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  However, if the restrictions have expired, that means they are no longer valid, and that is also part of the property rights.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

Squatters Rights in Dracula’s Castle

Once upon a time just before dawn, Dracula stretched into his coffin for a long nap.  Exhausted from flapping as a bat, he was ready for an extended rest, undisturbed by a steak plunged in his heart, or gunfire with silver ammo, and certainly he wanted no part of smelly garlic.  He closed the lid to his coffin and went fast to sleep. On Halloween, a Pirate knocked at Dracula’s castle door.  “Trick or treat?” said the Pirate, but there was no answer.  The Pirate knocked again, louder this time, but again there was no answer.  After the third time, the Pirate let himself in to look for candy. He opened the door to Dracula’s castle and what he found was a bounty of grandiose treasure—lavishly appointed, the luxurious layout held spectacular views in all directions.  Why would anyone ever want to leave? thought the Pirate, though indeed no one seemed to be at home, and given the state of the cobwebs, no one had been there in quite some time.  So the Pirate wholesale moved in.  He started paying the utilities and got the tax bill put in his name. This went on for seven years, until one night […] Read More