homestead Exemption? Will the existence of mortgage prevent me from transferring the house to her. I currently live outside of Florida but will stay in the house over the Winter.

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      If she owns the property and makes it her permanent residence, she should be able to qualify for the homestead exemption. But she would need to live in house; it not enough that she resides in Florida.

  24. michele keith Says:

    My husband died and our Florida condo is held in his trust. I am the sole trustee and sole beneficiary. I recently rec’d the tax bill with an assessed value double the prior value and I lost the $50,000 exemption. Can I apply for the homestead now or if I distribute the condo to myself, can I get the assessed value back to the lower value on next year’s application?

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      If the condo is your permanent residence, you can apply for a homestead exemption in 2011, but that will not restore the previous “capped” value. If you wanted to challenge the Property Appraiser’s decision to reassess the property at fair market value in 2010, you would need to have filed a VAB petition or a lawsuit to challenge the 2010 assessment. You may want to read my article on How to Avoid Losing the Save Our Homes cap, as you may have a valid argument.

  25. diana Says:

    I am purchasing a condo for my son who also has legal residency in fl. thus qualifying him for homestead exemption. I would like my name to appear on title/deed. I have my own property with homestead. How do I go about doing this?

  26. David Says:

    I bought a condo in Tampa in April. I applied for homestead exemption and it is showing on the appraisers website. The condo is financed and I pay into an escrow account. Will the bank be notified of the exemption and automatically adjust my escrow payments or do I need to contact the bank? Thanks.

  27. marisol Says:

    I will buy a house for first time , I’m resident the house is for $72,000 i will close by december 20 and will mouve next day , if I am register in the apraiser office bydec 23 2010 when I will do my tax in january 2011 can I apply for homstead exeption because a going to mouve before end of the year 2010????

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      As long as you qualified for the homestead exemption as of January 1st, you have until March 1st to file the application for the exemption.

  28. Michele H Says:

    My inlaws own the home my husband and I recently moved into (inlaws moved to another area of florida where they have homestead). Could they put my husband on the deed/title by doing a quit claim deed so that we could claim homestead? If so, how we would go about getting him on the deed. Is this something we could file ourselves?

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      If they were so inclined, they could either transfer the property to him or add him to the deed by way of a quit-claim deed. Just be aware that if he the deed lists them as tenants in common, your husband would only be entitled to a homestead exemption for his proportionate share of the property.

      • R. Balzan Says:

        Same situaton, but they are joint tenants, parents and son. Can son still apply for homestead exemption.

  29. ed rowsey Says:

    may i claim homestead exemption if i convert 2 adjoining condo units into one? in other words, may i claim the exemption for the total living space that i utilize as my year round residence?

  30. Susan Sweet Says:

    If my ex husband owns the house I am currently living in..but does not live here but elsewhere … (he does not own the house of his permanent residence) .how does this affect homestead exemption??

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      I assume you are asking about your ability to obtain a homestead exemption on the property. Unfortunately, in order to claim a homestead exemption, you would need to have legal or beneficial title to the property, so if the property is owned by your ex-husband, you would probably not qualify for a homestead exemption.

  31. Patrick Hynes Says:

    My wife and I bought a house in Port Charlotte in 2009. My wife recently moved into it permanently in July of 2010. She transferred her license, car registration, etc making this HER permanent residence. Both our names are on the deed/property. Since she is a full time resident can she apply for the Homestead exception? I’m a resident of NH and we don’t have or claim anything like this up here. If she is eligible what other information do we need to provide and do I need to do something in person in FLA? Thanks in advance for the info.

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      As long as neither of you receive a residency-based tax exemption in New Hampshire, she should not have a problem obtaining a Florida homestead exemption if it is permanent residence.

  32. Jeanett Johnson Says:

    my mother has a condo in orlando that she has a homestead exemption for. She would like to add my name to title- but I live in Washinton state. Would she loose her exemption if she lists me?

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      Depending on how you take title, she could lose the Save Our Homes cap on the percentage of the property that is transferred to you.

  33. Ken Oberg Says:

    I am buying a house in FL that will be the permanent residence of my parents. Can they claim the exemption?

    What is a “natural dependent”?


    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      If you do not have your own homestead exemption, you might be able to claim a homestead exemption based on your parents being naturally dependent on you, but if would depend on the facts of the case and I would be hesitant to give you a blanket answer without a consultation. Another option could be to give them a life estate in the property so that they could apply for the homestead exemption in their own right.

  34. Kay Says:

    We live in Michigan and my son will be attending a Florida college. we are in the process of purchasing a townhouse in Florida in another city. According to the university if my sons name is on the deed and he has a homestead exemption in the state of Florida after a year he would qualify for instate tuition. How can h qualify for this exemption?

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      If he owned the townhouse and it was his permanent residence, he could claim a homestead exemption on it. But if the townhouse is in a different city from his college, that does not seem likely.

  35. Joe Says:

    Joe Says:
    I live in my home 51 out of 52 weeks per year. If I rent it for one week during the year will I still qualify for Homestead Exemption?

  36. VELLA DORSEY Says:

    my husband and i own a little house in homestead, fl. he is a disable air force vet.. we live in boise, idaho in the summer and i live in homestead, fl. most of the winter months.. could we claim the homestead exemption, do we qualify for any sort of property tax help.. thanks vella

  37. John Lambert Says:

    Just bought a townhouse in Tampa December 31, 2010, we want to use it as our based home. I am on an overseas assignment currently, but my wife will spends about 4 months of the year there. One daughter (not dependent) now lives there all the time and the other daughter dependent lives there, but stays in a dorm in a local collage while in school. Tax address, 2 cars, Drivers Licence, bank accounts, etc. all registered in Tampa and with our new address. Do you think we qualify for homestead?

  38. Barb Says:

    I am a New York resident and I am purchasing a home in Florida for my relatives, who will live there full time. I would like to retain ownership of the home. Is there any way my relatives can qualify for the homestead exemption if the home stays in my name?

  39. Chad Says:

    Looking at buying a home in Florida.
    If I understand this correctly, if I don’t rent out the home — is there a number of months I must live in the Florida home to obtain and retain the homestead exemption or is the exemption based totally on voters id, license, bank statements ect..?

