Top Five Things that May Cause You to Lose Your Homestead Exemption
- Rent your property either yearly or seasonally. Rental of your property is considered an abandonment of your homestead.
- Maintain or obtain an out of state residency based tax exemption, reduction, benefit, credit, etc. (e.g. STAR in NY, a veteran's exemption, the Massachusetts declaration of homestead, etc.). This requirement applies to jointly held property by husband and wife even if only one applies for homestead here and the other applies for the out-of-state tax credit. If you are in this category presently, you must cancel your out-of-state tax benefit(s) effective January 1 of the year you apply for homestead exemption here. If either husband or wife own other Florida property, even individually, only one property can have the homestead exemption.
- Maintain or obtain a driver's license in any other state. A driver's license is residency based.
- Fail to register a vehicle in Florida if you drive it here.
- Are registered to vote elsewhere. As a Martin County resident, this county must be the only place you are registered to vote. You may elect to file a declaration of domicile instead of registering to vote, but you still may not register to vote elsewhere.
We want all residents who qualify to have and keep their homestead exemption. This checklist is provided to avoid the pitfalls that can occur inadvertently and would result in back taxes that carry penalties and interest charges.