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Real Estate Law

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

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August 22nd, 2019

Posted in Business & Corporate Law,Real Estate Law,Tax Law & IRS Defense

Your local Florida County Property Appraiser mails out the Notice of Proposed Property Taxes (Truth in Millage or “TRIM” form) in August or September 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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Recently Enacted Law Puts Florida Trees at Risk

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July 19th, 2019

Posted in Real Estate Law

Florida is home to some of the most beautiful trees in the world and is known for its oak canopies and palm tree groves that give our cities and neighborhoods their unique look and feel.  Under H.B. 1159, or “Private Property Rights,” which went into effect on July 1, 2019, limitations have been placed on the ability of cities and municipalities to require a permit in order for a homeowner to prune, trim, or remove a tree from his or her property that may pose a danger.  The new law also prevents local governments from requiring a property owner to replant a tree that was pruned, trimmed, or removed.


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Florida Sales Tax on Commercial Leases Reduced in January 2020

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July 1st, 2019

Posted in Business & Corporate Law,Real Estate Law

Good news for Commercial Landlords, the reduction on state level sales taxes continues to decline. Florida is reducing the state-level sales tax rate on commercial leases for occupancy periods beginning on or after January 1, 2020 down to 5.5%.  

However, counties are still imposing the local option surtax so be careful to check your county’s guidelines. The local option surtax varies between 0.5% to 1% for those counties that impose it.  Currently, for 2019 St. Johns County has an additional 0.5% surtax.


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Preparing Your Community Association for the 2019 Hurricane Season

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June 7th, 2019

Posted in Business & Corporate Law,Real Estate Law

June 1st marks the official start to the 2019 hurricane season, however, now for the fifth straight year the first storm of the year was named before the season even began.  “Andrea” formed in late May and a new storm, Invest 91L, is currently brewing in the Gulf of Mexico and threatening to become “Barry.” 


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Protecting Associations During Mortgage Foreclosures

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April 5th, 2019

Posted in Business & Corporate Law,Real Estate Law

It has been roughly a decade since the Great Recession began and fortunately the U.S. economy has rebounded significantly since the late 2000s.  During the recession, community associations experienced a record number of delinquencies and mortgage foreclosures.


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When and How Can Community Associations Tow Vehicles?

February 22nd, 2019

Posted in Business & Corporate Law,Real Estate Law

One of the most effective self-help enforcement measures that exists for both Condominium and Homeowner Associations is the power to tow improperly parked vehicles from association-owned or common element property.


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Florida Sales Tax on Commercial Leases Reduced in January 2019

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December 21st, 2018

Posted in Business & Corporate Law,Real Estate Law

Florida imposes sales tax on rental payments for the lease of commercial real estate. The 6% state-level tax was reduced to 5.8% for 2018. The Florida legislature passed another law to further reduce the state-level rate to 5.7% for occupancy periods beginning on or after January 1, 2019.
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What Condominium or Homeowners Associations Should Expect at Mediation

November 13th, 2018

Posted in Business & Corporate Law,Real Estate Law

Condominiums and Homeowners Associations often participate in mediation either as part of a lawsuit or as an attempt to settle a dispute prior to litigation. Most Board Members have never participated in a mediation and usually have questions about mediation and the mediation process. Here are some basics about what a Community Association should expect when facing an upcoming mediation.

What is Mediation?

The first thing to understand about mediation is just what it is and what it isn’t. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process where a neutral third-party (the Mediator) works with the Association and the other party to try to resolve the parties’ differences in a way that both sides can agree to. It is essentially a conversation, where each party shares their side of the dispute, and the Mediator tries to help them reach an agreement. A mediation is not a trial or hearing, and the Mediator is not a judge or jury. Instead, the Mediator facilitates the discussion about the sources of the dispute and the possible resolution. The benefit of mediation is that the parties are in control of the possible resolution so that it is not decided by a judge, jury, or arbitrator. In order to encourage the parties to be open and work together towards a settlement, the mediation is confidential, and nothing said or presented at mediation can be used against a party later or shared with anyone else.


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