  40. Kay Says:

    I cohabitate with a gentleman in Michigan but last year we purchased a condo in Inverness, Fl. I spent a week in Nov. accepting delivery of furniture, etc. and will be there again in Feb. for a week and then moving permanently in March. He is waiting for a kidney transplant and must transfer his dialysis to Inverness and be evaulated at Tampa for his kidney so we have been held up but will make the move before April. My name did not get placed on the title/deed until after Jan. 1 of this year as I was not included in the original mortgage. I want to change my residence while I am there in Feb. and transfer my car title, plates etc. back to FL where I was a resident for 12 yrs. w/ my late husband. I am a widow but have a relationship w/ a fine gentleman w/ no plans for marriage. I am his caretaker as well as domestic parter and I wish to file for homestead exemption while I am there in Feb. Is this possible? I am currently 70 yrs. of age. Thank you.

  41. ruth.dostie@yahoo.com Says:

    My business partner (not related) and I financed two properties together in the State of Florida. Both our names are on the two deeds. He lives in the one property and I live in the other. We have two separate primary residences. Can we each claim a Homestead exemption? If not, could we quick claim the properties to each other so that one property would hold title in his name and the other property hold title in my name? We would like to know the best way to separate these properties so we can both take advantage of the Homestead exemption.

  42. Cheryl Says:

    I have just retired from the Air Force and will be moving back to FL this year. Will I be eligible for the homestead exemption?

  43. kelly Says:

    I think you have a mistake in one paragraph above – First paragraph under “How to Apply for a Homestead Exemption”. Should the 3rd sentence not read – ” If you acquired or moved into your new home after March 1, 2010 ….” – not January 1, 2010 ???

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      No. While the deadline to file an application is March 1st, you need to have resided on the property on January 1st in order to qualify for the exemption.

  44. wayne Says:

    I am buying a house in Florida for my son and his family. I will be taking out a mortgage on the house (because he has very bad credit) and he will be making the mortgage payments. After the home is puchased, can I put his name on the title? If I can, will this qualify him for a homestead exemption being that he is living in the house and is on the title? Also, will he be able to take out his own homeowners insurance on the property which would be less expensive than if I did it as an investor who is renting out the house?
    thank you………..

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      If your son is on the title and resides on the property, he may be able to qualify for a homestead exemption. However, the extent of the exemption will depend on whether he takes title as a joint tenant or tenant in common.

  45. Deana Says:

    I moved out of my townhome I own and am renting a home. Can I still homestead my townhome even though I don’t live in it?

  46. Daniel Says:

    I am the primary on a house and my friend is a secondary, She lives in the house. she is renting a her house that her ex-husband and her own that has homestead exemption. The house in question, I am not living in. Can I obtain a homestead exemption for this house if it’s not my permanent residence. If I was to buy another house would this affect getting an exemption to a new house?

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      You would not qualify for a homestead exemption on a property that is not your permanent residence, unless it is the permanent residence of someone who is legally or naturally dependent on you.

  47. Dave Says:

    If one has two residences, One in Virginia, one in Florida, by trying to take advantage of the Homestead exclusion, one may be giving up the $500,000 gain exclusion on the sale of the Virginia residence. Recent snow birds to Florida probably have an unrealized gain on their Virginia house and loss on the Florida house. Did not want to go into detail with timing rules 2 out of 5 years etc.

    • williamnoonan Says:

      federal law for $500,000.00 exemption requires you live 2 out of the last five years in the home. it does not start jan. 1st. it can start in any month, just be sure that after two years and a day you have not moved. also some states like florida require you live in the home on december 31 to keep your homestead exemption.

  48. Hiilda Sorensen Says:

    I am a permanent FL resident, own a home in my name only. Homestead application wants husband’s SS and FL driver’s license #, which he does not have and does not intend to get, nor does he intend to offer his SS#. MY chances of securing a homestead exemption??

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      Your husband does not need to have a Florida driver’s license in order for you to qualify for an exemption. However, I believe that his social security number will be needed in order to process your application.

  49. Scott Says:


    My wife and I quit-claimed our 20-yr old home to myself, my daughter and her husband. Two years later, we realized living together was not appealing to anyone and we old folks moved out and have rented ever since. I say ever since because that was 7 years ago.

    It turns out I thought they filled out a Homestead Exemption application marking the box titled CHANGE but they never did. And even they thought the other had taken care of it.

    Anyway, big goof-up and so the big question now is: Will they get hit with penalties and interest + back taxes for each of the past 7 years if they do the CHANGE form now? Since she is my daughter, wouldn’t that satisfy the natural dependency rule and thereby avoid these penalties? I’m 79 and retired. She’s 45 and working full-time.

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      Your situation could be potentially problematic. If you would like, you may want to contact me for a phone consultation to discuss further.

  50. Ricardo Says:

    I noticed that the Broward County Property Appraiser records its property tax liens under its very name (i.e. Broward County Property Appraiser) and the document type is “property tax lien”. One can research these liens in the Broward County Official Records Search very easily.

    Question for you: If I wanted to research property tax liens in Miami Dade County, how would I find them? I’ve already found their public records search site. For a lien search, there is no distinction between a property tax lien or a mechanics lien so the search comes back with many results. Here’s the site address: www2.miami-dadeclerk.com/Public-Records/Search.aspx

  51. Jane Jackson Says:

    My husband and I are purchasing a home in Florida and plan to apply for homestead exemption. My husband is over 65, but I am not. If the home will be in both our names, do we both have to be over 65 to qualify for the additional age-related exemption?

  52. Martha Says:

    I own a home in Pinellas county and have had a homestead exemption for 30 years. I also now have a senior citizen discount. Because of my health, I have just moved to a small apt near my son in another Florida county. I moved on January 16 this year and am renting. Am I still eligible for my homestead exemption on my property in Pinellas county? No one is currently living there but I have kept some property, in case I return. Does the senior citizen discount on property tax follow the same rules?

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      You should have no problem retaining the homestead exemption in 2011, but 2012 could be another story. If you would like, you may contact me by phone to discuss further.

  53. Cathy Says:

    I’ve lived in my Townhouse for 6 years and now I’m purchasing it from the owner. I will close on it Feb 17,2011
    will I be able to file Homestead Exemption for 2011 ?

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like you had any legal or beneficial title to the property as of January 1, 2011, and if that is the case, you would not be entitled to an exemption in 2011.

  54. David Says:

    My mother and I purchased a home together (jtwros). I do not live there. It is her primary home. Can she qualify for homestead exemption ? Also she qualifies for senior homestead exemption. Can she get this with my name being on the title?

