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Florida Real Estate Law Questions & Commission Rules FAQs

Florida real estate law questions and answers

Whether for personal or business reasons, Florida real estate law questions will likely arise at some point in your life. Understanding how Florida Statutes create various rights and obligations for real property owners is important for maximizing the use and enjoyment of your property while minimizing the risks they may present.

Florida Real Estate Law Questions & Answers

Florida property rights refer to the set of protections and guarantees that homeowners and property owners have over their land. You can find these rights through Florida Statutes, Florida common law, and other regulations. General rights may include the right to use and enjoyment or the right to access.

Why Do You Have Title Insurance in a Real Estate Transaction?

A real estate transaction involves the transfer of title from the buyer to the seller. The Title reflects the rightful ownership of a property through recording a deed. Title insurance is a policy that protects buyers in case of a legal defect or dispute with the title.

What kind of Issues Can Arise with Title Insurance for Real Estate?

Sometimes problems can occur when transferring title because of how past property transfers took place. Generally, a problem exists when the property seller does not have the rightful title or a cloud over the title (i.e., a doubt about who the actual owner is).

Is a Real Estate Agent the Same as a Florida Real Estate Attorney?

A real estate agent is not the same as a real estate attorney, although there may be some overlap. For example, both can represent clients in negotiating and closing a real estate transaction. However, real estate agents usually need a broker license while attorneys need a bar license.

What Is the Difference Between Commercial Real Estate Law and Residential Real Estate Law?

Commercial real estate law governs property owners use to operate businesses or lease to other businesses. While there may be some overlap, Residential real estate law, in contrast, covers the rights and obligations of homeowners and others involved in matters related to property used for living.

What is Florida Statute 475?

Chapter 475 of the Florida Statutes covers several important topics related to real estate. It covers the establishment of FERC (explained below) and other rules surrounding real estate brokers' education and licensure. Additionally, Chapter 475 covers appraisers, commercial real estate sales, and leasing.

What is Florida Statute 455?

Chapter 455 of the Florida Statutes outlines the laws that generally regulate the rights and powers of licensed professionals in the state. This includes rules about licensing concerning citizenship, continuing education, and disciplinary action for things like unlicensed activity, disclosing confidential information, or other prohibited acts.

What are Zoning and Land Use Florida Real Estate Laws?

Zoning and land use laws in the state of Florida control how property owners may use their land. For example, Florida restricts some land to residential use only and designates other spaces for necessities like agriculture, public areas, or commercial activity. Florida governs land use at the state and local levels.

Where Do You Find Rules About Zoning and Land Use in Florida?

Laws about zoning and land use can exist in both state and local Florida law. You may consider reviewing Florida Statutes in addition to the ordinances and rules of the county where the real property is located. A Florida real estate lawyer may be able to provide specific guidance.

What is a Florida Land Trust?

A Florida land trust is a method of holding title to property that real estate owners may employ for various benefits. The trustee holds title to the property for one or more beneficiaries. Among the key benefits of a Florida land trust is the privacy of the beneficiaries.

Who Can Create a Florida Land Trust?

A person or entity can create a Florida land trust, including partnerships, trusts, LLCs, corporations, etc. The Florida land trust must have a trustee, beneficiary, and meet other statutory requirements such as an executed trust agreement. The recorded title will then reflect the trustee’s ownership of the real property.

What Happens to Real Estate When You Die?

Generally, the disposition of your real estate when you pass will depend on your estate planning (or lack thereof) at the time of your death. With no estate planning, the property will require probate to determine ownership under Florida law. However, a will or trust may provide alternative dispositions.

Is It Better to Transfer Real Estate Through a Will or Trust?

The answer depends on your goals in transferring the property at death. Transfer through a trust may cost more in legal service fees, but can provide privacy and probate avoidance benefits. A will transfer, in contrast, could create an invitation for a dispute over the property or creditor claims.

What Is FREC?

The Florida Real Estate Commission is part of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) responsible for educating and regulating those with a real estate license. The Commission consists of seven members, four of which are licensed real estate brokers.

Where Are the Florida Real Estate Commission Rules Found?

You can find the Florida Real Estate Commission rules can be found in the Florida Administrative Code and Florida Administrative Register under Division 61J2. These rules cover topics such as license fees, disciplinary action, and continuing education. The FREC rules also cover brokerage office operations and other realtor license laws.

Who Makes Florida Real Estate Commission Law?

The members of FREC are responsible for making the laws that govern the Commission’s operation (i.e., bylaws) in addition to laws that apply to real estate licensees. The governor of Florida nominates members to join FREC, and the Florida senate then has the power to accept nominees.

Does Florida Use Real Estate Attorneys?

