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Florida Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Under statute 472.029 If a surveyor goes onto property that he is not surveying to gain access to a existing monument

when he has access to that location by staying on the property he is authorized to survey and then he is ask to leave that property under FS810.09b. Is he trespassing if it was not NECESSARY for him to be on property of others to get to the monument? If not how does 472.029 supersede 810.09b

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on May 15, 2022

The word "necessary" is the key. For example, depending on the circumstances, it might be possible to access the monument without going over the property of others, but if the alternative route is much more difficult, it would probably be "necessary" to cross property of others.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Rent application fee not refunded after a misleading listing. What are my options?

I recently moved to the US on a non-immigrant work VISA. Before moving, I was evaluating apts to rent and found this agency that had an apartment (~$2000 rent) which seemed good for me.

I went through the application process on their official website. Paid around $600 in application fee +... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on May 13, 2022

So, they have acknowledged that they owe you the money; that is good. It is only a matter of getting the check to you. It appears to have been lost in the mail; that happens. Ask them to write you a new check and stop payment on the old one. Or consider picking it up at their office.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: The lots & trailers in an IN seasonal campground are all owned by individual owners. Is this a Class 3 Recreation or HOA

Is it a Community Association (which, in IN Community Associations are only for transient properties, or non-owners), or an HOA (for owners), or is it considered a Class 3 Recreation (which the Board is now saying) even though all owners pay (HOA) dues. Thank you.

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on May 12, 2022

There is not enough information to answer your question and it would really need to be reviewed by a lawyer who can check any recorded documents against the property. The definition of a HOA is the duty to pay assessments to an association who has the authority to lien and foreclose on the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: There is HOA of rental pool for buyers to sign before sale but I able to get certificate of title via clerk of court.

Will I be mandated to sign the rental pool agreement ? What if I rejected to sign the rental pool agreement and I want to live in the property since I already have ownership by paying the assessment fee as per their association rules. I would like to know my options.

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on May 12, 2022

there are not enough facts in your post to answer your question and you need a lawyer to review the association documents to provide you with a proper answer. If you are going to buy or sell real estate you need a lawyer to review these before you make a decision you might be stuck with. The fact... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts, Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Dispute POA

My father lives in Florida. I live in California.

He added my name and my brothers name to the deed of his condo (no mortgage) in 2017.

In 2021 my brother passed away. In March 2022 my brothers widow was given POA over my father and added herself to the Quitclaim deed without my... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on May 11, 2022

And you want to know whether the power of attorney and the deed can be annulled, and you can examine the bank accounts? You need to retain a Florida attorney for the purpose of adjudicating your father incompetent as of the date of the POA.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I am in Florida. The title company wants me to sign a warranty deed with $10.00 as the selling price. Why is this?

Am I knowing signing a legal document I know not to be true?

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on May 10, 2022

$10 will be part of the consideration, in addition to the rest paid you. You need a FL attorney to advise you how to conduct a real property conveyance. Hire him to explain what a Warranty Deed is, and whether you should convey or not.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I want to buy a condo & found out there is a lawsuit being filed against the HOA re insurance issue should I walk away?

HOA for the past 12 yrs has been undercharging some units while overcharging some units for the insurance.

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on May 9, 2022

That does not make sense since insurance is a common expense. Insurance is not charged to individual units as a separate charge but included in the total of all expenses. The way budgets for condo associations work is the board determines how much is needed to pay all operating expenses for the... 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:...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I am closing on a home in 3 weeks. Previous buyer from months ago was allowed to tear out flooring, and purchased tile.

Their contract fell through before closing.

The tile is on pallets in the garage. Previous buyer is stalling on removing it. (Mind you this is from like 6 months ago) What obligation, if any, do I have to preserve this product, and wait for previous buyer to remove it after the closing.... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on May 6, 2022

You should insist that at or before closing you get either a release of claim for the tiles signed by the previous buyer, or a bond from the seller and an agreement to hold you harmless should you dispose of the tiles.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Can I sue my ex-employer for utilizing my notary seal while not in my possession? I requested my stamp be shipped...

