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Florida Land Use & Zoning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation and Energy, Oil and Gas for Florida on
Q: Do I have any recourse against a neighbor who installed solar panels on their roof which now causes glares into my house

At certain times of day I get a blinding glare from the sun’s reflection off their solar panels resulting in loss of use of my kitchen, breakfast nook, living room and patio. HOA says the laws are on their side and the homeowner will not do anything as their installer claims this would reduce... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Nov 28, 2022

Draw the blinds? You have no options against the installer. It's remotely possible you have a claim against the homeowner. You'd have to retain an attorney to research the law to determine if you have a case.

2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: I rent a house in florida. my neighbor has a big trailer that is parked on his land but trailer hovers over my land

The wheels are on his property but about 5 feet of the trailer sticks out into my yard where my kids play. would it be the same law if a tree branch from another yard hangs over your yard?

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
answered on Oct 19, 2022

Yes, in a technical and legal sense, your neighbor is trespassing because his trailer is encroaching upon your property. It is the same as when a neighbor's tree hanging over your house falls on your house. The neighbor would be liable.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Florida on
Q: My parents live in a mobile park owned by the local airport. The FAA is making them do away with the mobile park and

Residents will be displaced. Do they have an obligation to pay residents to relocate?

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Oct 11, 2022

If they own the mobile home but lease the land they are eligible for relocation assistance through the Florida Mobile Home Relocation Trust Corporation. It is administered by the Dept. of Business and Regulation (DBPR). They can contact DBPR at (850) 488-1122) for information.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Rights, Land Use & Zoning and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: What can be done if you rent from your significant other family and they force you out, threaten to call police

On 10-15/22 I was forced to leave a mobile home I had been renting from my ex-boyfriends family , I had been at work and returned home to my kids scared and panicking due to the nature of words and actions that had been taking place and I arrived home to me and my kids belongings being thrown out,... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Aug 10, 2022

Florida Statute 83.67 (6) provides that:

"A landlord who violates any provision of this section shall be liable to the tenant for actual and consequential damages or 3 months’ rent, whichever is greater, and costs, including attorney’s fees. Subsequent or repeated violations that...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law and Land Use & Zoning for Florida on
Q: Hello, I am interesting in leasing a suite and then renting out the rooms to licensed stylist or lash artists

What are the legal implications for doing this in Florida? What is the employer or technically landlord responsible for? Thank you

Keith Kanouse
Keith Kanouse
answered on Aug 9, 2022

I have a client that has done this as a franchisee. You have to find a location and negotiate a master lease with the landlord with the landlord understanding that you will be subdividing and subleasing the premises to various subtenants. You need to check that the zoning will allow the intended... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Can someone list and try to sell a property that they don't own without knowledge of the owner?

I am a California businessman who is conducting business in other states as well. I have an LLC in Florida and it owns two lots. Today, I realized that the lots have been listed for sale 40 days ago without my knowledge. I contacted the listing agent. He told me that his client is a land firm and... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Jul 29, 2022

You can report it to the authorities, but it doesn't appear that it would be worth your while to "pursue legal action" (i.e.: file a civil suit); you have not suffered any serious damages.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Florida on
Q: Any help on getting a neighbor to stop hooking up his fence on my property.

I am getting a new survey and nobody will look at old survey. The fence is on my property then connects with the neighbors. And every time I unhook the fence he will hook it back up on my property. The neighbor has owned the property for three years. And I have wrote him letters and told him to... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Jul 21, 2022

Is it your fence or did the previous owner of the neighbor's property place the fence on your property. If you own the fence and he is refusing to remove his fence from your fence then you will need to consult with a real estate lawyer to send him a letter. If that doesn't work you may... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law, Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Florida on
Q: I live in a "single family" tax district in Florida 0001 on property tax records.

my neighbor has a 2-story house. Ground floor was configured as a separate apartment for elderly parents. They died. Now neighbor rents out the ground floor for a fee ($3,000/month). Neighbor has no permit. Neighbor pays no taxes on the income. Is this legal in a single family dwelling?... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Jul 15, 2022

This is analogous to renting out rooms. Unless your neighbor is doing short-term rentals there are no permits required. I'm not sure how you know whether or not your neighbor pays taxes on the income. If it is a short-term rental there are taxes but if it is not a short-term rental the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Land Use & Zoning and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Aunt filed unlawful detainer. and told to move I'm on ssdi. what can I do for help

3 rivers won't help says conflict of int. I bought shed from a family member that doesn't live on property and I have been paying rent since Jan 2019 w/no complaint. It has electric and water. She let a granddaughter, kids, & her boyfriend move a shed & camper here and they made a... Read more »

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on Jun 19, 2022

You could try the Fla. Bar Lawyers Referral Service and ask for a Low Fee Panel attorney - see https://lrs.floridabar.org/

However, in the event that there is no law that protects you from the code enforcement authorities, there is little or nothing a lawyer can do. Schedule a consultation...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation and Land Use & Zoning for Florida on
Q: In FL is it illegal/can I be sued for building a fence off of my neighbors existing fence?

