Category Archives: Real Estate Law

What to Know if you Want to Invest in U.S. Real Estate as a Foreigner?

The simple answer is yes. Anyone can buy property in the United States. However, foreigners are best suited to buy U.S. property with one-time payment instead of financing it. This is because if a foreigner wants to get a U.S. mortgage or a loan – it is often nearly impossible to get approved due to the lack of U.S. credit history.

How do Non-Florida Residents Establish Residency in Florida?

If you reside in another state but wish to convert your domicile to the state of Florida, there are many ways you can make a showing that would reflect Florida residency, especially for purposes of homestead exemption or paying in-state tuition at a Florida university.  Many individuals, including investors, choose to make Florida their state of domicile, mainly because Florida has no state income tax, as opposed to states like New York, Georgia or California.

What Registrations and Licenses does a Landlord need to rent a Property in DC?

To rent a property in Washington, D.C., a landlord needs a Basic Business License (BBL). The landlord must first obtain the category that their BBL falls into, such as beauty services, health services, or rental housing.

Landlord Remedies in Florida: Distress Writs

A landlord in a commercial or residential landlord-tenant relationship may enforce remedial acts against a tenant and the leased premises, in the event of default or breach. Upon a landlord deciding to evict his or her tenant, a distress writ may be obtained to substantially protect the landlords needs. Among this remedial measure, a landlord has the ability to receive a distress writ issued by the Clerk of Court, which authorizes the landlord to essentially put a lien on the tenant’s assets at the rental premises when he or she owes rent.

Can Foreign Non-Resident Investors Claim Florida Homestead Exemption?

The traditional rule is all individuals living in Florida with temporary visas may not be eligible to claim the Florida homestead exemption because their residency is based on a durational, temporary period. However, in 2012, the Florida Supreme Court put this constitutional issue before them in Garcia v. Andonie

Is there a Grace Period for Rental Payments during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

A grace period is a predetermined period of time immediately following a payment due date during which a late fee or other is waived provided that the obligation is satisfied during the grace period.  Your grace period, if any, will be stated within your lease agreement, and will typically be limited to three to five…   + Read More…

Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae Protect Renters From Eviction During Coronavirus

Last week Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac suspended evictions and foreclosures for families living in houses financed through one of their loans. This policy was now extended by the two banks to include renters as well, in the event when they are not able to pay rent due to the coronavirus outbreak.

What Constitutes a Valid Escrow in Florida?

An escrow occurs when property is held by a third party until the occurrence of a predetermined event, at which time the third party delivers the property as instructed by the parties to the transaction.  Thus, an escrow agent is the intermediary third-party depositary assisting the parties to the transaction.  Escrows are used to ensure that the parties to the underlying transaction act as agreed upon.

Should you Lease Property to a Business?

Saving money on taxes is a great incentive to consider leasing your assets to a corporation.  It is common for shareholders of corporations to lease real estate, equipment, and other property, such as vehicles, to the corporation, either directly or indirectly.

Can you file for Bankruptcy if your House is in Foreclosure?

If you believe foreclosure is imminent and need assistance moving forward, please do not hesitate to contact one of our knowledgeable attorneys at EPGD Business Law.

Attacking the Validity of the Mortgage

One of the ways to win a foreclosure fight is by attacking the validity of the mortgage.  There are multiple ways to do this, including but not limited to, using defenses such as fraud, standing to sue, and proving the statute of limitations.

What is Ancillary Probate?

The primary probate proceeding is usually held in the decedent’s state of residence or home state. However, a state probate court only has authority over property in its own jurisdiction; it does not have the power to issue orders for property that is located in another state. Therefore, an additional probate proceeding becomes necessary.

Preserving a Tenancy by the Entirety in your Florida Estate Plan

Traditionally, estate planners have split tenancies by the entirety in order to fund separate trusts for both spouses, with the aim of maximizing estate tax exemptions.

How do I Apply for Homestead Exemption in Florida?

In Miami-Dade County, the 2020 Homestead Exemption applications and Portability applications are due on March 2nd. Read our blog below to find out how to apply!

Can my Homestead Assessment Savings be Transferred from my old Property to my new Property?

