May 24, 2017
Florida Makes Significant Changes to Appraiser Licensing Law
Florida Gov. Rick Scott on May 23 signed HB 927, legislation that makes significant changes to the state’s appraiser licensing law and requires appraisal management companies to comply with federal minimum requirements for registration and oversight. The law takes effect Oct. 1.
The Appraisal Institute and the Region X Government Relations Committee advocated for two key improvements to the state’s appraiser licensing law, and those provisions were incorporated into the bill.
The first provision defines an “evaluation” as a “valuation permitted by any federal financial institutions regulatory agency for transactions that do not require an appraisal” and clarifies that a state-licensed appraiser may perform an evaluation. Currently, appraisers in Florida are prevented from providing evaluations that are not in full compliance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice even though federal requirements only call for compliance with the Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines.
Evaluation services in the state have been provided by non-appraisers, such as brokers and salespersons, accountants, architects, financial analysts and data providers, all of whom do not have to meet the same licensing and standards compliance requirements as appraisers. State-licensed appraisers will now be able to perform services on these same terms in compliance with federal requirements. Florida joins Georgia, Illinois, Tennessee and Virginia in allowing appraisers to perform evaluations.
The second provision clarifies that the Florida Real Estate Appraiser Board has the authority to adopt rules allowing for the use of standards of professional practice other than USPAP for “nonfederally related transactions.” Such transactions include appraisal assignments for portfolio monitoring, financial reporting, litigation, tax and consulting, among other areas. The law requires appraisers using development and reporting standards other than those contained in USPAP to comply with USPAP Ethics and Competency Rules and other requirements adopted by the Board by rule. The law clarifies that any valuation work performed per standards other than USPAP cannot be used to satisfy the experience requirements for any Florida appraiser credential.
In 2015 and 2016, the FREAB undertook a rulemaking proceeding that would have allowed the use of standards other than USPAP if additional standards “meet or exceed” USPAP. The provisions in HB 927 remove that arbitrary threshold and grant much broader authority to FREAB to consider standards other than USPAP. Further rulemaking proceedings will need to be undertaken by FREAB to fully implement this new provision.
The Region X Government Relations Committee, under the leadership of Chair Wesley Sanders, MAI, advocated for this legislation, meeting with the state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation about these two provisions. Additionally, AI professionals in Florida participated in Region X’s ValuEvent on Feb. 14 in Tallahassee, meeting with many legislators to urge support for the provisions.
View a copy of HB 927.