I bought my property less than a year ago. On the right side my neighbors already had a 4ft wire fence in place (about a 30 year old fence). My husband and I wanted to cross fence our property to make an area for our dogs. To do this we bought supplies and connected it to the existing boundary... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Jun 6, 2022

You do not become a joint owner of the fence. You are not allowed to attach anything to their fence without permission from the owner of the fence. I doubt they will give you permission now. Your best option is to put posts on your land and attach the fence to your posts. You might need to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: If I have a house on a canal or body of water what legal concerns come with renting out my dock for boaters to rent?

Do I have rights to rent my dock since I don't "own the water"? What happens if they crash into my dock? Any legal concerns or suits that can be brought against me as the dock owner?

Jane Kim
Jane Kim
answered on May 8, 2022

If they crash into your dock, you'd have a lawsuit against them.

If someone drowns and the heirs may blame you for poor maintenance of the dock.

Here is a good resource as to what you'd need to establish lease terms, responsibilities, disclaimers and protections:...
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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Question regarding ingress/egress easement maintenance rights

Question: Our access to our homes is through a platted ingress/egress over privately held land (outside of our subdivision). As homeowners using this easement, what rights do we have to make improvements to the easement? The plat shows the easement as a 50' wide easement; however, the path is... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on May 5, 2022

If you have an easement for access to your property, in general you have the right to maintain the roadway. So, within reason, the landowner cannot object if you make the improvements you mention.

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Land Use & Zoning for Florida on
Q: Opening a dog park/bar/cafe in Oakland Park Fl and wondering about zoning and permitting needed. It is b-2 zoning now.

We want to create a fun and safe space for dogs to socialize but also for humans to be able to have a drink, coffee, or sandwich while utilizing the wifi and getting some work done. We have a location in mind and it is b-2 zoning. We just are not sure if this is allowed or what we need to do to get... Read more »

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on May 4, 2022

Good idea; I would drop by with my dog if it flies. First speak to Oakland Park Planning & Zoning staff, and I recommend you go in person in order to review and discuss the list of uses permitted in that zoning category, and to discuss if your intended uses can fit with their interpretation of... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Florida on
Q: In Florida can you be trespassed for walking in a non-gated housing community that simply has a sign saying

"Private community for residents only" off of the public street?

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Apr 30, 2022

Arguably, when you read the sign, you were automatically "trespassed".

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Florida on
Q: Being denied building a pool in bc it is more than 20% of the total land. Shouldn’t it be 65% total for house and pool?

Section 517.6 of the LDC states, “Principal structures shall not cover more than forty-five (45) percent of the total lot area. Accessory structures may cover up to an additional twenty (20) percent of the total lot area beyond that allowed for the principal structure”

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Mar 4, 2022

It appears to me that there is a disagreement regarding the area of the proposed pool. You write that you are being denied a permit because the proposed pool would be more than 20% of the lot area. If that is correct, assuming a pool is an "accessory structure", you are asking to be... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: How long do I have to respond to a home owner association letter after receiving. Ex they told me to pressure wash s

Four days ago I received a letter that I needed to pressure wash the side of my house. Two days after I receive the letter I went outside and pressure wash the side of my house and it is squeaky clean. Four days after receiving the letter they sent somebody out to come and pressure wash my house... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Mar 2, 2022

You apparently fixed the problem within the 4 days, so what is the difficulty? Did you respond in writing to their ultimatum??

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Appeals / Appellate Law, Environmental and Land Use & Zoning for Florida on
Q: Live in a CDD, adjacent to StormWater Area & wetland. Purchased for privacy. Area behind my home is floodzone AE.

There's a "No Public Access" permit condition in deed restrictions, "no public access" sign at entrance. The plat illegally shows "RECREATION"

People ignored the sign, talking and disturbing me at all hours. Property Mgmt sent a letter stating the area... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Feb 19, 2022

You can use the “Find a Lawyer” link on this page. Lawyers cannot contact you first. The dismissal with prejudice seems very harsh just for not attaching the documents.

Q: Can I sue city to recover excessive fines?

I was fined 16k for violating city code on short term rentals. I moved so didn't receive the 1st notice warning and they did not post it at the house as required once returned. I received a notification to appear before special magistrate a few months later. I hadnt rented short term for a... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
answered on Feb 1, 2022

Sure anyone can sue anyone else at any time for anything--including this situation.

But I don't recommend trying it without a lawyer.

Whether you have a good claim or not depends on what the code violations were for.

Hire a lawyer to investigate this case and advise you on what to do.

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Florida on
Q: Can my next door neighbor build a fence on an easment

We share a driveway

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Jan 29, 2022

If the fence would impair your use of your easement, no. Talk to the building department about any permit it has issued. Or, if nothing else would work, see an attorney about getting an injunction.

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