Under Florida law, applications for homestead exemptions must be filed by March 1 in order for homeowners to be eligible for up to a $50,000 exemption. Only homeowners who have had a change of residence or who are new applicants need to file an application. Automatic renewals are mailed each year in January.
By filing a homestead exemption, homeowners are able to take advantage of the constitutional benefit of having $50,000 exempted or removed from the assessed value of their property. This exemption is granted to persons who possess a title to real estate, who are Florida residents living in that property, and who have made that property their permanent residence on Jan. 1. In order to be approved for a homestead exemption, you must provide documentation proving that you were a resident of that property.
The following documents may be used to establish residency when applying for a homestead exemption:
- Florida Driver License or Florida ID
- Florida Car Registration
- Florida Voter’s ID
- Immigration Documents if You Are Not a U.S. Citizen
Homes as well as co-op apartments, condominiums, and even certain mobile home lots may be eligible for a homestead exemption under Florida law.
Why File by the Deadline
It is essential that you ensure your application for a homestead exemption has been mailed by no later than March 1. Failure to file for an exemption by the deadline constitutes a waiver of the exemption for that year, under Florida law. If you missed the deadline to file the application for your homeowner’s exemption because of extenuating circumstances, you may be eligible to submit a late application. In such cases, you should contact the Lee County Property Appraiser’s Office for further information on filing your application late. Click here for more information on filing your homestead exemption.