  55. Ed Sixberry Says:

    My Mother in Law, age 99. Brook her back and is in rehab. Her great-grand-son and his wife are staying and maintaining her residence. They do not pay any rent. She intends to return to her home and instructed us not to sell.
    Is she intitled to her homestead exemption?

  56. Daniel Kruppenbacher Says:

    I closed on my property December 30, 2010 and moved in the same day. I am in the military and I don’t have a florida state license. However I am currently permanently stationed here in Florida. Is there a military clause for this? I can transfer my license to Florida very easily but it would not be issued before 2011. If there is no military clause for not having a Florida state license and I went to transfer mine, would it be an issue filing in 2011 with an issued date on my license of 2011?

  57. Jim Zambelli Says:

    I’ve had a Homestead exemption for some time, but just recently heard that I was also eligible for an additional exemption because I was over 65 and have a veteran’s disability. I’m currently 76 and the disability status is still in effect. Additionally, I was wondering why the additional exemption wasn’t publicized in the past, if it actually exists, since it looks as if I lost a significant amount of tax savings by not being properly informed.

  58. Ronald Adkins Says:

    I own a home in Valrico, and purchasing a second home in Lake Wales Polk county in 2011. I am active duty military, and currently receive the homestead exemption for my home in Valrico. I am registered to vote in Hillsborough county, and have my Florida drivers license, and the homestead exemption. Since you can only claim homestead exemption for one home, can I change it to my new home in Lake Wales for 2011?

  59. aly Says:

    Can the person apply for homestead if: Husband can not retire yet, renting an apartment in Queens NY, wfire, due to severe illness will be living in a condo they purchase together 10 months out of the year, only visiting NY in the 2 summer months. SHe is on disability. He is provider.

  60. lee Says:

    I purchased a home in Fla 12 May 2007. I have never applied for Homestead exemption. I am in the US Navy stationed in Fla. Am I eligble for Homestead exemption?

  61. Matt Says:

    I bought my first home on Jan. 15 2011. I just learned of the homestead exemption. is there anything I can do if I have missed the deadline for this year? Can I apply next year if there is nothing I can do?

  62. Carlos Says:

    I am active duty military and departed Florida due to orders. I had a property in Florida with homestead exemption. Can I keep the Homestead exemption? If I decide to rent it, is there a military waiver that will allow me to keep my Homestead exemption? If so, for how long?

  63. Heather Hardy Says:

    We are living full time in the US as E2 visa holders since 2nd Feb this year (we have been given a 5yr visa). We have a condo which we have owned for 3 years, but it was rented out for 2 of those years. The last rental ended in December 2010 as we knew we were moving over here. Will be be able to apply for Homestead for 2012?

  64. Don Rogers Says:

    We do not own a home but work at Disney 6 months of the year. A fellow worker told us to buy a home in Polk County because if you own a farm animal you do not have to pay property taxes. I cannot find this exemption anywhere. Do you know if this is true ??

  65. jane Anne Walker Says:

    my aunt passed away in 2009.she had a homestead exemption on her property .she left her home to her stepdaughter who is in a special needs trust. she was disabled at birth.can her daughter apply for the homestead exemption?any info would be appreciated

  66. Karen Wilcox Says:

    My mother moved from out of state and purchased a condo in Longwood last year; she moved into her condo this January after it was renovated. She did not realize the deadline of March 1st for applying for the homestead exemption; is there any ability to appeal for an exception to the March 1st deadline if she gets the paperwork submitted in the next 48 hours?

  67. Carole Says:

    So if someone works, resides and has their child going to school out of state (they previously lived in FL – still have the house, pay utilities, cars registered in FL, house is empty) you can still get homestead exemption?

  68. robert hyde Says:

    I own a home in FL in Duval county with a Homestead Exemption since 2001. I am about the buy a new home in Hillsborough County. I understand I can “transfer” my H.E. – what I don’t understand is whether there is any intrinsic “value” in the exemption I have earned since 2001. Thank you.

  69. David Kownacki Says:

    I am looking at condo properties in Palm Beach. I recently came across the offerings in Singer Island affiliated with Ritz Carlton. Some of the units are said to be prohibited from being a homestead and must be rented out for a portion of the year. I am not familiar with such restrictions in a condo. What’s the story?

  70. John Says:

    I just rented out my house March 23, 2011 in Brevard County Florida. Prior to renting the house out, my spouse and I lived in the house for just over 2 years. We have a homeastead exemption and a save our homes credit of about 21K on the house. We have moved out of state and are currently leasing a home. My question is, do I have to notify the Brevard County Property Appraiser to remove my homestead? Can I keep it until I buy again in another state? What are my options? Thanks.

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      If you are no longer residing at the Brevard County house, you need to notify the Property Appraiser as you will probably not be entitled to a homestead exemption on the property in 2012.

  71. Sally Says:

    My father had to move to an ALF in 2010 (May), but we did not sell his house in Deland, Fl. I just rec’d a notice of intent to deny homestead exemption. If he doesn’t have the exemption and his property is only assessed at $49,000, what would his tax bill be?

  72. Anne Marie Says:

    My father bought a condo in Florida last year and established permanent residency status by changing his driver’s license, permanent address, voter’s registration, etc. to Florida. He resided in the property on January 1, 2011. He did rent the property for one month in February 2011 and during that time he stayed with my family in NJ. He owns no other real estate. Does he qualify for a homestead exemption? The property qualified in 2010 under the prior owners so he has received his receipt for a 2011 renewal. Should he avoid any renting in the future if he wants to continue to qualify?

  73. Richard Kinner Says:

    My wife and I currently have a homestead property in Hillsborough County. We plan on moving out of state and renting the property to my son. I will be renting a property out of state. It appears that the Hillsborough property can not meet the homestead requirements under FS 196.031, since my son is not legally or naturally dependent on us. It does appear, however, that the property can continue to meet the homestead requirements for 2011 under FS 196.061, since the property was our primary residence on 1/1/2011. Is this correct?

  74. Byron Says:

    My wife and I have been Iowa residents, but bought a condo in Florida (Lee County) two years ago and now are thinking of becoming Florida residents. However, about a year ago our Iowa lawyer set up the Florida property in an LLC, which I am now told by a Florida lawyer makes it impossible to qualify for the Florida homestead exemption. What would you recommend, since we want the exemption on the Florida property. Is the LLC still a good idea? We have no businesses or other property in the LLC.

