Florida Real Estate Lawyers
In Florida, real estate law is a very broad area of law covering anything that has to do with the ownership of land and buildings.
Real estate law can apply to many numerous facets of a personal and professional life. It can apply to anything from the purchase of a vacant lot, to renting prime downtown office space.
Florida real estate law can be very intricate, because it's really a collection of a lot of different areas of law. These areas of law include property rights, contracts, land use, and many others.
Having a good basic knowledge of Florida real estate law can make a lot of transactions, such as buying a house or renting an apartment, much easier.
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Common Real Estate Issues in Florida
Financing: Most people in Florida probably can't afford to buy a house or a piece of land up front. Consequently, most individuals and business use some form of financing to purchase real estate, typically a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan used to buy a piece of real estate, with the purchased real estate simultaneously securing the loan.
Disclosure: When selling a house, the seller is under a strict legal duty to tell the buyer about any physical defects which the buyer might not be able to discover on his or her own. Sometimes, it isn't entirely clear if a given defect has to be disclosed. In such cases, it's best to disclose it anyway. It simply isn't worth the risk to fail to disclose it, and hope that a court agrees that it was the type of defect that you didn't have to disclose.
Warranty of Habitability: When renting property to be used as a dwelling, the landlord, as a matter of law, implicitly promises that the dwelling will be suitable for human habitation. It doesn't matter what the lease says on this subject - it's always a requirement. Therefore, a rented unit must have the basic amenities required for modern life - it must provide adequate shelter from the weather, it must have running water, it must have heating, and it must have electricity. Of course, there are many more specific requirements, and a court will also look at the condition of the unit as a whole when deciding whether or not it is habitable.
Zoning Laws: Zoning laws state what can and cannot be built on a particular piece of property, usually based on the land's location within the town or city. Areas are typically zoned with the goal of ensuring that residential areas are not too close to industrial areas, among other things. If you have some kind of construction project planned on your property, you should make absolutely sure that it is in compliance with Florida zoning laws BEFORE you begin.
Do I Need a Florida Real Estate Lawyer?
The issues discussed above, as well as the many others that can affect real estate, can get very difficult. For that reason, it's probably a good idea to consult with a Florida real estate lawyer before undertaking any major real estate transaction.
Florida is located at the very southeastern tip of the United States. Its official nickname is "The Sunshine State", on account of its tropical climate and beach/peninsula culture. Florida's state capitol is Tallahassee, and it is the fourth most highly populated state in the U.S. It has an extensive state university system and is largely driven by the tourism and vacation industries.
Until the year 1973, Florida had a very complex and sometimes confusing trial court system. Later on, the Florida trial court system was redeveloped to make it much simpler. Currently, Florida operates a two-tiered trial court system consisting of County Courts (a.k.a., "People's Courts") and Circuit Courts. Higher-level claims and some appeals are heard in one of Florida's District Courts, or at the Florida Supreme Court. However, the majority of legal claims and Florida originate at the County and Circuit Court levels.
Florida is also known as the "Fishing Capital of the World". Thus, many of Florida's laws involve regulation of coastal waters and various other marine issues. Florida is also known for several unique laws, covering distinct issues such as potable water, mandatory auto inspections, and prohibitions on the open-carrying of handguns.
Lawyers in Florida study diligently to learn the specific laws and regulations enforced in the state. This allows them to meet the community's legal needs in a manner that is thorough and efficient. As Florida is also national border state, many attorneys in Florida are familiar with broader international legal issues.