Buying/Selling Real Estate
Anyone who has bought or sold a home in Florida knows that the contracts that govern the sales can be incredibly complicated. Real estate contracts contain many terms that require the parties to take certain actions and provide them with specific remedies if the other party fails to do what they are suppose to do. Included in those terms are contingencies and this post will discuss those in more detail.
A contingency is a term that must be completed for a contract to go through. For example, a common contingency that readers may see in residential real estate contracts regards loan procurement. The purchase of the home may be contingent upon the buyer obtaining a loan to cover the costs of the home and meet their financial needs.
Many contingencies are standard and appear in practically all real estate purchase agreements. Others may be specific to the needs of the parties. While the purchase of a home may be made contingent on the home passing all regular inspections, it may also be made contingent on a buyer selling their existing home before closing on their new home.
Because contingencies can make or break real estate contracts, it is a good idea to have attorneys involved in the home buying and selling process. These legal professionals can help their clients work through their agreements to ensure that they both understand and approve all the terms they will be bound to uphold. The failure of a person to fully understand their commitments under a real estate purchase agreement may land them in financial or legal difficulties later on.
Owning real estate often means dealing with various issues related to that property. For some, that may simply mean maintaining the property and paying a mortgage and property taxes. For others, this may mean complying with certain regulations concerning their parcel of land. Specifically, if there is a Home Owners Association, property owners not only have dues but must also comply with the rules set by their HOA. Failing to do so could result in a real estate dispute.
A family is Sarasota had to deal with a costly real estate matter concerning the fence they installed. Specifically, their HOA asserts that the fence does not comply with the size and type restrictions set by the HOA. This has resulted in the HOA fining the family $100 a day for the past two months. Additionally, they filed a lien against their home and even threatened a HOA foreclosure of their house.
The family stated that they installed their fence specifically for their adoptive son who is autistic. It was recommended by their doctor to install an un-climbable fence as a means to prevent the young boy from wandering off into the preserves and canals near their property. However, the family did not obtain permission before installing a fence that deviated from the HOA regulations.
This prompted the family to file a fair housing complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This matter settled between the parties before a ruling, which was the best resolution.
Navigating a real estate dispute can be complex and costly. Thus, it is imperative that property owners understand the situation at hand and how to move forward. A legal professional could help provide guidance on the matter, helping one protect their rights and obtain a favorable resolution.
TENANT RIGHTS - WITHOLDING RENT
83.60 allows a Tenant to withhold rent if the Landlord is in violation of Statute 83.51. This outlines the Landlord’s obligation to maintain the property.
83.51 states that they must:
1. Comply with the applicable, housing, and health codes
2. Maintain the roofs, windows, doors, floors, steps, porches
3. Extermination of rats, mice, roaches, ants.
If the Landlord violates 83.51, the Tenant can withhold rent if they send a 7 day notice to cure. The notice must be sent to the landlord 7 days before the time that the next rental payment is due.
If a Tenant fails to comply with 83.56 and proceeds to withhold rent, the Landlord can commence Proceedings. It is undeniable that many Landlords in Florida fail to maintain their property. However, if Tenants are going to enforce their rights, they must follow the required procedures to withhold rent.
Upon being served for failure to pay rent, a Tenant may raise the argument that the Landlord has failed to maintain the property. The Courts understand that they have been residing in an unsafe and inhabitable property. However, they will not allow them to raise this defense unless they complied with 83.60.
Tenant's rights can be very complicated and often tenants get bad advice from friends and loved ones or social media and find themselves out on the street. Please call our firm if you are facing a difficulties with your landlord
OWNER/LANDLORD RIGHTS -
When Can A Landlord Evict A Tenant In Florida?
When does a Landlord have the Right to Evict a Tenant in Florida?
(1) Tenant has failed to pay rent when it is due
(2) Tenant has committed a non-material violation of the lease, or
(3) Tenant has remained in the property as a Holdover Tenant.
A Tenant is responsible to pay rent every month. If they fail to pay on the agreed date, the Landlord can commence eviction proceedings by first serving the Tenant with a Three (3) day notice. If they fail to pay or vacate the property, the Landlord can file the Eviction.
Although a tenant must pay their rent on time, they can still be removed if they violate the lease for non-monetary reasons. These include but are not limited to:
(1) Allowing unauthorized occupants to live in the property without the Landlord’s consent
(2) Intentionally causing property damage to the residence
(3) Knowingly bringing drugs into the property or committing crimes at the property etc.
Unless the non-material violation cannot be cured, the Landlord must provide the Tenant with a Seven (7) Notice to Cure the Violation. If the Tenant fails to cure. they have the right to file an Eviction.
If a tenant continues to remain in the property after the expiration of the lease without the Landlord’s consent, the Landlord may commence an eviction. While they have the right to remove the Tenant through an eviction, the Landlord can recover double rent for the period of time the Tenant refuses to vacate.
An eviction not done properly can be very costly for the Owner/Landlord. Each step requires specific performance of the Florida Statute's requirements.
Call our firm to help you advoid making a costly mistake.