Property Rights & Restrictions

We value property rights in Florida.   If there are restrictions on a property, those are part of the property rights and need to be imposed if they are valid.  However, if the restrictions have expired, that means they are no longer valid, and that is also part of the property rights. You cannot arbitrarily apply restrictions, it depends on how, where, and when the restrictions are recorded.  Restrictions can expire, for example, Davis Shores used to have racial restrictions, which have expired. The Marketable Records Title Act (MRTA) is a Florida statute that cleans up property title.  If you have a mortgage over 30 years, that is the marketable record title.  Before the 1960s, you would have to do a title search to the earliest record back to the patent.  Then in the 1960s, the Florida Legislature said that if you have chain of title for 30 years, you have good title…but there may be exceptions and restrictions. When buying or acquiring real estate, or if planning to make changes to your property, check for exceptions and restrictions on the property…and find out if those restrictions are still valid.   Read More

Closure in a Landlord-Tenant Case

You cannot always get what you want, but in court sometimes, you get what you need.  Such was the case recently in a landlord-tenant dispute on a commercial property. The Tenant was paying rent; the Landlord was not cashing the checks. When the Landlord leased the space, he did not realize there was a restriction against the Tenant’s business.  While the lease between them stated to only use this property for Purpose A, the Covenants and Restrictions stated that the property could not be used for Purpose A.  After the build out of the space, the Property Owner drove by and saw the problem. It was a mutual mistake.  The issue was that there was no adequate remedy under the law to fix it. Both sides were deeply prepared, and the case was argued well.  The facts came out, and the Judge figured out what to do:  he got the two sides to make a deal.  They agreed to a rescission, the Tenant kept his money from rent, and the Tenant got 90 days to move out. Something was going to happen one way or the other, and this gave the Tenant closure, which was the right thing for the […] Read More