April 2021 Legislative Roundup

April 2021 Legislative roundup: Kentucky, Florida, and New York

With winter coming to an end and summer right around the corner, new legislation is being passed in many states. During the early months of 2021, Florida, Kentucky, and New York passed legislation that impacts different industries’ bond requirements.

Kentucky Abandoned and Blighted Property

Bill KYS 105, effective in January 2022, will authorize judges to either demolish or rehabilitate homes that have been abandoned. Judges will no longer have to manage the stresses of foreclosure and ownership, enabling them to quickly process abandoned property and make it easier for homes to become livable again. Judges will be able to use an absentee owner for vacant property rather than have to change a building’s ownership.

A court-appointed conservator may be required to post a bond in an amount determined by the court, not exceeding the assessed value of the building at the time of the conservator’s appointment. Similarly, in cases of abatement, the court may require the owner to post a bond in the amount of the repair costs to retain possession of the building.

Broward County, Florida Private Courier Service Bond

Resolution No. 2020-761 went into effect in February 2021, impacting Broward County, Florida, private courier services that collect payments for the issuance of registration certificates, license plates, validation stickers, or mobile home stickers. This proposal, amending Sections 20-11 and 20-164 of the Broward County Code of Ordinances, increases the bond requirements for private courier services and restricts these businesses from engaging in false advertising.

Broward County private couriers — those who take the required fee, plus a service fee from consumers, to issue payments to county motor vehicle agencies or private tag agencies — are required to obtain and file a $25,000 bond.

New York Construction Contracts’ Substantial Completion

NYS 7664 was enacted in December 2020 to clarify the meaning of “substantial completion” and to ensure timely communication, payments, and completion of New York construction projects. When construction on a public works project has reached the “substantial completion” threshold, it reduces the allowable retainage that the owner can withhold from the contractor from 5 percent to no more than two times the value of any remaining items set forth in the punch list. However, the public owner may retain more than 5%, but not more than 10%, of the project’s progress payments if the public owner has not required the contractor to provide a performance bond and a labor and material bond, each in the full amount of the contract.

The bill includes timelines and procedures for public owners and contractors to navigate the contract payment process. Public owners are allowed 45 days after substantial completion to complete a punch list for the contractor.

Need a Surety Bond?

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