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Real Estate Law

Post-Hurricane Irma Cleanup and Safety Tips for Community Associations

September 15th, 2017

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law,General Practice,Real Estate Law

As communities in Northeast Florida work toward recovering from Hurricane Irma, we would like to share a few important reminders for condominium, cooperative and homeowner associations. While the task of repairing and cleanup is extensive, communities should be on the lookout for the following “scams”:

  • Beware of government “officials” coming to your community offering to perform inspections. Require documentation and contact information from any such individual.
  • Many out of state “contractors” appear offering to do a free inspection of a roof or common areas and common elements. Ask for their licensing and contact information before entering into any contract for work.
  • Do not execute an Assignment of Benefits (“AOB”) without first contacting your insurance agent and attorney.
  • Beware of any contractor requiring a large down payment for “supplies”.


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Florida Property Taxes – You Must Act Soon If You Wish to Contest Your County’s Proposed Assessments

September 7th, 2017

Posted in IRS & Tax Information,Real Estate Law

Your local Florida property appraiser mails out the Notice of Proposed Property Taxes (Truth in Millage or “TRIM” form) in August of each year.  Property owners or taxpayers who wish to contest or appeal their property value to the Value Adjustment Board must file a petition (one of the DR-86 forms) with the clerk of court within 25 days of the Notice of Proposed Property Taxes.
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The Property Deed as an Estate Plan: Examining the Varying Distributions of Each of the Co-Ownership Forms in Florida Real Property

August 4th, 2017

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning,General Practice,Real Estate Law

As the saying goes, “anyone who believes in free will has never heard of probate.”  Attorneys are frequently contacted by clients who need help navigating estates after the loss of a family member or friend.  Probate is often inevitable if there is property to be divided.
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Vacation Rental Regulations in Florida

June 9th, 2017

Posted in Business Law,Real Estate Law

For some St. Augustine homeowners, vacation rentals are a steady source of income, but others argue that this revenue isn’t worth the cost to the community and describe these transient rentals as a “nuisance.”  Transient rentals are units or homes that are rented more than three times in a calendar year for a period of less than 30 days.  A search in the St. Augustine area for Airbnb or VRBO reveals that the industry is alive and well.   
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Post-Hurricane Safety Tips for Our St. Augustine Neighbors

October 11th, 2016

Posted in General Practice,Real Estate Law

As our community looks toward recovering from Hurricane Matthew, we would like to share a few important reminders. While the task of taking care of your property may be overwhelming, remember to take care of yourself by keeping the following in mind:
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Florida Property Taxes – You Must Act Soon If You Wish to Contest Your County’s Proposed Assessments

August 24th, 2016

Posted in IRS & Tax Information,Real Estate Law

The Firm is republishing an August 2015 blog post regarding the ability of Florida property owners to contest or appeal the assessed value of their property.  The republished blog, below, includes updated information for 2016.
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Tax Rules for Surviving Spouses on Primary Residences

July 25th, 2016

Posted in Asset Protection,Estate & Personal Planning,Real Estate Law

Understanding the tax rules as a widow or surviving spouse can help you project the real tax cost of selling your primary residence. Below are just a few general things to consider in making the tax analysis.
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Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act

June 24th, 2016

Posted in IRS & Tax Information,Real Estate Law

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act (“MFDRA”) prevents homeowners who went through a short sale, foreclosure sale, a principal reduction, or otherwise received a waiver of a mortgage debt regarding their primary residence from being taxed on the amount of mortgage debt cancelled or forgiven.  Many homeowners have used the MFDRA in prior years to prevent large tax liabilities.
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