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Questions Answered by Richard Paul Zaretsky
2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: My father and my aunt passed away and they had a house. What do I need to do to get it in my name
Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Aug 6, 2020

As stated by others, you need an attorney that can handle the probate of the two estates. The problem is to get the property transferred to whomever it is supposed to go to - whether by Last Will or by Statute (or possibly by the way the deed is written or any trust owning the property), you will... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Civil Rights for Florida on
Q: can a condo association ban a person from own unit for not wearing a mask
Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Aug 3, 2020

Interesting you say this is Civil Rights. I am not sure what civil right you refer to. There is no civil right to put your neighbor in harm's way. "Do unto your neighbor as you would do unto yourself." Does that sound familiar?

So with that in mind, the Association most...
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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Animal / Dog Law for Florida on
Q: If I adopt a pet from a pet rescue, does said paid belong to me or am I just 'renting' it from the agency?

I recently got a cat from a pet rescue. When adopting the cat I had to fill out a lengthy adoption contract. A few parts concerned me and I was hoping someone could provide clarification.

"1: I understand that I am not PURCHASING a pet but ADOPTING and SAVING THE LIFE of a homeless... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Jul 5, 2020

The answer is simple and you wrote it in your question.

I understand the adoption fee is a donation and is non-refundable for ANY reason other than a vet's written confirmation of the pet being terminally ill within 7 days of this adoption.

So you did not "pay"...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: This relates to a real estate contract, we are the buyers. The purchase and sale agreements lists the washer and dryer

We did the walk thru yesterday to discover the seller had removed the two items. Have the sellers defaulted on the agreement and do we have the right to cancel and get our deposit back?

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Jun 2, 2020

The inclusion of the washer and dryer are material to the contract. Therefore if the washer and dryer were removed, you don't have to close as the seller has breached the contract. You can set the condition of closing to be that the same or better washer and dryer are replaced and put in the... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: What do I need to do to purchase vacant lot behind us. Owner has agreed to price. What do we do next?

she wants us to handle it all and I do not really know where to start. I have been told I do not need a lawyer or realtor, please advise.

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on May 29, 2020

True, you don't need a realtor - and that is because you already have a buyer and seller agreeable to the transaction. But you absolutely should have an attorney to draw up the contract and the closing documents and perhaps supply you with title insurance, if appropriate, or a title search to... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: can i defer payment for condo association in broward county florida for 2nd qtr maintenance fees due to covid 19 issues

i am asking as a homeowner my hoa for a repayment or forebearance payment plan with condo association they denied any type of repayment plans related due to covid 19

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on May 9, 2020

There is no Covid-19 related law or regulation that affects this type of financial obligation. The due date is the due date and any extension is up to the association. Your question is unclear but it seems they denied your request. The association has its own obligations and that is why the... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: If 2 people own as joint tenants with survivorship, can 1 of those tenants deed their interest to a third person?

Can 1 of those joint tenants transfer their interest to a third person without the other joint tenant's signature?

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on May 9, 2020

The answer is yes. And it can be done without telling the other joint tenant. That is one of the little known drawbacks of joint tenancy. Just understand that the property interest sold in your case, would be 50%.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Is anyone liable for a botched real estate escrow holdback that was intended to repair and ac post closing?

I bought a single family home with a known broken ac. We wanted the ac fixed but the ac company could not come for for 3 weeks so we elected not to delay closing and just set aside money in an escrow hold back to repair and service ac post closing. Our closing attorney held the repair money in... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Apr 21, 2020

If your escrow agreement was well drafted, the answer should be yes, the escrow agent had no business releasing the funds unilaterally and is responsible for a gross breach of its duty as an escrow agent.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: I have been with the father of my children for 11 years. The house is in his name only. Without a will, if something

Were to happen to him (God forbid), what would happen to the house? Would it go to our children (they're only 6 and 3)?

He recently got in a car accident, and luckily was ok, but just got me thinking about the future! Thanks!

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Apr 15, 2020

It would be best if he transferred the property to you and himself, as husband and wife. Then upon the demise of the first of you, the other spouse would have full title to the property. Without your name on the deed, you would get a life estate in the property with ownership to your children,... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law, Banking and Civil Rights for Florida on
Q: COVID 19 Reporting to Credit Agency and Negatively affecting borrower after being promised it would not be.

A lender reported to credit agency during COVID 19 Forbearance. It negatively affected a refinance and canceled closing. I was informed it would not be reported and would not negatively affect us in anyway since we are current. Did they break law reporting it and affecting my refinance that was... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Apr 10, 2020

From the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau:

Credit reporting under the CARES Act

The recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act places special requirements on companies that report your payment information to credit reporting companies. These...
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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I am buying a house with my boyfriend ! I need to set up a document that says that if I die my 50% goes to my children
Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Apr 9, 2020

This can be done rather simply with the proper wording in the deed you receive from the seller. An attorney representing YOU should be used to get it right. You may also want to take it one step further and prepare and execute a Last Will and Testament and/or a trust to hold your interest in the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Our COA has decided to prevent owners from accessing their own condos due to covid-19. Is this legal?
Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Apr 1, 2020

I can tell that you are not giving us the whole story.