  75. carldagostino Says:

    I had to move out of my townhouse condo. I am sole caretaker of my 87 year old parents. The cannot climb the stairs any more. We rented a one level apt. The condo is listed for sale and will remain vacant. Do I qualify for homestead exemption for 2012?How do I get tax bill if I have new address. Will apt address disqualify me. I have arag legal insurance if fee required. Thank you.

  76. Cole Says:

    My father passed away this year in March, he had homestead exemption for 2011. Does the homestead exemption stay with the house for the entire year? The reason I am asking is because the house will be transferred to my name and I also currently have a mortgage. I plan to move into his house. If my home goes into foreclosure can they go after my dads house which has been transferred to my name? Is his house still protected even though it will be transferred into my name? Any help is greatly appreciated.

  77. Alvin Allen Says:

    I just purchased my first home. I officially closed on the property on April 5, 2001. I understand that I have missed the deadline for applying for the homestead exemption. I would like to know when I can file.

  78. Gerald T Hertzel Says:

    My significant other (legal domestic partner in NYS) jointly own a home in Sumter County, Fl. She is a resident of Fl., I am not. Can she apply for the Homestead tax relief???

  79. Marvin Says:

    My wife and I are snowbirds with a house in Florida and a house in Maryland. we have our Florida drivers license, registered to vote in Fla. registered one of my vehicles in Florida but have other vehicles (one in my name and one in my wife’s name) still registered and tagged in Maryland that may never be driven to Florida. Do these other vehicles have to be registered and tagged in Florida in order to obtain my homestead exemption?

  80. Wendell Smith Says:

    Dear Sherri,
    My wife and I have our primary home in a short sale process. We have the Homestead Exemption on that home.
    We also own a rental property that we would like to make our new home, but want to know if we can rent it out
    for any portion of the year to offset the new mediated mortgage? It is June 15th at this writing and we would
    probably actually be able to move into the other property by September or October of 2011.
    Thank you for your help.
    Wendell Smith

  81. Sue Johnson Says:

    Our daughter purchased this property for us (her parents)to live in..she pays all utilities, house payment, taxes.. Does she quality for the homestead tax exemption?

  82. Ed Ferrandiz Says:

    We have in our neighborhood a home that is in demolition condition. The current owner, we know for a fact, has not lived in the home for over 10 years. Yet, she continuously claims homestead on the property. The property is of substantial size and the home itself is spacious. The tax exemption and the Save our Home benefits she receives, allows her to pay very minimal property tax. What are the requirements to Florida Tax Exemptions? Shouldn’t she live in the house on January 1 of each year to claim Homestead? She has been publicly denounced that she lives permanently in her other home on the lake. Is it possible to claim homestead in a home you do not occupy? Please help us define the guidelines.

  83. Theresa Hauser Says:

    I was notified that my Homestead Exemption has been cancelled on my townhouse that I still own. I was shocked! I moved out of my townhouse (because I thought that’s what I was supposed to do at that point) due to foreclosure. I am currently renting an apt. and will be moving back in to my townhouse on August 1st 2011. I was able to stop the foreclosure process due to applying for a mortgage remodification. Will I be able to get the homestead exemption back in time for the 2011 taxes?

  84. Monica Says:

    I will live in my home until August 1st of this year because we are moving to another state for a temporary employment contract my husband is being assigned to. As a result we had to rent out our property. Will we lose our homestead for this year? Next year since they are on a one year lease?

    Thank you!

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      You should not lose the exemption for this year, but you might next year depending on the specific facts of your situation.

  85. mary Says:

    Can a barn or a quonsat hut be used as a house to live in Florida, and be considered as domicile, and get homestead exemption. It has a toilet, shower, and air conditioned room.

  86. BR PASH Says:


  87. john Says:

    I have an issue, my other half passed away and the bank is foreclosing on the homesteaded property where the mortgage is due. I have another property in Florida and wanted to use it instead , move in to that barn and use it as my residence, can I apply for that piece of property as my domicile and file an homestead exemption?

  88. Hazel W Says:

    My husband and I moved from Maryland and purchased a new home in Pensacola, FL (Escambia County) on 3/31/2011. He is 66 years old. When should we apply for Homestead Exemption on our property? Also, would we qualify for the additional homestead exemption of $50K?

  89. Brian Says:

    Seeking advice and better understanding of the ability to transfer HomeStead exemption when purchasing a different home in Miami Dade. Currently own a $400k house and exempt. If we move sell and move to a new house of $500k for example, is the current exemption and 3% increase restriction limit based on the current taxes of the original $400k house or the current assessment of the $500k new house.

  90. Danny Landry Says:

    My wife and I recently purchased a home in Florida. My wife will be living there part time. I will be living in Vermont until we sell our home, then retiring from my job and moving to Florida. Will we be eligable for a homestead exemption?

  91. Kevin Dellefratte Says:

    My wife and I live and own a home in Fl. for which we have a homestead exemption. I am obtaining a seperate mortgage not tied to my home in order to buy my daughter a home. The purchase contract and Mortgage are in my and my wifes name. I will continue to carry the mortgage, but I want to allow my daughter to get her own homestead exemption. How do I do this? a simple quit claim?

  92. Michael Corneille Says:

    I purechased a condo in Bonita Springs last summer July, 2010. I have recently moved here year round and have would like to qualify for my homstead exemption. I have all the documents required to submit, but my question is my condo value is below the 75,000.00 value-Should I still file for one? The value is increasing.. Thank you.

  93. Rafael Says:

    I bought a condo in Brickell (Miami-Dade) on July 2010 and have been using it as my primary residency. However, it was not until August 2011 that I got my green card approved (previously was living in the country under an H1B visa). Should I apply now for the Homestead Excemption, or wait until January 2012? Is it right to say that there’s no way to use claim the homestead for the 2011 tax period? Thanks for your feedback

  94. Gayle Peterson Says:

    My husband and I have a house in Florida with a mortgage in both our names. We live in New Jersey now. I am retired while he is still working as a teacher in NJ. My question is–I plan on moving to Florida now and he will come during school vacations and summer and some weekends. Can we homestead if both our names are on the mortgage?

