Real Estate Law

Eminent Domain and Just Compensation

How does government acquire the land it uses to install utilities or construct new roads? It exercises an authority that is called eminent domain. Eminent domain allows the government to take private property if it is for a “public use.” The phrase “public use” is contentious since, depending on who is defining it, could greatly limit or increase the government’s authority to take private property. This article gives some background on what eminent domain is, and how property owners can either fight it or at least be fully compensated for it.

Distinguishing Variances and Special Exceptions

There are many avenues that property owners could travel to get around certain restrictions that local governments impose upon property throughout their jurisdiction. Sometimes local governments will restrict, for example, how high buildings can be built, or how property can be used.

Defect Disclosure Requirements for a Residential Sale

Historically, when real property was being bought and sold the doctrine of caveat emptor or “let the buyer beware” controlled. Under this doctrine, it was the buyer’s sole responsibility to determine if any defects were affecting the property and the seller had no obligation to bring such defects to the buyer’s attention.

To Survey or Not To Survey

There are many issues a buyer must consider and pitfalls a buyer must avoid when purchasing real property, regardless of whether the buyer is acquiring a large commercial center or the buyer’s first home. Accordingly, an experienced buyer will thoroughly investigate prospective real property to determine whether such real property is suitable for the buyer’s intended purposes. One of the most important steps buyers often take when investigating real property is to obtain a survey.

The Basics Surrounding Homeowners Association Turnovers.

One of the most important events a homeowners association will face is its “turnover” or “transition” from the developer of the community to the unit owners. Despite the importance of a turnover, what I’ve found is that many unit owners are unaware of the basics surrounding a homeowners association’s transition.

Enforcing community association rules by imposing fines.

One of the most common challenges for community associations is how to effectively enforce association rules against residents who repeatedly violate them.

Wrap-Up of 2018 Legislative Changes for Community Associations

On March 23, 2018, Governor Rick Scott signed House Bill 841 into law. House Bill 841, which shall take effect on July 1, 2018, makes numerous alterations to a number of statutes regulating certain community associations

What happens when nobody wants to serve on an association’s board of directors?

What happens when nobody wants to serve on an association’s board of directors?

Adverse Possession & Squatter’s Rights

 Q: A few years ago my neighbor put up a fence, and I think it encroaches onto my property by a few inches.  Does my neighbor have a claim for adverse possession for part of my land?

When does a gathering of directors result in a homeowner’s association Board meeting?

Some of the most frequent questions I face in my representation of homeowner’s associations, or “HOA’s”, relate to whether a gathering of directors is considered a “Board meeting” that must comply with the formalities outlined in Chapter 720, Florida Statutes.

Know Your Contractor Before You Hire

Q: I was thinking about hiring a contractor to do some work on my house, but I’ve heard horror stories about unlicensed contractors doing shoddy work and running off before the work is finished. What can I do to protect myself?


As relief efforts remain ongoing, it is evident that hurricane Irma has had a very drastic effect on our local community, with one of the largest impacts being the massive amount of downed trees and vegetation that have been strewn across our community

Dissension in the Ranks: The Basics Surrounding HOA Election Challenges

By: Dan Rich, Esq. Clark, Campbell, Lancaster & Munson, P.A. Few things generate more animosity and drama within a homeowners association, or HOA, than contested board of director elections. This tension may result in residents seeking legal action against the HOA in the form of an election contest. Sadly, most HOA residents have zero clue […]

Code Enforcement Liens

Q: A code inspector recently notified me about a code violation concerning my property. What is the process of enforcing a code violation?

Common Areas and the Role That Your Association Can Play in Prohibiting Guest Access

Q: Can my homeowners’ association prohibit guests from using the clubhouse or swimming pool?

HOA Assessments when HOA Forecloses

Q: Can a homeowner’s association foreclose on me even when I have a mortgage?

99-Year Leases and Property Tax

Q: When does a tenant become an owner for tax purposes?


Q: What is radon, and how can it affect my property?

HOA Political Signs

Q: Can a homeowners association prohibit the display of political yard signs?

Lost Mortgage Docs

Q: What happens if the lender trying to foreclose cannot produce the original loan documents?

Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act

Q: I am interested in purchasing property owned by a foreign person. What do I need to know?

Construction Defects Damage

Q: How much can I recover from construction defects in my home?

Selective Enforcement

Q: Is it important for homeowners associations to consistently enforce restrictive covenants and association bylaws and rules, especially when such covenants or rules are no longer desirable?

What is a Land Trust

Q: Should I use a land trust when purchasing property?

Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure

Q: Are tenants protected at foreclosure?

Title Insurance – Part 2

Q: What is title insurance, and do I need to purchase it when buying a home?

Integrated Disclosure Rule

Q: When closing on my home, I do not want to feel forced to sign documents without time to review and ask questions. Are there consumer protections for these transactions?

Toolbox Grows for HOAs with Delinquent Owners

Q: How can homeowners’ associations collect assessments while awaiting a first mortgage holder foreclosure?