Pensacola, FL asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts, Consumer Law and Real Estate Law for Florida

Q: Can a plat map be used as a road disclosure in closing documents, even though there is a abutting road disclosure

At closing we were not told about the retention pond and the private road. There was a abutting road disclosure. Nothing else. There was a line about you must join the HOA and follow the CCR. The CCR’s were not given prior to closing. Hidden in there was a line about the HOA being responsible for the pond. But nothing about the street. Then when I asked the builder, their title attorney sent me multiple documents thatI signed, non that mentioned the private roadway. After several emails he sent over the survey play. The one that shows the property line and setbacks, it does show the words in the street Private R/W but no where does it use the word “disclosure” it’s a plat map. Can they use that as a “disclosure”? I find this really misleading and so does a majority of or neighbors.

2 Lawyer Answers

A: This is why it is so important to have your own real estate lawyer represent you in a transaction. You will now need one to review your closing documents, the HOA documents, your survey of your property and the neighborhood plat, which often attached to the HOA documents but not always. The HOA documents and the plat are public record and owners are deemed to have constructive notice of their contents by virtue of accepting a deed in a HOA community.

The seller has the duty to provide you with a disclosure summary which states in part "THERE HAVE BEEN OR WILL BE RECORDED RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS GOVERNING THE USE AND OCCUPANCY OF PROPERTIES IN THIS COMMUNITY." A buyer has three (3) days to cancel a purchase agreement if the disclosure summary is not provided but must do so before the closing.

We cannot review your documents in this online forum but based on your statement of the facts it is likely the private roadway is legitimate.

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky
  • West Palm Beach, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: This transaction was apparently cancellable by you BEFORE the closing. But once you closed, you could not terminate the transfers.

All the information was apparently available and in the title commitment you received and in the public records. You did not have the knowledge of what to look for and you had no one to advise you. That was your choice. The result is you were lacking a lot of information that was available to you - if you looked and understood what you were looking for. Key words in your mind weren't seen, but that does not mean the information was not there.

Good luck on the new house and I hope it works out for you.

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