  95. John delafe Says:

    I have a brother who suffers from MS (muscular sclerosis) and Dementia he bought a house on december 30, 2010. I was left with the task of getting the house homesteaded and I was told all I needed to do was register with the clerks office. I only learned that the house was not homesteaded when I took a doctors letter to thee appraisers office. The clerk there convinced me to file a petition for late filing. I Now jave a court hearing set for November 9, 2011 and I don’t see how I will win there. And I understand there may be additional costs for ad varolen taxes. And now it seems that I issed the deadline for filing for next year.

    I am disabled myself and receive SSI $674 dollars a month.
    How can I get this mess straigthen out?

    John Delafe
    Ph: 321 610 3233

  96. Rosemary Says:

    My husband and I warranty deeded a residence to our son in 1988 we continued to live in the house until 2006. We moved because he got married. We then moved into another house and applied tor homestead exemptiion. I did not change our mailing address, car registration, drivers license and voting registration. I applied for homestead exemption in 2006 and got it. Some one reported us for getting 2 exemptions which is not true. As a result we had to pay 7900 dollars in lien money for 4 years. I am entitled to homestead exemptions but I will never apply again. My utilities are in our name. Is it possible to get my money back. Can you help or if you need more information I will help. Thank you.

  97. Tricia B Pérez Says:

    I am a service connected veteran 10% with an appartment in Orange County Fl. However, my principal residence is in Puerto Rico. As a veteran, can I be denied of this exemption just based on that my 1ry residence is in Puerto rico?

  98. Roberta Says:

    My sister now owns my deceased father’s house. After his passing, in a kind gesture she added her 2 sisters on the deed. We live in other states, not Fla. She has resided in the house full time. Can she qualify for a homestead exemption?

    thank you for your time,

  99. Lee Says:

    does buying and registering a vehicle out of state jepordize someone’s Florida homestead exemption? If she buys a new car in her “2nd’ary state” than her Florida driver’s license won’t match her “out-of-state” plates, can she do that?

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      Vehicle registration is one factor that may be considered in determining someone’s eligibility for homestead exemption, but it is not dispositive.

  100. Mike Says:

    I’ve been living with my mother in her home for several years due to her inability to financially support herself. Back in 1997 I refinanced the house in both of our names since the original loan was just in her name and paid it off three years ago. The deed and the tax exemption is in her name only. Though I also pay the taxes in full since ’09. I’ve noticed that “natural dependent” has been mentioned in this post. Is it possible that I can claim the homestead exemption as long as she does not also?

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      You could not claim the homestead exemption because you do not own the property. However, if your mother owns and permanently resides on the property, then she may qualify for the homestead exemption.

  101. Allen Says:

    My wife and I currently own our home and have the homestead exemption. Is there anything in the Homestead Act, Florida statutes, or constitution that would give my biological daughter a legal right to our home after we die? We have wills leaving the home to my wife’s daughter if we both die at the same time. Neither wife’s daughter nor my daughter is a minor.

  102. Leo Says:

    My wife and I purchased a home in 2009. I’m a disabled vet and get homestead exemption for that, but my wife is 100% disabled and I was wondering could we use her disability for our homestead extemption?

  103. Ron Says:

    We just sold our home in Broward County and used last years taxes to estimate for this year. The buyer says the taxes are higher than budgeted. I checked and it is due to two things, the new assessed value based on what they paid for it and the lack of a homestead exemption. If the house was still listed with the old value and with homestead, the taxes would’ve been lower, but with the new assessed value and no homestead, it is over a thousand dollars higher than what we paid. I know we need to work it out, but do we need to pay the difference even if they just did not get the homestead? Once you have a tax bill, can you still get a homestead exemption that year? Thanks-

  104. Tom Says:

    My spouse and I own a home in Fort Myers, FL and a home in Green Bay, WI. We live apart now because work contracts. Can I take the homestead tax exemption in Florida since I work, live, vote, have a vehicle registered, and have a drivers license in Florida? Would my wife then be able to take the homestead tax exemption in Wisconsin since she is fully a Wisconsin resident?

  105. Heather Hanson Says:

    i have accepted a job overseas in the miltary and my wife has also been transferred out of state. We have a friend staying in our home and is going through a nasty divorce. She is paying us monies to cover the utilities and maintance on the property while she is there in our home. We dont have a contract with her and she is leaving as soon as her divorce is settled. All of our stuff is still in our home we intend on keeping it but in this economy we had to find work elsewhere for the time being. In order to pay for our mortgage we needed to find work and keep our dream home. My wife will be renting an apartment in a different state and the miltary will provide me with shelter. Do I still get to keep my homestead in Florida. we dont own any other property or homes anywhere else and dont intent too either.

  106. Kathi hamblin Says:

    We are closing on our home that has a homestead expemptions in Sumter County on January 17, 2012. Will the Homestead Expemption for 2011 transfer automatic to the new address in Lake County, Florida for 2012? If not, does that mean we lose one year of expemption although we have been Florida residents and continue to be Florida residents for the tax year of 2012?

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      If you were still residing on the Sumter County property as of January 1, 2012, then you would be entitled to a homestead exemption on that property as of 2012.

  107. Sherry Says:

    I purchased a home for my mother and paid it off (it’s in my name). I claim homestead exemption as i have considered this my home. I work overseas but come home every 4 months and live at this address. In 2007 I purchased a home to help my brother and his family. I do not charge them rent. I would like to refinance the home I purchased in 2007 but the bank will not refinance unless it is my primary home. Do I have to remove my homestead exemption from the other home in order to consider this my primary home?

  108. Olga Garcia Says:

    I have an apartment in Miami for 10 years that is my permanent residence, and I have the homestead exception.

    If I change the title to a trust where I am the trustee
    Can i keep the homestead exception? I believe the answer is yes ,…but

  109. Bill Feldkamp Says:

    I am considering moving into a 10 unit apartment building I have owned for many years. The lot is 15,000 sq. ft. I would move in before December 30, 2011 and apply for a 2012 exemption on my one apartment. Does this shield the other 9 apartments from creditors (not the building’s mortgage holder)? What if a creditor places a lien before my homestead is approved?

  110. ADRIAN Bruno Says:

    I own a house in Miami Dade county. i do qualify for homestead Exemption on that house. last year i decided to move back and fourth between USA and Italy (where i own another house) therefore i gave the house to my son to live in it. Do i still qualify for homestead Exemption or its voided in this case.

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      If the property is now owned only by your son, then you would not be entitled to a homestead exemption on it, but your son might.

