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Melbourne FL Business & Real Estate Law Blog

Putting up a fence can be a complicated procedure

There is little more annoying than a neighbor who does not mind his or her own business and who constantly pushes the boundaries of his or her land. If you are tired of dealing with your neighbor's behaviors, you may think that a fence is a good solution. It may be, as long as you follow the laws and know your property's boundaries well.

Did you know that most fences in residential areas are limited to six feet in height in back yards and four feet in the front? This is typically determined by local ordinances, so each city and county has its own specific regulations you must follow. If you want a fence that is taller than the law allows, you can apply for a one-time variance. This is an exception granted to someone who needs to build a fence that violates the local ordinance.

What you need to know about sinkholes before making a claim

Florida tops the list of states with the most sinkholes, and as a resident of the Sunshine State, you may know that your ability to purchase sinkhole insurance is guaranteed. You may feel perfectly safe in your home, but the fact is that sinkholes are unpredictable.

If your property were to suffer damage from a sinkhole, you would file a claim with your insurance company, but what if the claim is denied? The first step is to understand your risks and what to expect with the claims process.

Tampa family keeps home after battle with homeowner's association

A Tampa Bay judge has decided that a Riverview family will not be losing their home to foreclosure after making a late $150 homeowner's association (HOA) payment. Although the family's yearlong battle with Rivercrest Community Association started over a small amount, with attorneys' fees and interest that have been added to the amount, the family's debt had grown to north of $7,000.

In an earlier ruling in May, the judge presiding over the case had told the family that they'd need to move out of the home Bay Area home they'd lived in for ten years. Although the homeowners had allegedly sent in a check for the $150 HOA fee back in 2009, its treasurer claims it was never received. The family wasn't informed of this fact until four years later.

How to evaluate whether a breach of contract has occurred

Contract disputes most often arise when a party claims that another has failed to uphold the promises they originally agreed to when the document was signed. Any inaction that can be seen as not being aligned with what one would reasonably expect in a given industry may be deemed to be a breach. Many breaches of contract arise out of either an individual, their services or a product not living up to its implied or expressed warranty.

In assessing whether a breach of contract actually occurred, a judge will first attempt to ascertain whether or not a contract indeed existed in the first place. If it did, he or she will then try to make sense of what the individual parties' responsibilities were under it. The judge will also question the two parties to find out whether any modification was made to the original agreement.

Trusts and mental capacity in Florida

Creating a trust is an important part of estate planning. A trust ensures that your property and other assets are properly left to the beneficiaries you name when you pass. In order to create a trust, you must be of sound mind. Here is a brief overview of trusts and mental capacity in Florida.

When the time comes to create a trust as part of your estate plan, you will need to meet four requirements: alertness, information processing, thought process and ability to modulate mood.

Senior community residents sue developer

When real estate deals are made in Melbourne, Florida, buyers and sellers alike hope that everyone involved will honorably live up to the terms of their deal. They also hope that their deal was based on accurate information in the first place. If it was not, there is a basis for real estate litigation.

That is the case for residents of a senior community who are suing the developer of their community, which has been planning on selling the residents the community pools, clubhouse, and tennis courts for over $73 million. The residents, who are homeowners, realized that the property was only worth about a quarter of that price after consulting with a certified appraiser and attorneys. The residents have now filed lawsuits in Polk County Circuit Court.

Commercial real estate buyers should proceed with care

The real estate market in Melbourne, Florida, is very multifaceted, and commercial real estate closings in the area are best preceded by substantial preparation. That preparation should begin with addressing some key decisions.

The first of those decisions is about the type of property that you are looking for. Many considerations play into that decision, such as your intended use for the property, how its location will serve that use, and whether you'll be able to build what you want on the property.

What are foreclosure scams?

If you need to sell your home to get out of debt or avoid foreclosure, you should make sure to avoid foreclosure scams. These scams are most obvious because they offer to help you get out of your home easily without any kind of repercussions. They sound far too good to be true, and they typically are too good to be true.

One common foreclosure scam to watch out for is the balloon payment scam. This scam focuses on the fact that you have missed payments and may be facing foreclosure. Another lender then offers to refinance your mortgage and to lower the payments you make each month. Don't jump onto that new contract without having your attorney review it with you. If it's a balloon payment scheme, you are only paying interest and will be expected to pay the home off in full in a lump sum at the end of the loan's term.

Noncompete agreements amidst acquisitions and mergers

Nowadays, it's fairly common that employers have both their new hires and more seasoned staff sign noncompete clauses. For many companies, they see having their employees do this as a way to protect their investment of time and resources in their staff. They also see this as strategic approach. It gives companies some comfort in knowing that their handpicked staff can't run off and join their many competitors.

A lot of confusion arises, however, when it comes to whether an employee who signs noncompete agreement is still subject to it if, and when, a company is taken over by another. A Pennsylvania judge presiding over a recent case that centered around this precise issue determined that it all depends. This example can provide some guidance as to how judges in other states may handle the issue in the future when called upon to do so.

Tips for first time homebuyers

If you've made the decision to become a home buyer in Florida, then your head is likely spinning. You probably have quite a few questions you need answered and the stress levels are likely increasing greatly. Here are some important tips for buying a home for the first time in Melbourne.

The first thing you must do is organize your documents. Documents are vital to becoming a home buyer. You will need to provide a host of documents to financial institutions and lenders in order to acquire a mortgage. You will need to document your income and your taxes, so start gathering pay stubs and income tax returns from the state and federal levels.

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