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Defective Drywall Frequently Asked Questions

Recently many of you may have received a letter from our office outlining new requirements for this office to consider defective drywall in the valuation of your property. We have put together a list of some of the questions and answers on the subject.

Why have you changed the requirements?
Subsequent to the repeal of section 193.1552, Florida Statutes, the change in policy is required to ensure consistent treatment for taxpayers across the County under section 193.011, Florida Statutes.

What is the new requirement?
This office now requires confirmation of defective drywall as detailed in the Florida DOH defective drywall confirmation, Criteria 3 in order to recognize the defective drywall in the valuation.

Do I have to get a lab test?
A positive lab test is only required if you want us to consider the impact of the defective drywall in the valuation of your property. If you do not get a positive lab test for defective drywall, we cannot consider defective drywall in the valuation.

Do I have to have the lab tests done if I submitted an inspection report last year?
If your inspection report did not include a lab test that meets Criteria 3, then you must provide us with a lab test that does. Most previous inspection reports that have been submitted do not meet the DOH confirmation guidelines listed in Criteria 3.

Do I have to comply with the new testing requirements if I am in a class action lawsuit?
If you are currently in pending litigation for defective drywall, please consult your attorney.

Do you have a list of labs?
We are unable to provide any list or recommendations of any vendors including laboratories. We suggest that you contact the company that did your prior inspection report or your attorney to see if they can recommend a lab that can perform the required testing. An internet search may be helpful as well.

How many samples should be submitted and can I send them to the lab myself?
As each home is unique, please check with the lab as to their requirements on amount of samples provided, sample size, and delivery options. Our office only requires a single positive test for defective drywall.

What do I do when I get my test results?
Forward a copy of your test results to Chinesedrywall@leepa.org and we will acknowledge receipt of the results and advise you if they meet Criteria 3. You may also mail or fax the results to us. Our contact info is here.

Do I need anything else besides a lab test?
Yes. You will need to contact a licensed Florida contractor familiar with defective drywall remediation to get an estimate. The estimate should indicate what guidelines it complies with or follows (e.g. “Fallon protocol” etc.).

Do I have to get a new inspection?
No. You do not need to have a new inspection.

Do I have to get an appraisal?
No. An appraisal is not required.

Can an appraisal or inspection be substituted for the lab test?
No, a positive lab test for defective drywall is required in order for us to consider defective drywall in your valuation. Appraisers and inspectors cannot confirm your property has defective drywall without lab testing of the drywall.

What will you do with the information once you get it?
We will determine what impact, if any, the defective drywall has on your property’s value.

How will this affect my property value?
Until we receive and analyze your information, we won’t know. During the valuation process, we are required to take into consideration the condition of the property and a positive test along with a remediation estimate allows us to consider the cost of the remediation in valuing your property.

Will my taxes go down?
We don’t know at this time. While each property is unique, the current remediation protocol is typically significant and costly. If the market indicates that we need to reduce the value of your property significantly, then we would expect that taxpayers would see a reduction in taxes.

When will you notify me about the taxes?
We will have your value in early July. You will receive official notice in mid-August when we mail you a Notice of Proposed Property Taxes (TRIM).

Will I have to do new or additional testing in the future?
Right now we do not anticipate requiring additional testing etc. Each year this office is required to value your property and take into consideration the condition on January 1. If the law or protocol or criteria that we’ve based the current process on changes, we may have to change the requirements. Our current plan for 2020 is to have you reaffirm that you still have the drywall and that you did not make any changes to the property that would change our determination. This reaffirmation would be much like the reaffirmation we’ve historically used.

What happens if my lab test is negative or I don’t have my drywall tested?
We will not consider your property to have defective drywall when we are reviewing the condition of the property during our valuation process.

Even though my property got a negative test, doesn’t it still have the defective drywall stigma and won’t that impact my value?
There is a possibility that those properties that have been previously reported as having defective drywall may have their value impacted simply because they were reported to have defective drywall. This office will attempt to see what impact “stigma” is having on sales of properties in that situation, if any.

Can I appeal your decision?
You always have the right to question and appeal the value this office places upon your property. The official period for doing so begins in mid-August when we mail the Notices of Proposed Property Taxes (TRIM). The TRIM notice has instructions for appealing your value. If you have questions about your individual circumstance you are always welcome to contact us.

Who do I contact if I need more information or have other questions?
Send an email to Chinesedrywall@leepa.org; call (239) 533-6125 or come into the office and see Tabatha Hipp.

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