Beginning in 2010, owners of property affected by defective Chinese drywall will be entitled to significant property tax reductions. In prior years, the treatment of property affected by defective drywall was up to the discretion of the individual county property appraisers. However, Florida Statute 193.1552, which takes effect this year, requires county property appraisers to consider the impact of defective drywall on single family homes and, in some cases, to reduce the assessed value of the building to $0.
Essentially, the new statute requires Property Appraisers to consider the effect of drywall that contains elevated levels of elemental sulfur that results in corrosion of certain metals if the building need remediation to bring it up to current building standards. If the building cannot be used for its intended purpose without remediation or repair, the Property Appraiser must assess the value of the building at $0. This statute only applies to single family residential property, and it only applies if the owner was unaware of the presence of defective drywall at the time of purchase.
The statute also clarifies that an owner who vacates the property for the purpose of repairing the defective drywall will not be considered to have abandoned their homestead unless they establish a new homestead elsewhere.