Common real estate disputes in Florida * Part 1: Real estate is a business in Florida
For almost one hundred years in Florida, real estate has been considered a business and lawsuits over real estate have even been addressed on the business litigation board certification exam. While many people purchase a home in which to live, many others buy for investment either in their name or through a business entity, which may also involve several investors. Properly structuring a business for such investment is as important a step just as with a business that intends to sell a service or product and is a service that the Law Office of David Steinfeld regularly offers.
Disputes over the purchase and sale of real estate, real estate contracts, and rentals concerning landlords and tenants are matters that the Law Office of David Steinfeld regularly addresses, but closings and title work are not within the expertise of the Firm and referrals are commonly provided to local attorneys who do that type of work. Chapter 83 of Florida*s Statutes is the Landlord-Tenant Act and provides the obligations applicable to landlords in residential tenancies. However, the obligations of landlords and tenants in commercial rentals is largely governed by the terms of their written lease. The Law Office of David Steinfeld reviews commercial leases to assist and guide businesses in renting space for their operations.
Common real estate disputes in Florida * Part 2: How do you handle a seller*s failure to disclose
In Florida, there is a distinct difference in the manner in which residential and commercial real estate transactions are handled. In 1985, the Florida Supreme Court decreed that buyer beware does not apply to residential transactions and sellers must disclose known material facts that are unobservable to a buyer. This mandate is now included in all standard FarBar real estate contracts and most brokerage firms also require buyers to complete a separate seller*s disclosure form.
When a buyer believes that a seller has failed to disclose a material defect usually the discovery of the situation occurs shortly after closing. Therefore, it is important to consult with an experienced and expert litigation attorney like David Steinfeld, who has tried these types of cases to verdict before juries and judges to determine the next and best course of action for your unique situation. While a lawsuit may be one option to resolve the situation, it is not the only option available. Lawsuits in general are expensive and time-consuming, but these types of lawsuits in particular often require a significant number of depositions and, therefore, can become very expensive and very time-consuming. Therefore, it is prudent to carefully examine all of the options available together with David Steinfeld in order to make informed decisions in response to the unfortunate situation.
Although the seller of a home in Florida is obligated to disclose material defects that they actually know of, sometimes sellers do not make such disclosures either as a result of a lack of knowledge or intentionally. As the saying goes, sometimes the best defense is a good offense, which when translated into residential real estate transactions mitigates in favor of retaining qualified inspectors to thoroughly assess the property. The Law Office of David Steinfeld has utilized a number of such inspectors as expert witnesses in lawsuits concerning disclosures and can guide and recommend clients to these professionals as part of guiding and assisting either a buyer or seller in such real estate transactions.
Common real estate disputes in Florida * Part 3: How do you avoid trouble when buying or selling com
Because the concept of buyer beware applies to commercial real estate transactions in Florida, due diligence is crucial and rests on the shoulders of the buyer. The Law Office of David Steinfeld guides both buyers and sellers in structuring certain aspects of commercial real estate transactions. Depending on the property, due diligence may include reviews of rent rolls and the operation of a business or businesses on the property or it may focus more on the condition of the property itself.
Helping the purchaser bring together a qualified team of professionals, such as accountants and property inspectors, is a value that the Law Office of David Steinfeld can bring to the proverbial team in addition to reviewing purchase and sale agreements. Florida law requires that real estate sales occur under written contracts, but unlike residential transactions that largely now use form documents approved by the Florida Board of Realtors known as FarBar contracts, such standard contracts are rare in commercial transactions.
Thus, having an expert business litigator like David Steinfeld who has experience litigating breaches of commercial real estate contracts is of great benefit to parties that intend to buy or sell commercial real estate in Florida.
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Law Office of David Steinfeld Florida Business and Real Estate Law Blog
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