  111. flora Says:

    I applied for Homestead last year but I did not apply for disability exemption because I did not know how to do it at the time. I would like to add disability exemption. Does a copy of my Social Security form SSA-4926-SM-DI count as proof or use it to submit to them? Thanks!

  112. kim Says:

    My mom has been disabled since 2009 (recognized by SSA) but she didn’t know about the exemption for disability. Is there any way to claim the exemption from 2009-2011? Her house does qualify for the Homestead exemption.

  113. laura vonier Says:

    i am apply for the homestead expemption for the first time. My father-in-law, who is a legal alien with a permanent green card, an I own the house jointly. Neither of us own a vehicle, but both have Florida drivers licenses. I have a Florida voter registration number as well. Will not owning a car be reason for them to deny us? Should I also mail them back up material such as the copy of my deed, utility bills, bank statement…etc??? thanks in advance!!!

  114. Nol Says:

    As a military member entitled to the exemption even if I am living somewhere else, can I rent the property out?

  115. pete Says:

    I vote in Florida, I register my car in Florida. My home state is Florida I own a home in St Johns County. But becouse I am a NAVY officer stationed in California. NO homestead exemption is allowed for me. It’s embarrassing how St Johns county spits on our military for protecting our country. Amendment 2 is a joke. It effects very few Florida soldiers due to the restrictions of off CONUS. Be nice if we congressman Mica understood what our military goes through to protect our country but since he has done nothing in his life other than politics he is clueless.

  116. hilda lanata Says:


  117. Jen Says:

    We have a home in FL, however, my husband is in the military, and we’ll be transferring out of state for 3 years. We’re going to rent the house in FL, and rent where we’re moving. We’ll be keeping our FL drivers liscense with the FL address, as well as FL tags. We will be moving in April. Will we lose our homestead exemption for 2013 and 2014? How can we keep it?

  118. Susan Whitehurst Says:

    can you lose your homestead if you rent out a room in your home and you still reside there on a permament basis?

  119. Kim Says:

    We bought land, my in-laws move on it with us. We have homestead exemption on hte property. Recently we had to move for my husband’s job and bought new property. Can we, since we support my in-laws granted them life tenancy and they file the homestead with us still holding the deed?

  120. Ronald Brutt Says:

    I own a house in Daytona Beach that I live in 7months or so a year. I return to Pa the remainder of the time where I do not claim a homestead on any property. I would like to continue to vote in PA and file my tax returns there. Can I homestead my house in Daytona Beach? I am over 65 years of age.

  121. Gerhard A Kohler Says:

    If your on a annuity disability retirement are you able to get a adjustment on your homestead?

  122. Gary Broughman Says:

    Can a person who lives in a home titled as a “life estate” qualify for a homestead exemption?

  123. Michael Short Says:

    I am in the military and have out of state driver’s license and registration. My driver’s license has my Florida address. I also have a Florida ID card. Why in one county do I only need an ID card while in the next county I need to change my registration and driver’s license?

  124. Helen Le Says:

    This is a very helpful website. After reading all of these, I still have 1 question left. What is the minimal value of a home to be considered for homestead exemption? My friends have been telling me that if I want to buy a condo, I should get something at least above $50K, so that I can apply the homestead exemption. However, I am interested in one at $47K, Will it meet the minimal cut-off (if any) for homestead exemption?

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      Florida homeowners can get up to a $50,000 homestead exemption. However, $25,000 of that amount only applies to the extent that the value of the property exceeds $50,000. For example, if you buy a home worth $45,000, you would receive a $25,000 exemption. If you bought a house worth $51,000, you would receive a $26,000 exemption. If you bought a house worth $75,000, you would receive the full $50,000 exemption.

  125. Jan Says:

    I maintain a sole Florida residence in Lee county with a Homestead exemption since 2010. I have rented my property for 3 months from January 5th though March 30th each year since 2010 while I occaisionally travel to visit my daughters. Most of this time I stay with a neighbor in the same condo complex during the rental. This year, I was elected to the Condo Board of Directors based upon my “permanent” residency.
    I just recieved a letter from the Appraiser’s office stating that on the basis of an “anonymous tip” that I was occaisionally renting my property, they are rescinding my Homestead Staus for 2011 and 2012 unless I refile an affidavit of continuous residency. However, their checkboxes do not apply to the circumstances I’ve described. My reading of 196.061 suggests that I can only rent as described and recieve the Homestead exemption every other year. Is that right? And do I have to reapply for the Homestead every other year if i continue to rent during the winter as described?

    Thank You

  126. Tim Says:

    I was divorced in 2011. I bought my ex wife out of the house. As a means of support and part of the marital settlement agreement, she will live in the house for 2 years with me paying all bills, mortgage and taxes. After that I will be moving back in and she vacates. I am in the middle of refi to have her name removed from the deed/mortgage. Because I am legally required to let her stay in the house and be supported, and I do not claim homestead anywhere else, can I keep my homstead on this home?

  127. delores agnew Says:

    My husband & I did a quit claim deed to our son who moved into the mobile home in Sep. 2011. My name is still on the deed as “Rite of suvivorship” . This mobile & property has had homestead exemption & has had an RP sticker since 1997. According to the prop.app. office in Hendry Co.,FL, the quit claim deed just lists the property & does not include a description of the mobile home. Since the property was & has been listed as Real Property, it never, in our wildest imagination occurred to us that the mobile would have to be listed separately. We had a real estate busiines do the quit claim deed. Do we have any recourse regarding this problem?

  128. Andy Says:

    I am in the military and purchased my home in September, 2011. I have been a legal Florida resident since 2003. My spouse is a Texas resident and has no intention of becoming a Florida resident. However, my spouse is on the deed. I tried to apply for homestead exemption in Escambia county today, and was told that I am not eligible since my spouse was not a FL resident. Not eligible? I am a FL resident, so I am confused. Also, they said my spouse needs to become a FL resident before I would be eligible since she is on the deed. Any clarification on this would be helpful. Thanks for your time, you are providing an excellent service on this site.

  129. Amy Says:

    I moved out of my townhome on January 4, 2011 and moved back in on December 27, 2011. The time I was not living at the residence I rented it out. Would I still qualify for homestead exemption since it was my permanent residence as of January 1?

