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Carol Anne Johnson

Carol Johnson’s Answers

3,035 total


  • Annoying neighbors...

    I live behind a church (bad idea). The house next to me was demolished and a basketball court was built for the church's school so the kids can go play. Well, there are people playing there ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT! It's beginning to be annoying h...

    Carol’s Answer

    Just out of curiosity, who was there first - you or the church? Unfortunately, you are limited by the local ordinances and if the police told you that there is nothing that can be done, it is probably because basketballs dribbling on pavement do not make enough noise to exceed what is considered acceptable (typically, 70-80 decibels during the day and 40 at night). As mentioned by my colleagues, a conversation with the church about limiting the access to the court to between 8 and 11 may help - but, you also need to acknowledge that it is far better to have young people playing basketball at a church playground than loitering on the streets with nothing but time on their hands! Living peacefully in a neighborhood always requires some give and take.

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  • My HOA is asking me to rectify a illegal driveway modification, but I bought the house this way and never made any modification

    I purchased my house over a yr ago. The driveway was already modified (a small section had red brick pavers placed around the garden area). For a year, i had no issues. Then a year later I get a letter from the HOA asking em to rectify the Illega...

    Carol’s Answer

    The HOA fees you paid at closing were most likely the past due fees of the prior owner - that is how the HOA recoups their monies when an owner falls behind. And, it may be that they were coming after the prior owner to rectify the driveway situation. This is precisely why it is always a good idea to have an attorney review ALL your purchase contracts and the HOA docs before buying a home. They could have advised you as to any issues that were outstanding and what restrictions would be imposed upon you. Unless you have money to burn and too much time on your hands, it is best to just comply with the letter and remove the offending bricks.

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  • What can be done to reverse these fraudulent acts?

    My niece and 2 other siblings are the survivors of their grandfather. She as the eldest had stepped in to make sure the caretaker was doing what is expected. Recently it was discovered that the caretaker has married her grandfather and changed ov...

    Carol’s Answer

    It sounds like, if everything is as you say, that a probate litigation is in order. How were the properties and the insurance changed over? Someone would have had to notarize any deeds including the new spouse on them and someone would have had to speak with the life insurance agent. It seems unlikely that they were all in on a big conspiracy together. Is it possible that the grandfather was so grateful to (and maybe in love with) the caretaker that he willingly married her and provided for this woman? Stranger things have happened. Have an attorney review the documents and deeds in question and advise you on their validity.

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  • Do I have the right to question a big inconsistency of the hoa budget or do I have to let them pad it at their discretion?

    Our HOA 2016 budget indicates a higher amount by 8,700.00 for property insurance than is on the official declaration for the same time period. We currently pay 514. a month in dues in a community who's home values are around 200k with a pool as ou...

    Carol’s Answer

    Part of the problem with HOA's and CA's is that the board members are usually just lay persons who volunteered for the position. They may or may not have the experience necessary to actually do the job as described in the FL statutes (F.S. Chapter 720). Best way to ensure that they are doing their jobs is to apply to be on the board yourself. You have a right, as a homeowner, to request financial documents from the management company, but be prepared to pay for them and access them during their regular business hours.

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  • Which deed prevails, if they all have the same execution date?

    A deed was drafted by a title company and recorded containing incomplete legal description. Few weeks later they recorded a 2nd deed, where they didn't change the execution date (it had the same execution date as the first deed). They DID NOT name...

    Carol’s Answer

    You asked basically this same question a few days ago. This is a real situation here in Florida - in South Carolina, this would be the "unlicensed practice of law". The problem is that whomever screwed up the deed in the first place (and then again) did not realize that dates MATTER. You are correct that this has totally messed up your title to the property, clouded it, per se. You should go to a GOOD real estate attorney in your area to have them unravel the issue and have the title insurance pay for it. Obviously, the three deeds were not signed on the same day, so, as one of my colleagues mentioned, backdating is certainly not legal.

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  • Do I get any of the profit when the house is sold? Do i need to get a lawyer?

    My Father passed away last month and did not have a will. He is married and has a house that he had prior to his second marriage. The house is only in his name. His wife will probably be selling it soon.

    Carol’s Answer

    If the house is only in his name, then a probate proceeding will be required. And, the new wife does NOT get the whole thing. FL law allows for her to get a 50% share when there are heirs of the decedent who are not her lineal descendants. But, you still should have a lawyer to protect any other assets that your father may have left that belong to his probate estate. His current spouse, again, does NOT get everything.

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  • Can I get help from previous owner, realtor, or inspector as I cannot afford to replace ac/heat unit?

    recently purchased a home and was not told about problems that inspector did not find or looked for. for example was told ac/heat was a 2004 when according to service is original (1992 manufactured home). also almost $600.00 plumbing that accordi...

    Carol’s Answer

    Impossible to say based on your question. Did the inspector inspect the AC? Did he say it was a 2004 unit? Is that in writing? What type of inspection contingency did your contract have? Was it an As-Is sale? A plumbing failure due to a faulty washer (did you replace the washer?) could result in a $600 plumbing repair - hard to say. Most likely, unless the inspector and/or seller lied about items, you don't have any recourse, except through small claims court.

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  • Title insurance for troubled title

    A piece of property has been transferred back and forth via quit claim deeds between family members. Many deeds were recorded, including a few corrective deeds, enhanced life estate deeds, some had missing marital statuses, affidavits, etc. Now th...

    Carol’s Answer

    You should be fine. And, very commendable of you to recognize that there COULD be an issue and take steps to correct those by getting title insurance. Better done now than have a later sale fall through due to cloud on title.

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  • How does title insurance help this situation?

    My father in law (a widower at the time) signed over a lady bird deed for his house with remainder to his son. (my wife's brother). Few years later they had a fall out and he signed a quit claim deed from himself to him and my wife (his daughter)...

    Carol’s Answer

    This is the problem with quit claim deeds. Most title insurers don't like them because they don't protect or warrant marketability for the subsequent purchaser. Still, if the Lady Bird deed validly reserved all the necessary powers to your father, what occurred after should convey marketable title. Have the LB deed reviewed. If you were able to purchase title insurance, that should be sufficient.

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  • Does anyone know of a trust killing the trustee for not following the instruction of an irrevocable trust.

    Killer trusts

    Carol’s Answer

    As in dueling pistols at dawn??? Hmmm. Well, the trust is a legal fiction, not a person, so it cannot do the job, but a Trustee CAN be removed (so much easier than killing) by the trust beneficiaries if the terms of the trust are being violated by the Trustee through gross negligence or malfeasance. Depends on the trust terms and what sort of discretion the Trustee is given. Have the trust reviewed by a good estate planning attorney to see if litigation is necessary. Sometimes, all it takes is a good, well-drafted "lawyer letter" to get the Trustee back on track.

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