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Naples Real Estate Law Blog

You've got a real estate dispute: How do you BEST resolve it?

REAL ESTATE DISPUTE? [Edited May 1, 2017]

At the Naples law firm of Ross, Lanier & Deifik, P.A., we provide individual and business clients with tailored legal service aimed at promoting their best interests across a array of real property concerns.

Indeed, attorney Celia Ellen Deifik has been advocating diligently on behalf of clients for over three decades. As we note on a relevant website page of our firm, Ms. Deifik "has been board-certified in real property law for (now over) 20 years."

Changes in store at two Naples shopping centers

While many economic indicators point to continued growth in Naples, many of our readers know that business stability and growth are often directly related to location, business neighbors, automobile and foot traffic and of course, terms of a commercial lease. While these factors don't fit neatly into government economic forecasts, they can make all the difference to hard-working entrepreneurs who have their boots on the ground in the fight for business survival.

A recent column in the Naples Daily News provided a useful overview of some of the recent changes in commercial leases and business transitions.

Commercial Leasing -Florida sales tax reduction disappointing

Commercial leasing in Florida - Are you a landlord or tenant of a business lease? Municipal governments across Florida just scored a touchdown, but state legislators dropped the ball big time. Recent legislation hurts, rather than helps, Florida businesses -- especially start-up enterprises and small businesses paying commercial rents.

That is the view held by a wide swath of Florida's commercial realtors in reference to lease tax issue we spotlighted in our April 27 blog post.

Critics: taxing commercial leases penalizing Florida businesses

Commercial Leasing in Florida:

If you are a businessman in in Florida, you are aware of the many qualities the state has that make establishing a business in Florida an attractive proposition.

After all, that's why you are here!

Notwithstanding the state's solid business and educational climate that help fuel commercial growth, though, not all Florida policies affecting business entities improve the corporate bottom line.

Florida Homestead and Protection from Creditors

Florida Homestead is a far reaching protective shield enshrined in the Florida Constitution and implemented in various state laws.  It's also given preferred status by Florida courts.  When do you need a Florida litigator to stop a creditor levy? When do you need to bring a court action to challenge penalties sought by a county tax collector? When do you need a probate action to a carve a homestead property out of a will?  When can you challenge a conveyance (deed or mortgage) given by a spouse?  When can you contest a devise in a will where the decedent left a spouse and/or minor children?

For answers to these and other questions, watch this video.

Also, see my February 20, 2017 blog discussing the three key aspects of Florida homestead.

The universe of construction law: How big is it?

It seems reasonable that the term "construction law" might strike many Floridians and other Americans across the country as being broad and open-ended.

There are many critical deadlines and mandated disclosures. FS 713. 015 , for instance, mandates certain disclosures in direct contracts with owners for one to four residential units.

The failure to provide such written notice does not bar the enforcement of a lien against a person who has not been adversely affected. We'll explore what this means in practice in a later post.

Candidly, what is "construction law?" What are its dimensions and what does it centrally entail?

Florida commercial leasing: broad challenges and opportunities

Florida commercial leases trip up many a landlord and many a business tenant. Here's an important point regarding one of many stark differences between a residential and a commercial lease: Commercial lease tenants are accorded fewer consumer protections if things go wrong down the road.

And the reason why is clear: In assessing the negotiating skills of individuals engaged in residential transactions versus business professionals involved in real estate deals, legislators who draft statutory laws addressing lease matters "assume that business people are more knowledgeable."

Yes, but do they know the intricacies of Florida non-residential landlord tenant law?  Business professionals relocating from other states may not be familiar with Florida's laws.

Florida commercial real estate transaction goes wrong; malpractice alleged

Real Estate Litigation -- nobody wants to be there but sometimes it's the only answer. Large-scale real estate transactions in Florida can go sour for any number of reasons, ranging from allegations that a party has failed to perform to claims of fraud, breach of contract, survey and title problems, the list is endless.


Here's the central claim in one failed land deal that was recently advanced by one irate investment company in Fort Lauderdale: legal malpractice.

Select Florida foreclosures -- Here's something disturbing.

FORECLOSURE OF REVERSE MORTGAGES. Some lenders impose rules that are not fully explained to elderly borrowers. This problem is compounded as people age in place and become less likely to carefully read all the mail they receive.  Sometime that mail requires prompt response or dire consequences can flow.  Some borrowers have found a few lenders' attitude is: You live in your house until, well, we contend that you don't live in your house.

And our contention shifts the burden of proof upon you to demonstrate to a court that we're wrong.


Real Estate Litigation often arises from disputes over forfeiture or recovery of deposits under real estate Purchase and Sale Agreements.


"CAN I KEEP THE DEPOSIT?" Sellers ask.

Buyers often think that only their initial deposit in escrow is at risk if they can't close. However, some contract forms, notably some of the FR-BAR (aka FAR-BAR) agreements such as the "As-Is Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase," commonly used throughout Florida, put ALL deposits, paid and unpaid, AT RISK. They provide that: "All deposits paid or agreed to be paid, are collectively referred to as the Deposit." The Buyer Default provision says that if Buyer defaults, "the Seller may elect to recover and retain the Deposit" as agreed upon liquidated damages. This means that Seller would be entitled not just to the deposit placed in escrow, but ALSO to additional deposits called for but not yet made.

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