I very much doubt that owners are prevented from accessing their units. But the use of the unit can be restricted. The building can decide to put itself on "lock-down" to protect its residents. in the covid-19 world,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: We sold our house via wraparound mortgage and buyer has stopped making payments. We still owe and continue to make...

payments to our original loan.

Is foreclosure required instead of eviction?

If so, can we do a DYI Foreclosure, i.e. - file all required documents, appear in court, etc.

I do not expect the buyer to contest the foreclosure (or hopefully, the eviction) as he cannot afford to make the payments.

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Mar 22, 2020

The answer is a foreclosure.

Filing a residential foreclosure is a mind field of regulations not to mention the law. These regulations are all to protect the borrower - not you as the lender!

Get an attorney and do it right - it should only cost a few thousand dollars plus some...
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Q: Working for a company and having Medical marijuana

Is it illegal for an employer to refuse to hire someone due to smoking marijuana even if they have a medical marijuana card? The company is saying they have a strict "drug free policy" and cannot excuse marijuana from the drug screening even if a medical card is provided. The type of job... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Mar 16, 2020

The employer is entitled to set requirements for the job. If qualifying in a drug free environment is one of the requirements, then you right (in Florida) to use medical marijuana does not exempt you from that requirement. For example, the employer can require that no person working can take cold... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I live in WV. My father passed away in 2013 and left his Florida home to my 2 sisters and myself. I had it probated 2013

My older sister has died and my other sister and myself want to sell the house. How do we remove her name on deed and do I need to real estate attorney

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Mar 16, 2020

My condolences on your loss.

An examination of the deed in which you and your siblings own the property needs to be made. If the ownership was by survivorship, then you do not need to probate the sister's estate. If not, then probate to authorize the administrator to sign for her...
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5 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: My aunt just passed away recently. In her Will she's left me her condominium, her vehicle, life insurance policy,..

.. And bank accounts. I've lived with her for almost 6 years. I just received her urn and death certificates. My first question is: When I received the death certificates, there was no cause of death listed. (She passed away from lymphoma) Is that normal in the state of Florida not to list... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Mar 7, 2020

No need to be nervous - just use an attorney to file a probate administration. Depending on the value of the estate assets, you may be able to file a "summary administration" which should take all of 2 or 3 weeks.

Your issue is that you need a court to appoint someone to get all...
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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: my purchase agreement indicates seller pay up to 3% of buyer's closing cost. Is that 3% of purchase price?

I am the seller. in the buyer's purchase agreement it indicates seller pay up to 3% of buyer's closing cost including prepaid. Is that 3% of purchase price? my agent told me at time of signing its 3% of closing cost.

now its closing soon the title company calculates 3% of purchase... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Mar 5, 2020

Traditionally and customarily it would be 3% of the purchase price. Proper wording would have been "Seller shall Buyer's closing costs up to 3% of the purchase price".

The language you have is probably a mistake and if you think it is 3% of the closing costs, then you and...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I’m currently trying to purchase a few lots but they have un paid liens on them. Do I have to pay those liens?

Is there a way for me not to pay those liens on the property?

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Jan 8, 2020

Typically in a traditional sale, all liens and encumbrances on a property are satisfied at or before closing by the seller. If you are buying the property in other than a traditional sale scenario, you should seek out an attorney to assist you and avoid putting yourself in harms way.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Florida on
Q: I have been penalized for homestead exemption abuse because I did not move my homestead. Is there any relief I can seek?

I purchased a small townhouse in 2012 and made it my homestead. I later purchased a home but I kept the townhouse and rented it. I sold the home and purchased another and then another. Each time I moved into the home and lived there from 1 to 4 years. The mistake I made was never canceling and... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Aug 10, 2019

Unfortunately, ignorance is not an excuse to the law. You were rightfully tagged for your mistake. I have been through this before with clients and, indeed the ignorance argument is always used and always loses. You have no choice but to pay up and file homestead (hopefully with portability) on... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Agreement of sale signed, contingent upon VA appraisal. Appraisal came in considerably under agreement.

Seller would not negotiate and offer was withdrawn. Bank would only finance VA appraised value. Withdrew from contract. Home was placed back on market and now is pending. VA did a ROV and increased appraised value to a figure that would have worked for the sale. Do I have any... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Apr 1, 2019

You could negotiate again with the seller and try to enter into a new contract at the known appraisal number. But since you did not get an extension of the contract while the ROV was pending and instead terminated it based on the lower appraisal, you have no recourse against anyone.

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