Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
Florida Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
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 »

View More Answers

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 »

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 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.

View More Answers

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 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.

View More Answers

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 »

View More Answers

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.

View More Answers

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 »

View More Answers

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.

View More Answers

0 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Landlord/rental company double charging fees to millions of customers. Is it legal to add fees after lease is signed?

We are renting from a huge company with millions of homes. There was a rate increase because of inflation, property taxes, gas, etc... we renewed our lease and then a month later they sent us an email stating we were going to start being charged an additional $16 a month for trash and storm water.... Read more »

0 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Landlord to charge extra $16 month for trash and storm water. already signed lease and they have a million tenants

I signed and renewed my lease last year in june, then in july they sent an email claiming they would have to charge us an extra $16 a month for trash and storm water which they didnt do the year before. $16 isnt a lot of money but they also raised our rent $160 due to inflation, property taxes,... Read more »

0 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Month from closing on house Final approval for loan needs student loan off record Will be taken care of in 6 days cance

Sorry bad question wording. We are a month from closing on our home, 3 weeks from first blue tape walkthrough. We have been working to get a defaulted student loan off my wifes credit. Will be all caught up on Thursday then can be submitted to be taken off the CAIVR report. They called today to... Read more »

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 »

0 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: in Florida a license is needed to sell Mobile homes law states that you can sell one or more M. Homes in 12 mo.

does that mean the home owner can't sell their own home, without a license? in a related question, to what extend can I have a friend help me if I am out of state; i.e. can they show the mobile home for me?

0 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Civil Rights for Florida on
Q: neighbors harassing me and my children since we moved in. Yesterday he banged on my door yelling at me and my toddler.

I was just in an accident and having trouble getting around just from the bedroom to bathroom. It’s been since the 3rd day we moved in. I get it can be noisy but why should my toddler have to sit on a couch and watch tv all day just to please them downstairs. Is there anything I can do seeing how... 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 »

View More Answers

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.