Portability - FAQ
These questions and answers aren’t meant as a comprehensive explanation of the Portability provisions but we hope they serve to focus your attention on how Portability works in the majority of cases. Situations that don’t fit the mold are inevitable. Share those situations with us and, together, we’ll find the right answer.
•Do I have to sell my previous homestead before I qualify for portability?
◦No. The previous homestead must have been abandoned by all homesteaders, but there is no requirement that the property be sold.
•What is the deadline for filing for portability?
◦Section 193.155(8), F.S. was amended with the November 2020 election. This changed the lookback period from two to three tax/assessment years, effective January 1, 2021. Tax/Assessment years run from January 1 through December 31.
For example, if you received your last homestead exemption for the 2018 Tax Year, you must be approved for your new homestead by January 1st of 2021 to qualify for portability. Applicants who abandoned their previous homestead in the 2019 or 2020 tax years would qualify for portability since the abandonment dates fall within the statutory three year lookback period.
A portability application, form DR-501T Transfer of Homestead Assessment Difference, will be provided to you as part of the homestead application process.
•What does “upsizing” mean?
◦When the Market Value of your new homestead is the same as or greater than the Market Value of your previous homestead you can transfer up to $500,000 in Save Our Homes Cap value. (see example below)
•What does “downsizing” mean?
◦When the Market Value of your new homestead is less than the Market Value of your previous homestead your portability will be calculated using the ratio of the Market to the Assessed Value of your previous homestead. (see example below)
•What if my spouse and I divorce? Who gets the portability?
◦If the spouse leaving the homestead, (the grantor), deeds their interest in the property to the spouse remaining in the property, (the grantee), there is no portability available to the grantor.
If both former spouses retain ownership as joint tenants with right of survivorship the resident spouse retains the portability.
If both former spouses remain in title after the Dissolution of Marriage is recorded, by statute they become tenants in common, (§689.15 F.S.). If one person remained in the homestead, the property would be reassessed on the following January 1st showing only 50% of the value subject to homestead and Save Our Homes. The former spouse who left the property would be entitled to transfer 50% of the Save Our Homes Cap to a new homestead.
•If my co-owner and I abandon our previous homestead and move to a new homestead owned solely by me can we transfer all of our Save Our Homes Cap?
◦No. Because both of you are not in title to the new property, only you are eligible for a homestead exemption on the new property. You would only be allowed to transfer your share of the previous Save Our Homes Cap, in this case 50%. To transfer 100% of a Cap, all homesteaded owners of the previous homestead must move to the new homestead.