  130. David Ahlborn Says:

    I own a homestead home titled to me only in Michigan since 1977 before Married. My wife’s owns a condo in Florida titled only with her name while being married and would like to homestead it. Can she and would Filing jointly or separate help ?
    Thank you so much, My Lawyer was disbarred so I’m lost without him.
    The DA’s Office

  131. Trish Says:

    I own 3 houses that are all listed as one property and paid for under one mortgage payment. They can not be sold separately. I have owned this property for over 10 years. I live in one house and rent the others. There is an additional bedroom/bath (with small refrigerator and microwave) that is accessed through the lived in house patio even though it is in another building. I have always used this solely as an extra bedroom to the house and have never rented it as it does not have separate meter for water/electric. I lost my job and rented out the house and moved into this extra room. I now received an “exemption review” from the property appraisers office and am not sure how this qualifies. Looking at your list of what qualifies: my address is still the same, I receive mail the same, sitll have all my bills delivered the same way, this is where I am registered to vote, my drivers license and vehicle registration is still this address. It seems that I have only rented out two of three bedrooms. This is my permanent residence. Thank you for your opinion. Your site is excellent!

  132. Donna B Says:

    My husband and I are FL residents and live in Tampa. We are purchasing a 2nd home from my mother 68 yrs old. She will live in the house permanently. She will not be on the mortgage nor will she pay rent. We close end of April 2012. Can we add her to the deed for 2013 and then she file for homestead exemption, widows benefits, and senior discount? Also, does the house have to assess for a certain amount to qualify?

  133. julio Says:

    Please inform if the properties that are in the home, such as furniture, washing and dyer, etc, that has the constitutional homestead protection be garnish?

  134. julio Says:

    if so please indicate any case law. Thank you

  135. betty Says:

    i have a question. if there are three siblings names on a deed, how can we qualify for homestead exemption? O of us will be living in the house full time, but the other two will not.

  136. William G Alt Says:

    My wife and I purchased a home in North Port in December 2011. We plan to vacation here 3-4 times a year for a week or 2 each time until I retire in 4 years. At that point we will sell or home in CT and purchase a condo in CT, and split our time between the homes. Is there any possibility to get the homestead exemption, prior to that move? I will have a car registered there, I can register to vote there, I already bank there. Please let me know,

  137. Belkis Says:

    My domestic partner moved in with me last year. My son moved into his home with his wife. They are both going to grad school school full time. They both work but do not make a whole lot of money. Together they have close to $70000 in student loans, so they are not paying rent. My partner lost his homestead exemption because he does not live there. Is there anyway we can get it back?, or no while he lives with me? Thanks

  138. Terry Smith Sr. Says:

    My wife and i are in the proess of purchasing or first home in Florida so how can we apply for the homestead exmption and how do it work snice we did not apply by March 1st can we still qualify for the exmption?

  139. Kevin Says:

    I had homestead exemption on my home for 2011. I rented the home out for 7-months in Aug 2011. Do I lose my exemption for 2012 since I was not living there on Jan 1st? I have moved back mid-March.

    • Enrique Says:

      I have a Florida Homestead protection, is the personal property in the home protected, such as bed room furniture, living room furniture, etc.?
      It is a contradiction to protect the property and allow creditors to take the furniture in side the home, this will allow the creditors to garnish the furniture every time you buy furniture, this will eventually force a person to loose there homestead because no one can live without furniture. I know that other States also protect the furniture in the home, I did a legal search but could not fine a single case on this issue. Please reply.

  140. Norman McMichael Says:

    I have purchased a second home that I will live temporarily but my daugther and grand kids will live permanently. Will I be able to qualify for homestead exemption on that second home?

  141. Gio Says:

    We have a house that is our only home and our permanent residence. We rented the property as a vacation rental on average 5-8 weeks per year. We never rented as of Jan 1st. When we rented, we moved to one of the bedrooms with bath which has a different entrance but still part of the house (We also have other areas closed to the “renters”. The City has removed homestead and hit us with back taxes and penalties. Do we lose homestead exemption for the area that was rented just 5-8 weeks out of the year? Are we responsible to pay the taxes and penalties for this area that was rented just 5-8 weeks during the year even though we live in this area for the rest of the year?
    Note: when we rented, we still had access to the entire property as we provided “short-term occupancy licenses” and not “rental or lease agreements” to the guest/renters.

  142. C Says:

    Hi – I am working out of state in GA for a few years but my wife is living permanantly in our house in FL. I commute home to FL on a regular basis. For tax purposes I am considered a resident of GA and rent there. Am I still able to claim homestead exemption in FL? Many thanks. C.

  143. Riley Says:

    I live in FL, have a FL DL. I have reg’d to vote here. But I am being denied homestead because my vehicle is not reg’d in FL yet. What does the law state about that? I do NOT have $500 to reg. my vehicle, I am disabled, and my wife is unemployed. My wife has been unable to land a job here since we got here in Feb of 2011!

    Since when is a vehicle registration “REQUIRED” for homesteading? And what happens if I don’t even have one? I mean, why the heck would I need a vehicle reg,if I had no vehicle? (Last part hypothetical)

    I know what the law says about reg. a vehicle…but if you have no money — you write a check that bounces, you’re in jail. But you get fined if you’re not reg’d, too. What’s the point?

  144. Sharon Lee Gates Says:

    I have had Homestead Exemption in Orange County since 1989 where I have always been registered to vote, driver license, library card, children attended high school, served on the board of directors for my HOA and a local community medical clinic, worked at the polls, etc. I have never moved. I married a man at the end of 2001 who also has HX in Pinellas County. He has all the above criteria, too since 1997. He did register the vehicles in Orange County thus the paper trail led to Pinellas Appraiser sending him a refusal of HX and a back bill to 2002 for $49,000 for non-homestead real estate taxes, losing the Save Our Homes, too with a 50% penalty and 15% per annum interest. Since he and I maintain separate residences and always have, never renting either home, etc. is there a snowball’s chance in hell we can fight this? We never thought we were doing anything wrong. He is not on my deed and I am not on his. We don’t even have the same last name. Are we to be punished for marriage? I need a legal consultation right away or do I have to fall on my sword in Orange County and renounce my HX (this is by far the less valuable real estate.) Pinellas County said they would allow his HX if I would renounce mine. Is that my only choice?

  145. Chris Says:

    I simply LOVE this article! It contains some very useful information. I’m curious, I just refinanced my property. I’m currently on Homestead, but I would like to reapply for Homestead since property values are lower. Can this be done? If not with my current refinance, can this be done after I’ve rented my house out for a few months?

    • Sherri Johnson Says:

      Your property should never be assessed (for tax purposes) at higher than its fair market value. If it is, then you can challenge it before the VAB.

