Articles Posted in Real Estate

New Florida Law Protects Design Professionals…And Geologists, Too
James W. Martin

Architects, interior designers, landscape architects, engineers, surveyors, and geologists licensed in Florida can breathe a sigh of relief. The Legislature and Governor have given them a new law to limit their liability for negligence, in certain cases, if they jump through the right hoops. And it does not take effect until July 1, 2013. So,…

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Does A Florida Mortgage Become Unenforceable 2 Years After Death?
James W. Martin

The mortgage follows the note. So, if the note becomes unenforceable, does the mortgage become unenforceable? The Florida Probate Code provides a 2-year statute of limitations on creditor claims, in addition to the 3-month statute of limitations on claims by reasonably ascertainable creditors. If a lender fails to file a claim within 2 years after…

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Florida Home Looked Like Homestead But Wasn’t
James W. Martin

When a Florida resident dies, the Florida Constitution protects the surviving spouse and minor children from becoming homeless by prohibiting the decedent from leaving the homestead to anyone else. It says “[t]he homestead shall not be subject to devise if the owner is survived by spouse or minor child.” That seems pretty clear. But, apparently,…

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Florida Landlords Might Get Liens From Tenant Construction
James W. Martin

Florida landlords have for many years been allowed to include a provision in their leases prohibiting construction liens (mechanics liens) for construction ordered by their tenants. This is not always fair to the contractors who do the work and don’t get paid, especially when the work improves the landlord’s land, so the 2011 Florida Legislature…

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Which State’s Laws Apply When Someone Dies Owning Real Property in More Than One State?
James W. Martin

Many Florida residents own real property in other states. So, a frequent question is: which state law applies when a decedent owns assets in more than one state? The answer depends on two things: Domicile of Decedent. The first question is where was the decedent’s domicile at date of death? Domicile generally means the place…

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When Is A Gate Allowed On A Driveway Easement In Florida?
James W. Martin

Suppose you own a piece of land. Suppose your only access to it is a driveway easement across your neighbor’s land. Suppose the easement says you get “free and unencumbered access” to use the driveway. Now suppose your neighbor puts an unlocked gate across it. Most people would think that violates the easement. But not…

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Boundary Line Disputes Will Abound In Florida
James W. Martin

What if you found out your neighbor’s fence was really on your lot? Can you make him move it? What if it’s not just a fence but is part of his house or garage? That’s often how boundary line disputes start out. Florida real estate lawyers are likely to see more and more boundary line…

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My Mortgage Lender Never Served The Lawsuit On Me, Now What?
James W. Martin

So, the latest news on the Florida mortgage foreclosure debacle is property owners claiming they never got served with court process for the mortgage foreclosure on their Florida real estate. Can they undo the foreclosure? What if the lender says it tried to serve them but could not find them? Who’s right? It’s not a…

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