Imagine being a homeowner in Florida, selling your home and not buying a new home until three years later. Did you know that you were most likely receiving property tax savings at your old property? And better yet, you could have transferred some or all of those savings to your new property if you had just filed a homestead portability application within two years.

Homestead Exemption v. JTWROS

In Florida, JTWROS means that the full title to property goes to the owner that survives.  The “survivor” of the joint owner automatically owns 100% of the asset when the other joint owner passes away.

What are Some Foreclosure Alternatives?

Foreclosure is a lengthy and expensive process that your lender may also be trying to avoid. Your lender may be calling regarding the following alternatives to foreclosure.

Can I lose my Homestead Exemption in Florida?

To qualify for the homestead exemption, a person must meet certain requirements and a person may lose their homestead exemption if the requirements of the statute are not met every year.

Residential Security Deposit Laws in Florida

Florida statute provides that a landlord is to refund the full amount of the security deposit, minus any findings of property damage or other incidentals, within 15 days after the tenants move out of the residence.

What are the Setbacks Required on my Property?

A Setback is the distance from the Base Building Line (the officially mapped street line) to the point where a building may be constructed. The City of Miami provides setback requirements for property owners in the Miami 21 Zoning Code.

Should You Use a S-Corporation or a LLC for Rental Properties?

After deciding whether to invest in rental properties, it is important to make an informed decision regarding the kind of business entity your company should become.

“AS IS” Clause in a Property Contract & Home Inspection Company

Issue 1: Does an “As Is” Clause in a Contract under Florida law Include Termites? Yes.  An “as is” clause in a contract under Florida law does not waive the duty a seller has to disclose to buyer facts materially affecting the value of the property and are not readily observable to the buyer.  Levy…   + Read More…

What Can a Landlord do if a Tenant Leaves Behind Property?

One of the most tension fraught relationships is that of a landlord-tenant. Landlords are subject to a variety of laws including regulation of rent, termination, and eviction. One such law is the Disposition of Personal Property Landlord and Tenant Act, which prescribes rules by which landlords are allowed to dispose of tenant property which remains on the premises after a tenancy is terminated.

What Is “Residential Constructive Eviction” In Florida?

In Florida, a residential tenant has a right to enjoy rented property peaceably and quietly. In the event of a constructive eviction, a tenant may terminate their lease with a landlord.

Everything You Should Know About Maryland Security Deposits

There are general landlord/tenant rules that can be modified differently in each state.  Below is what you need to know about the laws in Maryland. 

Severing Joint Tenancies Between Non-Married Partners in Washington D.C.

A joint tenancy cannot exist unless there is a present unity of interest, title, time and possession; that is to say, the interests must be identical, they must accrue by the same conveyance, they must commence at the same time and the estate must be held by the same undivided possession.

How to Choose the Best Location for Your Subsidiary

Business owners want to choose a location that will provide the most economic benefits to the company. To accomplish this goal, it is critical to gather information and research the demographics and economic characteristics of the cities you’re interested in.

Are you Liable for the Documentary Stamp Tax?

Who Pays the Documentary Stamp Tax? In Florida, people who transfer real estate in exchange for value must pay a transfer fee, called a “documentary stamp tax,” on the documents used. The Florida documentary stamp tax has broad applicability, applying to deeds, instruments, or writings whereby lands, tenements, real property, or interests therein are granted…   + Read More…

Will you lose your Homestead if you go to Jail?

Florida provides homeowners who make their Florida home their principal place of residence with a tax exemption. This exemption is called the Homestead Exemption and has different benefits. The exemption allows homeowners to exempt $25,000 (or $50,000 for married couples) from the taxable value of their home.

Do I have to pay Property Taxes as a Foreigner Investor?

All foreign investors owning U.S real property are responsible for paying taxes on any and all rental income they earn in the United States from that property. As a general rule, a non-US person who rents out his or her U.S. property is subject to a 30% withholding tax imposed on the gross amount of each rental payment.

How do I Claim the Florida Homestead Exemption?

Florida law allows homeowners who use their Florida home as their residence to claim a homestead exemption. The Florida Constitution provides a tax-saving exemption by reducing the taxable value of real property by up to $25,000, and $50,000 for a married couple. Florida

What are the most Common Types of Foreclosure?

