Property Rights Law Firm, P.A.

Orlando Real Estate Law Blog

Guiding you through the eminent domain process

A government taking sounds like a very harsh and negative event. While it does entail the government taking some or all of your property against your will, it does not mean a property owner in Florida or elsewhere has no rights to take action. Thus, it is first important to understand the eminent domain process, as this information can help a property owner take steps to best protect their rights and options.

Going head to head with the government in an eminent domain process can feel like an intimidating and overwhelming process. However, at the Property Rights Law Firm, P.A., our attorneys believe that when property owners gain a full understanding of this process, they are able to reach a more favorable outcome. Our goal is not to only help property owners in the Lake Mary area understand their rights but also provide them a piece of mind.

What is the re-zoning process?

Whether it is an already built structure or one under development, the location in which the property is will determine certain factors about it. Zoning regulations are used by municipalities in Florida and elsewhere to restrict, control and direct the development of property located within its borders. The main purpose behind setting up these restrictions was to divide the residential, commercial and industrial districts within a municipality. However, property owners and developers often seek to deviate from these restrictions.

What is the re-zoning process? To understand this, one should first explore why zoning regulations exist and what restrictions they place on a certain property. These restrictions can include the type of buildings allowed, the location of utility lines, restrictions on accessory buildings, building setbacks from the streets and other boundaries, the size and height of buildings and the number of rooms within a building.

Florida family in HOA dispute concerning fence

Owning real estate often means dealing with various issues related to that property. For some, that may simply mean maintaining the property and paying a mortgage and property taxes. For others, this may mean complying with certain regulations concerning their parcel of land. Specifically, if there is a Home Owners Association, property owners not only have dues but must also comply with the rules set by their HOA. Failing to do so could result in a real estate dispute.

According to recent reports, a family is Sarasota is dealing with a costly real estate matter concerning the fence they installed. Specifically, their HOA asserts that the fence does not comply with the size and type restrictions set by the HOA. This has resulted in the HOA fining the family $100 a day for the past two months. Additionally, they filed a lien against their home and even threatened a HOA foreclosure of their house.

Understanding zoning regulations

When people in Florida purchase, sell or update their property, it is important to understand certain restrictions that may exist. In other words, regulations regarding land use and zoning define what can be built on certain land and what that property can be used for. These regulations allow property owners to get the most out of their property; however, they can also cause restrictions. Because of this, some property owners may seek to re-zone their property so they can use the land for reasons other than what it was initially zoned for.

The purpose of zoning is to divide a municipality into three parts, residential, commercial and industrial. For the most part, each of these zones is separate from the others; however, there can be some overlap. Nonetheless, the use of the property in each zone is reasonably uniform.

How has the market for commercial property changed?

Owning commercial real estate in Florida and elsewhere is a lucrative move to make. However, it can be a challenging time for some, depending on the market. Thus, those seeking to purchase commercial real estate should be knowledgeable about the market and how best to go about this transaction. And, on the other side of the transaction, sellers should note ways to appeal to buyers, helping them move property off the market.

How has the market for commercial property changed? Much like the buying and selling of goods has evolved over time, so have the transactions for commercial property. As individuals and companies look less and less towards print to guide and assist them through this process, it is clear that the digital age has taken over the commercial property market.

Helping you understand the eminent domain process

When a property owner sells their property, they likely complete the transaction by listing their property for sale. However, this sale could also be the result of a government taking. Eminent domain is when the government takes land from property owners for the benefit of the public. When this taking occurs, the property owner is supposed to be compensated for the property; however, just compensation does not always occur.

Thus, it is vital to understand the eminent domain process, so the rights of property owners can be protected. At the Property Rights Law Firm, P.A., our experienced attorneys understand how daunting it can be to go up against the government in an eminent domain action; therefore, our law firm is prepared to help those in the Lake Mary area navigate these matters.

Understanding construction defects and your recourse

While many Florida residents aspire to purchase the perfect home, others prefer designing and constructing their dream home. Building a home can be a lengthy task, as there are many components that go into constructing a house. Thus, this opens up the possibility that something might go wrong at a certain phase in the building process. And, if construction defects occur, it not only creates setbacks but could compromise the overall value of the finished home.

Construction defects can occur when errors are made at different phases in the construction of a home. These defects could lead to serious problems, such as unstable or cracked foundations, water intrusion and uneven surfaces caused by expansive soil.

Two laws pass in Florida, impacting HOA members

Most Florida residents are aware that laws change. However, what they may not fully understand is how these changes, no matter how minor, can impact them in a major way. This is especially true when it comes to property owners. Whether one owns private or personal property, if land use or zoning laws are altered, this can greatly impact what can be built or dictate how existing structures can be used or renovated.

During the 2019 legislative session in Florida, two laws passed that impacted condominium and homeowner's associations. Based on House Bill 7103, older condominiums that stand over 75 feet tall were given a reprieve. Owners of these buildings are not required to retrofit them with fire sprinklers or adopt an engineered life safety system until the start of 2024.

What counts as public purpose in eminent domain cases?

Eminent domain claims are often contentious. A property owner can feel like the government is violating their rights by forcing them to sell. The argument for eminent domain is that the property has to be taken in order to do something that betters the entire community.

However, what actually qualifies as bettering the community? And therefore, how do we define “public purpose?” Those are somewhat complicated questions.

What reasons can bring about eminent domain in Florida?

No property owner would like being told that the government is going to take their property from them. While this scenario is what eminent domain is, property owners have certain rights in these matters. Not only can they take steps to ensure that they receive just compensation for their property, but they can also assert that there is no valid reason for this taking.

What reasons can bring about eminent domain in Florida? One common reason for the assertion of eminent domain is for utilities. Utilities, such as electric power, are used by the public and benefit the public. And, even if a private owner does not want to sell their property for this use, there are ways around this that might allow this government taking to take place.


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