Under Florida law, a person may qualify for a homestead exemption if the person owns property in the state and that property is the person’s permanent residence. The law provides for a lower property tax assessment on a homestead property, which leads to property tax savings for homeowners.
To qualify for the homestead exemption, a person must meet certain requirements, explained in the statute. Additionally, a person may lose their homestead exemption if the requirements of the statute are not met every year. Once a property no longer qualifies as a homestead property, Florida law regards it as a nonhomestead property and assesses taxes on the property at a different percentage.
 Fla. Stat. § 196.031 (Exemption of homesteads).
What is a Non-Homestead Property?
“Non-homestead residential property” means residential real property that contains nine or fewer dwelling units, including vacant property zoned and platted for residential use, and that does not receive the homestead exemption. Examples of nonhomestead property are second homes, rental properties, vacation homes, vacant land or commercial property.
Why Can’t I Claim Homestead Exemption on a Rental Property in Florida?
Unfortunately, if a homeowner rents their property, this qualifies as an abandonment of homestead. However, this depends on when the homeowner started renting the property and on how long the homeowner rented the property for. For example, a homeowner can not claim the homestead exemption on a property that is rented for more than 30 days per calendar year for 2 consecutive years.
What is the 10% Cap Assessment Limitation for Non-Homestead Property?
Under Florida law, a non-homestead residential property is assessed at just value the first year the property value is assessed. After the first year, the reassessment of the property value will not increase by more than 10 percent. For example, in 2019, if a non-homestead property was assessed at just value, then when the property is reassessed for 2020, that reassessment value may not exceed 10 percent of the property’s prior year value.
In comparison to a non-homestead property, after the first year that a homestead property is assessed, the reassessment of the property value may not exceed the lower of: 3 percent; or the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.