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Orlando Real Estate Law Blog

Restrictions for selling property taken through eminent domain

There is a lot of land in Florida and some of it is owned by private individuals and entities and some of it is owned by various governmental agencies. Private owners of land have many rights and generally no one can take the property from them unless they agree to either sell or transfer the property to another person or entity. However, there are a couple exceptions to that rule and one of them is that the government can take all or portions of private property to use for public use through eminent domain.

The government cannot simply take property though, they must have a legitimate public purpose for the land and must compensate the private owners for the land they are taking. There are many public purposes for land though, but there are some restrictions on what the government can do with the land. One of those restrictions is that they cannot take land and then sell it to a private buyer who may be able to generate more tax income through a new development.

Legal representation for those facing real estate disputes

Property ownership is a goal of many Florida residents, and while some individuals hope to buy their own homes, others aggressively pursue commercial real estate opportunities to grow their wealth. Buying and selling real estate is a big business in the state, and in order to successfully negotiate the purchase of a property, a person must work with the seller to find terms that are agreeable to both parties. As readers can expect, problems are not uncommon during these negotiations.

However, even when a person does complete a real estate transaction, they may still face problems with the security of their property. They may squabble with their neighbors over border and easement issues, or they may run into problems with their local municipalities if they are alleged to be using their properties outside of the permitted land use laws. Some land and property owners may face eminent domain if the state attempts to take their property for a public use.

When government makes your property unusable

Most people are somewhat familiar with the legal concept of condemnation.

In a condemnation, the government sues a private landowner to take a piece of property for public use. The U.S. Constitution allows the government this right of eminent domain, provided the owner is given “just compensation.”

What are contingencies in a real estate purchase agreement?

Anyone who has bought or sold a home in Florida knows that the contracts that govern the sales can be incredibly long. Real estate contracts contain many terms that bind the parties to certain actions and provide them with specific remedies if the other party breaches the agreement. Included in those terms are contingencies and this post will discuss those in more detail.

A contingency is a term that must be completed for a contract to go through. For example, a common contingency that readers may see in residential real estate contracts regards loan procurement. The purchase of the home may be contingent upon the buyer obtaining a loan to cover the costs of the home and meet their financial needs.

The civil side of trespassing

Many readers of this blog know that trespassing is a crime. Trespassing generally occurs when someone intentionally enters the property of another person without that person's permission. When a trespass is criminal, it may be prosecuted by the municipality where the crime was committed. When it is a civil matter, it may be pursued by the aggrieved land owner.

Civil trespass actions generally claim that a property owner has suffered damages as a result of the trespasser's actions. For example, if a trespasser used a portion of the land owner's property and destroyed trees in the area due to their conduct, the land owner may claim that they have been harmed by the costs of removing the damaged trees and the expenses of replacing them. A land owner may also seek relief to prevent the trespasser from returning to their land.

Home ownership may not be for everyone

Owning a home is one of the pillars of the traditional American dream. Many Florida residents may prioritize saving their money, so that one day they can afford a down payment on a residence of their very own. While owning a home certainly has its advantages, there are individuals who may not want or benefit from taking on the responsibility of owning real property.

Before endeavoring to buy a home, an individual should take a comprehensive assessment of their wants and needs. While home ownership helps individuals build their wealth through property appreciation, not everyone wants to be tied to a particular location. If a person moves a lot for their work or prefers to have the flexibility to pick up and start over in new places, the demands of home ownership may not be for them.

What property cannot be taken through eminent domain?

The reach of the government to take land through eminent domain may seem limitless. Eminent domain can deprive Florida residents of their ownership of land and other parcels of real estate. Readers may not be aware that eminent domain can apply to other types of property, like franchises and legal agreements, and that there are different bases on which the government can plead its eminent domain cases.

One of the grounds that a government may use to take property is that the property is a hazard to members of the community. When land or property is dangerous, then a government may condemn it and take it from its owner. Condemnation is a form of eminent domain.

Commercial real estate leases should meet tenants' needs

Florida residents who rent apartments may have noticed that many of the contracts they were asked to sign look the same. Residential real estate leases often contain the same boilerplate terms, with few changes to show that they cover different properties and different amounts of rent. This is not the case for commercial properties, however, and when it comes to drafting a lease for a commercial space, a prospective tenant should be sure that their contract represents their needs.

For example, a commercial lease should be clear on what types of uses may be permitted in the space to be leased. If a landlord prohibits the type of business operations that the prospective tenant plans to do, then their lease may be contrary to their needs. Similarly, if a prospective tenant expects to improve the commercial space to meet their needs but their landlord will not allow modifications, then the prospective tenant may need to find a new commercial space to rent.

Sound guidance for Florida real estate disputes

Over the last few months, this blog has published a number of posts that show how landowners can use and interact with their properties. From variances and covenants to easements and zoning, there are many different issues that can impede the use and enjoyment of the land that individuals own. Working around these issues can be an undertaking and some property owners may not know where to start.

Different real estate disputes require different legal solutions. For some, problems may require filing petitions with their municipal governments to receive exceptions to established laws and rules. For others, remedying real estate disputes may involve working with neighbors and surrounding property owners to find ways for everyone to benefit from the borders they share.

What is a covenant?

Florida is home to many exclusive neighborhoods that offer their residents beautiful grounds, impressive amenities, and other perks. The homes in these neighborhoods are often quite valuable, and residents may have options for customizing those structures into the houses they wish to live in. Despite the money they pay to purchase their homes and the modifications they make to ensure they have what they want, residents may still be restricted in what they may do with their properties in such places.

That is because many neighborhoods employ covenants to limit what individuals may do with their properties. A covenant may, for example, prohibit individuals from building sheds or other outlying buildings on their land. A covenant may also restrict the color that individuals may choose to paint their houses.

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