      • Chris Says:

        Thank you for responding! I don’t believe my property is assessed at higher than it’s fair market value. I’m just thinking that since the Save Our Homes Cap locks us in at a 3% property tax increase per year that I can keep my taxes lower by applying for Homestead now that my homes value is much less. Since my homes value is at about 80% of when it was purchased, I would prefer that my 3% increase goes off of this 80% instead of the possibility of the assessed value increasing quickly (I use this term loosely) back to the 100% and increasing 3% from that point. If I can re-homestead, then I may be able to keep my taxes lower. Would I need to rent my house out and move back into it to do this, or can this even be done? Thanks!

  146. Janet Says:

    If you place one or both of your parents in an assisted living facility would they lose their homestead exemption while they were residing in the facility?

  147. George and Sandra Kinoshita Says:

    My husband lost his exemption on the home in FL last year because we rented it out because we were transferred to Louisiana for a three-year contact. However, things have changed and we were forced to move back to FL a year plus early and had the renters move out in June. We will complete the final move by the end of August (having to move in stages). What do we have to do in order to reinstate the exemption?

  148. Lee-Ann kanoski Says:

    We (my husband and I) own a home in florida that is our primary residence and we claim a homestead exemption. We just bought a home in the same neighborhood for daughter. All three of our names are on the deed with right of survivorship. Can she apply for the homestead exemption and receive full exemption since she will be living there.

  149. Secretary2012 Says:

    Need to ask a question please! I have purchased a townhouse for my daughter in Vero Beach, which will be her permanet home. However, I have had the deed put into the name of a trust fund for her. Can she apply for homestead exemption.

  150. michelle schein Says:

    my father in law just passed mid jun we now have the home an title and this is our first home we found out we can get a homestead but i dont know how to go about it?

  151. Boby Says:

    I just bought a property with a mobile home on it. My parents are going to be living at the mobile home which is in lakeland and ill be living in clearwater. Can I still qualify for the exemption? If not do I have physically live there? Or can I just change my address on my driver license to the mobile home address and still live in clearwater? Also what if I don’t know when ill be living there.

  152. jeff emmert Says:

    I am a single male and own one home which is located in Florida.
    My vehicles, boats, etc. are all registered in the state of Florida.
    My banking all takes place in the state of Florida.
    My mailing address for all my mail, legal and otherwise is all the address of my Florida home.
    This home is what I consider to be my permanent residence. I do not rent, lease or have any other home, apt. etc. outside of the state of Florida.
    I work outside of state approximately five months of each calendar year. This is my only employment.
    All my living expenses while out of state are provided for me by the company for which I am employed. My job requires I be legal resident of another state.
    I receive no benefits from the state I hold a drivers license in.
    The only thing that makes me appear to be a out of state resident is my drivers licenses. Dose holding a non-resident drivers licenses disqualify me from being able to apply for my homestead exemption in Florida?

  153. cris morris Says:

    I recently bought a home in Port Orange, Fl. Volusia County..where do I go to apply for the homestead exemption and what documentation do I need?

  154. Heather Says:

    In Hillsborough County, “If you are active duty military, you may qualify by providing us proof of Florida residency such as Florida driver license or LES (Leave and Earnings Statement). Once you have established homestead exemption and you are transferred on orders while maintaining Florida residency, you can retain the homestead exemption providing us a copy of your orders and correct mailing address.” Yet goes on, “At the time of application the applicant should have:
    •Proof of Florida residency (i.e. Driver license) A “Valid in Florida” designation on your Florida driver license is not acceptable. A Florida Identification Card with an out of state driver license is not acceptable.”

    Q: So which is it??

    Does this mean that military stationed in Florida, residing in Florida, kids in school in Florida can file and get the homestead exemption?
    “Domiciled”? If we have claimed residency to state of origin, is it possible to be ‘homesteaded’ in Florida because we are physically here and live here?
    There are many questions about 6 month split residents and I have read through those. But what documentation will satisfy being able to claim the “homestead” exemption.
    🙂 Thank you

  155. E, Streil Says:

    I (over 65). have been exempt from taxes, do I qualify for homestead, yes , I have all other papers ,

  156. Julia Says:

    Will this Homestead Exemption apply to Canadians who own a rental property in FL?

  157. Chris Says:

    I retired from the military and throughout my service I rented my house. But when I retired I learned my Mom wasn’t physically able to look after herself or her home. I moved into her house to look after her but still rented my property. Do I still qualify for homestead exemption?

  158. ross Brooks Says:

    Ms. Johnson,
    I am currently working with a client who is currently a resident of Virginia with rental property in Naples Florida. All of her income is gnenerated in VA. She plans to terminate her renter in FLA and consider her place of residence as that
    Naples home. She will remain employed in Virginia and will maintain a residence (rental or new purchase) in Va. I have read other posts and believe that she must have other evidence of citizenship in FLA i.e. voting registration, driver’s license etc in order to qualify. She plans to visit her home periodically throughout the year but as I said earlier will retain a property in VA where she works.
    I believe that the spirit and intent of the law is that the homestead exemption is meant for year round residency in FLA. Could you direct me to a resource to enlighten her on the issue.
    Thank you, Ross


  159. brown Says:

    I own two homes one is rented to my god daughter on section 8 for 10 years and i live in the other home in Florida. i did not change the homestead because i felt that if i own the both properties but only claim one homestead it was ok. now i have a $30,000 lien. is there anyway the lien can be negotiated at least for the interest or penalties.

  160. Jd Says:

    I own a home that has been in my family for generations. It is currently unlivable so I rent elsewhere while accruing the funds to restore it. Can I claim this house as my homestead?

  161. rich Says:

    Back in 2005 congress wrote into the law that you need to be in your home in Fla for like 3 years as a primary residence or if you owe anyone big money and claim your Fla. homestead exemption Is it tru they can force you into bankruptcy and override the states exemption and grab your home?

  162. Richard Safra Says:

    I will retire in 2015 and go back to my condo in Miami. I am currently renting it out. I will have it available again on January 1st, 2015, since the tenant will move out in December 2014, But I will be back and forwrd between Miami and Washington DC (where I currently work) between January 1st and April 30, 2015. Can I request the home exemption to be reintated to me on March 2015? This is the only property I own and I will probably change my drivers license, registration card and other documents to Florida in January of that year. Thank you in advance for your response

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