A foreclosure is the legal process in which the lender attempts to recover the balance of a loan by forcing the sale of the property used as collateral for the loan. Foreclosure occurs when the homeowner is unable to make mortgage payments to the lender. A homeowner has a few options to avoid foreclosure.

What can you do when your foreclosure is set for sale?

What is a Foreclosure? A bank will usually foreclose on your house after you have failed to make four successive payments. The bank will send you a notice of default which is an indicator that they are intending on beginning foreclosure proceedings. These proceedings can usually take anywhere between six months up to a year….   + Read More…

I received a foreclosure summons, what do I do?

You’ve received a foreclosure complaint. Before you have a panic attack and believe you are going to lose your house, call an attorney. It is important to seek legal counsel and learn your rights because this may be complicated and stressful. To help relieve some of that stress, we will go into detail about the…   + Read More…

Mistakes to Avoid when Transferring a Florida Homestead

When setting up an estate plan, it is common for Floridians to have a revocable living trust in which to transfer their Florida homestead.  Unbeknownst to many, there may be negative consequences to this transfer, but there are things that can be done to avoid such issues: Transferring the homestead into the trust should not…   + Read More…

What is residential constructive eviction in Florida?

A tenant may terminate their lease with a landlord in the event of a constructive eviction. Constructive eviction is defined as any disturbance to the tenant by the landlord that: (1) renders the premises unfit for the purpose for which they were leased; or (2) deprives the tenant of the beneficial enjoyment of the premises….   + Read More…

What is Florida Homestead Portability?

In Florida, the first year a home receives a homestead exemption, the property appraiser assesses it at just value. Now, with that in mind, for each of the following years, the Save Our Homes Amendment (SOH) of the FL Constitution, prevents the assessed value of said homestead property from increasing more than 3% per year…   + Read More…

Buyers of Real Property May Be Held Liable for the Tax of a Foreign Seller!

A non-foreign certification is a document that protects buyers of real property interests from liability for the IRS withholding tax, which applies if the seller is a foreign person. If a seller is a non U.S. citizen or resident, then FIRPTA (The Foreign Investment in Property Tax Act) applies and the buyer must withhold 15%…   + Read More…

What are some Simple Facts about Foreclosures and Leases in Florida?

In Florida, what would happen if a tenant is leasing a premises, and the mortgagee—the bank for example—foreclosures upon the property. Is the tenant allowed to remain in the premises? As a consequence of the foreclosure, is the tenant’s lease terminated? What if the tenant was an innocent party with no knowledge of the mortgage?

Getting a Real Estate License in Florida

Florida real estate is booming, and starting a real estate career may be a great option for you. Fortunately, in Florida, obtaining a real estate license is fairly easy and generally involves only a few requirements. First of all, an applicant must be at least 18 years of age and have a United States Social…   + Read More…

How to Appeal Property’s Market or Assessed Value with Value Adjustment Board (VAB)

Every year, property owners receive a Notice of Proposed Property Taxes from the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser, listing the total of Ad Valorem and non-Ad Valorem property taxes to be paid. These property taxes are based on the assessed value of the property, as determined by the Property Appraiser every January 1st.

Florida Residential Security Deposit Return

Under Florida law, a landlord may retain a tenant’s security deposit, but there are a few steps that need to occur before the security deposit, or a portion thereof, is withheld. If the tenant leaves the premises, and the landlord does not intend to retain the security deposit, the landlord has fifteen (15) days from the date the tenant vacated the premises to return the security deposit.

Short Term Residential Rental in Coral Gables and Miami

In this day and age, the Internet provides ordinary individuals with business opportunities that were unheard of thirty years ago. For example, recently, we came across a website that allows property owners to list and rent their own single-family home for a short duration of time. Listing the property online is the easy part, but…   + Read More…

How to Evict a Tenant?

Need to evict your tenant for nonpayment of rent? Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, it is important to know what the consequences for nonpayment of rent are. If yo u are a landlord and your tenant has not paid rent, you can sue the tenant for payment of rent or seek to evict…   + Read More…