I moved from Florida to Tn (12/23/2021) to take care of my mother who was ill. Between 12/23/2021 - 03/25/22 my ex-employer is an outsource company servicing mortgage related products. Notarization of mortgage closing documents, supplemental docs needed to record of land records, etc is a major... Read more »

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

You cannot sue unless you were damaged by other persons using your seal. But the documents that were fraudulently notarized may be invalid. You should immediately notify whoever issued your notarial bond; they may have serious liability issues.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Florida real estate law question

Question: We live in Columbia County, Florida in a "subdivision" (using the term loosely as it is mostly vacant lots with only a couple built houses; there has never been an HOA). It was platted and created in 1986, and covenants were recorded. A couple houses were built on two of the... Read more »

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

The Marketable Record Title Act is a complicated piece of legislation. A title search has to be performed on all lots in the subdivision. Covenants can be expired against one lot but not another depending on language in any record title transaction going back to the "root of title."... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Florida real estate law question

Question: We live in Columbia County, Florida in a "subdivision" (using the term loosely as it is mostly vacant lots with only a couple built houses; there has never been an HOA). It was platted and created in 1986, and covenants were recorded. A couple houses were built on two of the... Read more »

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

No, a mere majority can't change the covenants; if even one landowner refuses to agree, revised covenants would not apply to that landowner.

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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.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Is it legal for an agent to sell her clients properties to her broker without disclosing and resell them before closing?

My son signed a contract to sell 4 inherited properties for far undervalue. His agent never had him sign a listing agreement or listed on MLS, now he found out the buyer is her broker. Same agent has contract to sell 1 of the properties for 50k more and has put signs on others. She insists a... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on May 4, 2022

Your son needs to consult with a real estate lawyer immediately. This is not something you are going to be able to resolve with advice on the internet because a lawyer needs to review the contract and any other documents he signed.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: What actions can I take against my HOA for not removing a tree that has fallen against another tree above my driveway?

I live in FL in a townhouse end unit with a nature conservation on the side of my house. A recent storm knocked down a tree in the common area and it is now leaning against another tree above my driveway the branches were also blocking the driveway entry until I had them removed. I submitted a... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on May 3, 2022

You have a duty to mitigate your damages but you also have to be careful with HOAs because they will claim you improperly removed one of their trees. Document with lots of pictures that are date/time stamped and then send the HOA a statutory offer of pre-suit mediation by certified mail, return... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: We paid a special assessment to our HOA in full. We then sold our unit prior to the completion of the project.

The final price of the project was $6,700-per-unit less than the assessed amount.

The HOA refunded this amount to the current owners, not to the parties that actually paid the assessment.

Legally, this does not seem right.

Are we, the party who actually paid the... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on May 2, 2022

I agree it doesn't seem right but Fla. Stat. 718.115(3) states "Common surplus is owned by unit owners in the same shares as their ownership interest in the common elements." It does not state it is owned by the unit owner who paid the assessment. Fla. Stat. 718.116(10) even states... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: We paid a special assessment to our HOA in full. We then sold our unit prior to the completion of the project.

The final price of the project was $6,700-per-unit less than the assessed amount.

The HOA refunded this amount to the current owners, not to the parties that actually paid the assessment.

Legally, this does not seem right.

Are we, the party who actually paid the... Read more »

Jane Kim
Jane Kim answered on May 2, 2022

The owner at the time of the refund receives the refund.

You sold the unit and no longer have a claim to anything related to the unit.

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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Real Estate Law and Elder Law for Florida on
Q: Can my husband take my homes from me that i purchased one prior to marriage one during marriage?

Can i sell home purcahsed during marriage if he is on deed but not on mortgage. can he take equity of the home prior to marriage not on deed or mortgage. but on deed on home purchased during marriage.

Rand Scott Lieber
Rand Scott Lieber answered on Apr 27, 2022

A spouse gains a property interest in real property (homes) during the marriage. This interest is independent of the deed (names on title) or the mortgage. A property can remain non-marital if there is a prenuptial agreement. Otherwise you will need the court's help to separate the marital and... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Florida on
Q: Instead of buying a property with a closing can I just transfer the ownership of the LLC which owns the property?

The property is located in Florida, currently owned by a Florida LLC with one member. The property has no mortgage or liens. I would be 'owner financing' it with the current owner to avoid closing costs and a taxable value increase.

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Apr 25, 2022

The purpose of a closing is to protect you and the seller of the property. If you believe the "property has no mortgage or liens", you must have had a title search done, and presumably want title insurance to protect you in case whoever did the title search missed something. Also, the... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for Florida on
Q: Can I build a fence on my neighbors property with an "Exclusive Ingress/Egress Landscape and Wall Easement"?

Our "subdivision", built in 2005, is a collection of 1+ acre lots cut up from a former orange grove. There are no traditional subdivision roads. Instead each group of four parcels shares a non-exclusive ingress/egress easement. Our lot is at the end of one of these easements and there... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Apr 23, 2022

Sure, depending on the exact terms of the easement. It appears that the "exclusive" was included to make sure that only you, or subsequent owners of your lot, could use the easement for access. But if it also includes a "wall" easement, it should be no problem for you to build... Read more »

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