Bulletin: FL2009001

Date:
March 25, 2009
To:
All Florida Issuing Offices
RE:
Miami-Dade County Certificate of Use Ordinance - Effective April 1, 2009; Applicable Only to Properties Located in Unincorporated Miami - Dade County

Dear Associates:

Maintenance of foreclosure properties and the responsibility for the attendant costs has become a significant issue for County and Municipal governments. Quite often the properties fall into disrepair and/or have been improperly renovated and are in violation of building and zoning codes.  

The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners adopted an amendment to Ordinance 08 - 133 which applies to all residential properties in unincorporated Miami - Dade County acquired through a Certificate of Title. The Ordinance requires that the person or entity listed on a Certificate of Title issued pursuant to a judicial foreclosure, obtain a "Certificate of Use" from the Department of Planning and Zoning ("Department").  This is necessary prior to offering a single family residence, condominium unit, townhouse or duplex for sale, transfer, or other alienation such as mortgaging the property.  

The Board has also approved a new Certificate of Use form, new procedures and a $300 fee (plus 8% surcharge) per property for Department review of the "DISCLOSURE OF FINDINGS REPORT" and issuance of a new Certificate of Use.  The disclosure of findings report form and other information may be found on the Miami-Dade Planning & Zoning Department website: www.miamidade.gov/planzone/

The "DISCLOSURE OF FINDINGS REPORT" must be completed, reviewed and approved by the Department and recorded with the Miami-Dade County Clerk of Court prior to the issuance of a "Certificate of Use".  This report must be completed by an architect or professional engineer licensed and registered in the State of Florida. The purpose of the "DISCLOSURE OF FINDINGS REPORT" is to disclose whether the residence in question complies with all building codes and zoning codes applicable to the residence. The report is also to include a good faith estimate of the cost to repair or remedy all code violations.

Violations noted on the report will be referred to the appropriate department.  PLEASE NOTE that the report's acceptance and issuance of the certificate is independent from the outcome of these violations. 

Our requirements for insuring the title to real property located in unincorporated Miami-Dade County properties with folio numbers beginning with 30 being conveyed or mortgaged by the grantee/holder of a Certificate of Title issued on or after April 1st, 2009: 

1. Agents must review the recorded "DISCLOSURE OF FINDINGS REPORT" and obtain satisfactory proof from the appropriate governmental agencies that deficiencies noted in the report have been remedied or an exception must be made in the title policy for all violations as disclosed by the inspection report;  

2. The agent must also obtain satisfactory proof that all charges for labor, services or materials incurred relating to curing said violations have been paid in full so as to eliminate the potential for claim of liens being filed during the gap period; 

3. Lenders closing instructions must also be carefully reviewed to determine whether the lender is requiring the agent to determine that all building and zoning regulations have been met; 

4. It can be expected that customers will seek to hold the closing agent and/or title insurer responsible for matters arising under this new and untested ordinance. Additionally, proper compliance with all of the requirements and procedures of the ordinance cannot be readily ascertained nor assured. An indemnification and hold harmless agreement must be required for all residential properties in unincorporated Miami - Dade County acquired through a Certificate of Title from the seller and purchaser/mortgagor indemnifying the closing agent and Stewart Title Guaranty for any and all matters arising by reason of the ordinance.  A sample hold harmless and indemnification agreement is enclosed.

If you have questions relating to this bulletin, please contact Florida Underwriting Personnel or Stewart Legal Services.


FL Miami Certificate of Use Hold Harmless Agreement (Click to View)


For on-line viewing of this and other bulletins, please log onto www.vuwriter.com.

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
FL Miami Certificate of Use Hold Harmless Agreement