Monthly Archives: August 2015

Condominium Special Assessments in Florida: Understanding the Business Judgment Rule

Special assessments, under the Florida Condominium Act, are those assessments imposed against condominium unit owners, other than those assessments required by the association’s annual budget. See 718.103 (24) of the Florida Statutes. Regular assessments, on the other hand, are fees collected from condominium unit owners for the payment of common expenses of the association. See 718.103 (1) of the Florida Statutes. If a condominium board votes to pass a special assessment, such a decision will be subject to the business judgment rule. See Cedar Cove Efficiency Condominium Association, Inc. v. Cedar Cove Properties, Inc., 558 So. 2d 475 (Fla 1st DCA 1990). If that judgment is properly exercised, a Florida court will not supplement its judgment for that of the board. Read Full Post

CATEGORY: Florida Condominium Law Blog Practice Areas:

Riparian Rights in Florida –Florida Law Concerning Docking and Wharfing

Ownership of waterfront property is very desirable in Florida and often involves unique real property considerations. When it comes to private waterfront property ownership, it can be difficult to distinguish where the private land rights cease and the sovereign land ownership begins. As a result, a subset of real property law has emerged to address what is called “riparian rights.” Riparian rights include the rights of ingress, egress, docking, boating, bathing, fishing and even the right to an unobstructed view of the water. Examples of situations that riparian rights address include: (1) the general use of water adjacent to property, (2) wharfing out to navigability in the channel, (3) actual access to navigable waters; and, (4) the right to accretions. Shore Village Property Owners’ Ass’n, Inc. v. State Dept. of Environmental Protection, 824 So.2d 208 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002). Walton Cnty. v. Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc., 998 So.2d 1102, 1111 (Fla.2008), aff’d, Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc. v. Fla. Dep’t of Envtl. Prot., 560 U.S. 702, 130 S.Ct. 2592, 177 L.Ed.2d 184 (2010). Such rights inure to the owner of the upland; however, the actual land covered by the water is not owned by the upland owner. This post will discuss the real property owner’s right to construct a dock or wharf out to the navigable channel. Read Full Post

CATEGORY: Florida Construction Industry Law Blog Practice Areas: ,

Protecting Property Interests and Rights in Eminent Domain Actions and Government Takings: Part III – Regulatory Taking

This blog post is part III in a series of posts to assist private property owners with protecting their property interests and rights in eminent domain actions and government takings. Part I provided a general overview of eminent domain and the government’s ability to take private property for public use. Part II discussed Florida law on the allowable scope for the taking of private property, which is determined by the element of reasonable necessity. This post will address regulatory takings that affect private property rights. Read Full Post

CATEGORY: Florida Eminent Domain Law Blog Practice Areas: ,

Top Five Things Real Estate Developers Should Know About Florida’s Construction Laws

While real estate developers should be well-versed in Florida’s construction laws, there are particular aspects of construction law that developers should know backwards and forwards. This blog post will discuss the top five things real estate developers should know about Florida’s construction laws including proper payment, warranty liability, claims under Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (“FDUPTA”), claims under Chapter 558, Florida Statutes, and the timing limitations of claims imposed by the statute of limitations and repose. Read Full Post

CATEGORY: Florida Construction Industry Law Blog Practice Areas:

Evicting Tenants After Foreclosure

Lenders should be aware of a new Florida law, which requires lenders to provide existing tenants with at least thirty days to vacate the property after the foreclosure sale. Florida Statute § 83.561, titled “Termination of Rental Agreement Upon Foreclosure”, became effective on July 1, 2015. The law replaces a recently expired federal law titled Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act. As such, the implementation of this new Florida statute may come as no surprise to lenders. However, lenders should understand their statutory rights and responsibilities prior to evicting tenants after foreclosure. Read Full Post

CATEGORY: Florida Business Litigation Blog Practice Areas:

Material Supplier Construction Lien Rights: Notice to Owner

One of a construction material supplier’s biggest concerns is making sure they will get paid. There are a few things a supplier can do to ensure they get paid on a construction project. One of the most important steps a supplier should take is preserve its lien rights under Florida’s Construction Lien Law, Section 713.001-.37, Florida Statutes. The purpose of the Florida Construction Lien Law is to protect construction material suppliers from nonpayment. The Lien Law should become your best friend. You should know it well. If done right, a supplier can almost guarantee that they will get paid in full by using the Lien Law. However, strict compliance with the Lien Law is required and it is laced with traps for the unwary. Many suppliers fail to perfect their lien rights properly and find themselves unable to get paid. Don’t let that happen to you. This blog focuses on one of the initial steps a supplier must take to preserve its lien rights: properly and timely serve a Notice to Owner. Read Full Post

CATEGORY: Florida Construction Industry Law Blog Practice Areas:

Insurance Coverage for Construction Damages

I recently authored a blog on insurance coverage triggers for construction defects under Florida law. Insurance coverage for residential and commercial construction projects and understanding when coverage is implicated (triggered) is critical. In many cases, the applicable insurance policies are commercial general liability (CGL) policies. These policies are occurrence based and only provide for indemnification for property damage or personal injury that takes place during the policy period. In many situations, these CGL policies are the only possible avenue of recovery for damages. Read Full Post

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