Page Banner

FAQ: Use of State-Owned Land

How do I know if property is currently under lease or state-owned?
Send a location map listing the section/township/range to the Uplands Leasing Section of the Division of State Lands. They will submit a request to the Title and Land Records Section for a determination of any encumbrances, such as an upland lease or easement, on the property. You also may call 850-245-2555.

The county property records show that TIITF is listed as the owner of an upland. What does TIITF stand for?
TIITF is short for Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the State of Florida – the entity that holds title to state-owned lands in Florida.

Must I pay a fee to use state lands?
This depends on the applicant and the proposed use. Fees must be consistent with rules and regulations (Chapter 253, F.S., and Rule 18-2, F.A.C.). For example, a governmental entity, such as a city, can lease state-owned conservation lands for public recreational purposes for $300 annually pursuant to Rule 18-2, F.A.C., subject to:

  1. Determination that no state agency needs the area for lease.
  2. Approval of the lease by the Acquisition and Restoration Council. Private citizen requests are handled on a case-by-case basis, and any revenue-generating activities on state-owned lands must be competitively bid unless the Board of Trustees (Governor and Cabinet) determine the project is in the public interest.

What is an easement?
An easement is a non-possessory interest in uplands created by a grant or agreement, which gives the applicant the limited right, liberty and privilege to use uplands for a specific purpose, term and fee. Easements provide a less-than-fee interest in the property.

What can be done about a neighbor placing trash over his property line?
Unless there is state-owned property involved, the Board of Trustees has no jurisdiction. Contact local law enforcement.

How are reservations released?
There are three types of reservations:

  • Oil and mineral reservations (right-of-entry and exploration only)
  • Road right-of-way reservations
  • Canal reservations.

The application and instruction sheet explaining the requirements for obtaining releases of reservations are available under Links and Resources. You may also contact the Division of State Lands’ Bureau of Public Land Administration at 850-245-2555. An application is not needed for releasing right-of-way entry and exploration for oil and mineral reservations on parcels less than 20 acres (270.11, F.S.).

For parcels larger than 20 acres, the developer must submit an affidavit certifying that each parcel will be a permanent building site and identifying what will be built, the proposed dates of construction and indicating the land will not involve phosphate mineral, metal or petroleum extraction.

What is the process for obtaining a lease or easement over state lands?

The application forms are available under Links and Resources (Use of State-Owned Lands). You also may contact DEP's Division of State Lands at 850-245-2555 for an upland lease or upland easement application. If applying for lease or easement, complete the appropriate application and return it to the Division of State Lands with all materials requested in the application, plus a $300 nonrefundable processing fee.

Submerged Land Leases

I want to build a dock on private property. Whom should I contact for permitting? 
Contact the local DEP district office for the county where the facility will be located.

I want to obtain a submerged land lease. Whom should I contact for permitting?

Contact the local DEP district office for the county where the facility will be located.

How can I determine the status of a lease once the Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) has been approved?
Contact the Division of State Lands at 850-245-2555.

How can I modify or change a submerged lands lease?
To change boundaries or revise lease conditions of a leased area, contact the DEP district office for the county where the facility is located. For renewals and assignments to a new upland owner, contact the Division of State Lands at 850-245-2555. All fees must be current and income reported before any modification will be allowed.

How long will it take to process a lease?
From the time the Division of State Lands receives a lease package from the district office, it takes approximately three to five weeks before the lease is mailed to the lessee for execution.

How long are the terms of a lease?
Most leases have a standard term of five years. If a facility is 90% open to the general public for rent on a first come, first served basis, then it would have a standard 10-year lease term (18-21.008(1) F.A.C.). Some leases may qualify for a term up to 25 years if they meet the criteria in 18-21.008(2)(a) F.A.C.

Whom can I contact for survey information on state lands leases?
Contact the Division of State Lands at 850-245-2555.

Who must pay a Submerged Land Lease Fee?
This is defined in Rule 18-21, F.A.C., which potentially includes single-family homes, condominiums and commercial marinas.

When is the annual fee due?
Annual fees are due on the anniversary date of the lease, which is the date the lease was executed. Lease holders may expect to receive annual invoices 15-30 days prior to the anniversary date.

What is the rate that is used to calculate the Annual Submerged Land Lease Fee?
The rate is a five-year average of the Consumer Price Index, and the current rate is .156623. This rate is updated every March 1, pursuant to Rule 18-21, F.A.C.

How is the Annual Submerged Land Lease Fee calculated?
[(Square Feet times Rate) Less Discount)] Plus Surcharge, if applicable, or 6% of the gross revenue received from the use, whichever is greater.

Is this 6% state tax?
No, Rule 18-21.011 (1) (a) 1., F.A.C., states that you pay an annual submerged land lease fee or 6% of the gross revenue generated on state-owned property, whichever is greater. It is defined as the lease payment for using state-owned property.

Are discounts available to marina owners? How do they qualify?
There is a 10% Clean Marina discount for facilities that qualify; marina owners must contact the Clean Marina Program and meet their qualifications. There is a 30% discount for facilities that are open to the public on a first come, first served basis. A marina must be 90% or greater open to anyone, with no qualifying requirements and with only a one-year lease term.

All publications for the facility must state this and have signs landward and waterward of the docking facility.

Who is responsible for reporting the revenue for a wet slip?
The state lands leaseholder is responsible for reporting all revenue received either directly for the use of a wet slip or revenue received by another party for the use of a wet slip within that leaseholder’s lease boundary.

Are leaseholders required to report revenue?
Every state lands leaseholder is responsible for reporting the revenue received either directly or indirectly on an annual basis through a self-report form mailed to them each year with the annual base invoice. The report is to be completed and returned by each leaseholder in compliance with the terms and conditions of the lease, regardless of revenue.

May wet slips (boat slips) be bought or sold?
Facilities that are required by their lease terms to be open to the public on a first come, first served basis may offer 10% of their slips for exclusive use. Facilities that are not required by their lease terms to be open to the public on a first come, first served basis may offer exclusive rights to use for all wet slips (boat slips).

Is it legal that a condominium provides a wet slip as an amenity?
It is legal to give an exclusive right to use a wet slip and include reference to that exclusive right in a warranty deed. The wet slip should not be included in the legal description or any claim to the bottom land be stated in the warranty deed. There should also be an exclusive right to use document issued between the leaseholder and the warranty deed owner.

The exclusive rights document shall state that there is no claim to the sovereign lands and reference the lease and the term, Rule 18-21.011, F.A.C., and information in regard to the 6% that is due on the entire sale transaction attributable to the wet slip. This includes slips that belong to an upland home.

Wet slip use agreements should not be contrary to other documents presented to DEP at the time the lease was issued, such as but not limited to the declaration of condominium and its recorded uses of common area and limited common area.

Where do I mail lease fees?
Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division of State Lands, P.O. Box 3070, Tallahassee, FL 32315-3070.

Whom do I make my lease fee check payable to?
Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Last Modified:
March 14, 2024 - 12:34pm

Some content on this site is saved in an alternative format. The following icons link to free Reader/Viewer software:
PDF: | Word: | Excel: