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Fort Lauderdale Real Estate Law Blog

Homeowners association and Florida law: Can an owner sue?

Homeowners associations (HOAs) have rules. Before buying property, HOAs generally give potential homeowners a copy of these rules. These rules can include landscaping guidelines, rules regarding the use of pool and other common areas and even parking regulations within the community. The HOA requires those who live within the community to abide by these rules.

Home closing paperwork: 3 FAQs

Buying a home is an exciting and terrifying moment. This seesaw ride of emotions often hits the low, or terrifying, end when we sit down to finalizing the transaction. The closing process involves a lot of paperwork. What is all this paperwork? Is it all important? What do we need to read?

This piece will provide some information to help better answer these questions.

Florida real estate trend: Jump in sales after natural disaster?

A recent publication by real estate experts reports an increase in real estate transactions in areas that were devastated by Hurricane Michael. The publication notes that during the first half of 2019 the market increased by 15.5%. That translates to over 2,000 homes sold in Bay County alone.

Do arbitration agreements in FL connect to the land?

Real estate contracts are complex. Each provision can have a huge effect on future issues and a failure to properly review and negotiate provisions during a sale can result in unforeseen consequences. The property owner who finds themselves with a defective piece of real estate may experience the full impact of these provisions after the purchase is complete.

A recent case provides an example.

FL city claims woman owes $100,000 for failure to maintain lawn

A small city near Tampa has cracked down on property owners who violate laws and regulations designed to “protect the integrity of neighborhoods and quality of the community.” The laws can regulate everything from how long a property owner’s grass can grow to when and what type of vehicle can be parked in the driveway or on the neighborhood street.

A recent example involves a property owner who received a bill for over $100,000 from the city. The property owner ignored the letter, thinking it was a scam. The city sued to collect. In the lawsuit, the city claimed the property owner had failed to maintain the grass and pool within her property. This led to “overgrown vegetation” and a “stagnant” pool.

FL real estate case takes on underwater cables and land use

The real estate dispute involves an international telecommunications company and a local company with beach property. The local company states the telecommunications company is illegally using its beach property by placing underwater cables across its beaches. Lower courts agreed with the local company and granted it a writ of possession. This is a legal term that essentially means the telecommunications company must return possession of the land to the local business.

Can a buyer or seller get out of a real estate contract?

Purchasing or selling a piece of real estate is often an individual or family's largest financial transaction. Since so much is on the line, frustration can run high for both parties if the transaction does not move forward. Whether a new job, financial problems, health issues or a change of heart are to blame for either the seller or buyer attempting to back out of the deal, both parties can benefit from a basic understanding of remedies for each party when one attempts to cancel the contract.

Before diving in, it is important to note the exact answer will depend on the details of the contract, the following are generally true.

SCOTUS property ruling may benefit Florida property owners

It began with a cemetery. A local government told the owner of a 90-acre parcel of land that included a small cemetery that regulations required she open the cemetery to the public during daytime hours. The woman fought back. She argued against having her private property opened up for the general public to view the remains of her neighbor’s ancestors.

She took the matter to court. The state court claimed the regulation did not cause the property owner harm. She appealed her argument to the federal courts. The federal courts stated, based on very old precedent, that she needed to continue her claim up through the state system — that it was too soon to take the matter to federal courts.

Millennials: Want to own property in Florida? Follow these tips.

Millennials face financial struggles that other generations did not. Student loans bog down millennials with massive debt while they attempt to navigate often saturated work markets. Those who find employment and are wise with their investments can still set themselves up to own property while in their thirties — even in Florida’s high cost housing market.

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