Yes, Florida relies on real estate attorneys to provide legal advice on commercial real estate transactions, lease agreements, land use disputes, etc. However, real estate attorneys may be less involved in residential real estate sales where real estate agents can provide necessary guidance to homeowners.

Does Florida Require an Attorney at Closing?

Florida does not require an attorney to assist with a residential real estate closing. Instead, many property owners rely on their real estate agents. Despite not being required, a real estate lawyer may be helpful in more complicated real estate transactions such as commercial property or expensive residential property.

Are Mobile Homes Considered Real Property in Florida?

A mobile home is not treated as real property under Florida law unless the mobile home owner also owns the underlying land and the mobile home is permanently affixed to it. However, mobile homes can maintain their status as personal property in a loan or security interest deal.

Does Florida Real Estate Law Apply to Condominiums?

Yes, condominiums are subject to Florida real estate law. The legal issues of condominiums often involve issues with condo association rules known as covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs), which outline how property owners may use their condos. Usually, CC&Rs exist to help protect the value of the condos.

Can an Attorney Act as a Real Estate Agent in Florida?

Yes, if the attorney is in good standing with the Florida Bar and meets the other real estate license law requirements. Attorneys who meet these conditions are generally exempt from completing the educational courses for becoming a real estate sales associate through a real estate school.

Is Earnest Money Refundable in Florida?

Whether earnest money is refundable in a Florida real estate transaction will likely depend on the party responsible for the deal failing to close. If the buyer is responsible, the earnest money is usually not refundable. However, a refund may be possible if the seller doesn’t uphold the sale contract.

What Is the Purpose of Escrow in a Real Estate Transaction?

Escrow is when you have a third party (i.e., an escrow company) maintain possession of the property until conditions are met by the buyer and seller at closing (e.g., executing a sale contract). This protects parties to a real estate transaction by reducing the risk of transferring property prematurely.

Are Landlord and Tenant Rights Considered Florida Real Estate Law?

Yes, Florida real estate law includes issues arising from landlord/tenant relationships, such as negotiating a lease agreement or pursuing litigation. Common sources of dispute in the landlord/tenant setting may include habitability issues, assessment of fees, property damage, or premises liability.

How Can You Reduce the Risk of Real Estate Scams in Florida?

A simple way to mitigate the risk of succumbing to real estate scams in Florida is to work with an experienced attorney and real estate agent. These professionals can help you identify risks and potential sources of fraud or other misrepresentations in a given real estate transaction.

What if You Are the Victim of a Real Estate Scam in Florida?

If you believe you are the victim of a real estate scam in Florida, you may have recourse in civil litigation and criminal prosecution. You may consider scheduling a consultation with an attorney to better understand your rights under Florida statute or Florida common law.

What is Florida Real Estate Mediation?

Florida real estate mediation is a dispute resolution process that realtors may use with their clients in the event of a conflict related to a real estate transaction. The mediation parties will voluntarily attempt to negotiate settlement terms that are only binding if all parties agree to the dispute.

What’s the Purpose of a Florida Real Estate Promissory Note?

A promissory note is an instrument that reflects one party’s promise to repay a borrowed amount at a particular interest rate. A Florida real estate promissory note may be helpful when a family member acts as a lender on a transaction for another family member’s benefit.

What Is a Security Interest in Real Estate?

A security interest real estate is a type of property interest that lenders and creditors use to obtain assurance if a debtor defaults on a loan or other legal obligation. The security interest allows the secured party to take possession of the property to recover any owed funds.

What is a Florida Real Estate LLC Operating Agreement?

A Florida real estate LLC operating agreement is a contract that governs the protocols of a limited liability company whose primary business purpose is holding real property. Some businesses prefer to separate their real property holdings from the actual business for increased liability protection and risk prevention.

Are There Other Reasons to Have a Florida Real Estate LLC Operating Agreement?

Yes, a Florida real estate LLC operating agreement may also be useful for property owners with residential real property that they lease to tenants. Holding the property in an LLC can separate the individual from the real estate, reducing the risk of personal liability for related actions.

What Is a Real Estate Foreclosure?

A foreclosure on a parcel of real estate is the process where a party with interest in the property takes possession and completes a foreclosure sale to recover owed amounts. Foreclosures occur in the context of a lender’s debt recovery or a government’s property tax lien.

Need Help with Real Estate Law in Florida?

Florida real estate law encompasses various transactions, legal issues, and compliance with state and local laws. The business attorneys at Cueto Law Group are always available to assist clients with matters related to their real estate, whether residential or commercial. If you have any questions about the information presented in this article, please do not hesitate to reach out for a consultation.

Contact Cueto Law Group today to answer your questions about Florida real estate law.