I've encountered numerous cases where co-owners of property find themselves at a crossroads, contemplating whether or not to separate their shared assets. One question that often arises is whether it's possible—or advisable—to file a partition lawsuit without the assistance of an attorney. Let's dive into this subject to get an answer.

Legal Definition of a Partition Lawsuit

A partition lawsuit is a legal action taken to divide a jointly owned property among the co-owners. This is often the last resort when co-owners cannot agree on what to do with the property they own together. In Florida, the governing laws for partition actions can be found under Chapter 64 of the Florida Statutes. The objective of a partition lawsuit is to fairly distribute the property or the proceeds from its sale among the co-owners, based on their respective ownership interests.

In a partition action, the court evaluates the ownership structure, the value of the property, and any other relevant factors to determine the most equitable way to divide the property. This could result in the physical division of the property, or more commonly, the sale of the property and distribution of the proceeds.

Why Some Choose to Go Without an Attorney

The decision to file a partition lawsuit without legal representation is often driven by the desire to save on legal fees. After all, attorneys can be expensive, and the costs can add up quickly in a legal proceeding that involves multiple steps and complexities. Some people may also feel confident in their ability to navigate the legal system on their own, especially if they have some background in legal matters or real estate.

However, while the idea of saving money is tempting, it's crucial to weigh the risks and challenges involved. Legal procedures are intricate, and a small mistake could result in delays, additional costs, or even an unfavorable outcome.

The Legal Process: A Step-by-Step Guide and Why an Attorney is Advisable

Filing a partition lawsuit involves a series of complex legal steps that require meticulous attention to detail. Here's a brief overview:

  1. Initial Filing: The first step is to file a complaint for partition in the appropriate court. This document outlines the nature of the property, the parties involved, and the reason for the partition request.

  2. Serving the Complaint: After filing, the complaint must be served to all parties who have an interest in the property. This includes not just the co-owners but also any lienholders or other parties with a legal claim to the property.

  3. Court Proceedings: Once all parties have been served, the court will schedule hearings to evaluate the case. This may involve expert testimony, property appraisals, and other evidentiary matters.

  4. Judgment and Execution: If the court rules in favor of partition, it will issue a judgment outlining how the property should be divided or sold. The court may appoint a commissioner to oversee the sale and distribution of proceeds.

Given the complexity of these steps, it's highly advisable to retain an attorney experienced in Florida real estate law. Here are some reasons why:

  • Legal Expertise: An attorney can guide you through the labyrinthine legal procedures, ensuring that all documents are filed correctly and on time.

  • Strategic Advice: A lawyer can offer strategic advice on how to present your case, which can be invaluable in court proceedings.

  • Avoiding Pitfalls: The legal system is fraught with pitfalls that can derail your case. An experienced attorney can help you avoid these, saving you time and potentially a lot of money in the long run.

  • Negotiation Skills: Often, partition cases can be resolved through negotiation before they go to court. An attorney can negotiate on your behalf, potentially reaching a favorable settlement without the need for a lengthy court battle.

In summary, while it may seem cost-effective to go without an attorney, the risks and complexities involved make legal representation a wise investment.

Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Navigating a partition lawsuit without legal representation is akin to walking through a minefield; the risks are high, and one wrong step can have severe consequences. Here are some common pitfalls and how an attorney can help you avoid them:

Incorrect Filing

One of the most basic yet crucial steps is the initial filing of the partition complaint. A mistake here can result in your case being dismissed before it even gets off the ground. An attorney ensures that the complaint is drafted correctly, filed in the appropriate jurisdiction, and served to all relevant parties.

Inadequate Evidence

Partition lawsuits often require substantial evidence, such as property appraisals, to support your case. Failing to provide this can weaken your position. An attorney can guide you on what evidence is needed and how to obtain it.

Missed Deadlines

The legal process has strict timelines that must be adhered to. Missing a deadline can result in delays, additional costs, or even the dismissal of your case. An attorney keeps track of these deadlines and ensures that all filings and responses are timely.

Legal Technicalities

The law is full of technicalities that can be confusing for a layperson. For example, you may need to file specific motions or respond to legal challenges from the opposing party. An attorney can handle these technical aspects, allowing you to focus on the bigger picture.

Lack of Negotiation Skills

As mentioned earlier, many partition cases are settled out of court. Without the negotiation skills that an experienced attorney brings to the table, you may end up with an unfavorable settlement.

Ownership Structures: A Legal Perspective

The type of ownership structure you have can significantly impact your partition lawsuit. In Florida, the most common types of property ownership are "Tenancy in Common" and "Joint Tenancy."

Tenancy in Common

In this structure, each owner has a separate and distinct share of the property, which can be unequal. Owners are free to sell, lease, or will their share without the consent of the other owners. In a partition lawsuit, the court considers these individual shares when dividing the property or proceeds.

Joint Tenancy

In a joint tenancy, all owners have an equal share of the property, and there are rights of survivorship. This means that if one owner dies, their share automatically goes to the surviving owners. In Florida, joint tenants generally have the right to request a partition, but there are exceptions, especially if the joint tenancy agreement explicitly prohibits partition.

Understanding your ownership structure is crucial for a successful partition lawsuit. An attorney can provide valuable insights into how your type of ownership will affect the legal process and what strategies to employ for a favorable outcome.


While the temptation to go it alone to save on attorney's fees is understandable, the risks and complexities of filing a partition action on your own make this a risky strategy. We have seen many of these cases, and our professional advice is to seek legal representation when considering a partition lawsuit. An experienced attorney can guide you through the legal maze, helping you avoid common pitfalls, meet crucial deadlines, and ultimately, achieve a more favorable outcome. The cost of legal representation is often outweighed by the benefits it brings, not just in terms of a successful partition but also in peace of mind knowing that your case is in capable hands.


Stephen K. Hachey P.A. Stephen K. Hachey P.A.
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In the realm of Florida real estate, partition actions are a common legal recourse when co-owners of a property find themselves at an impasse regarding its sale or possession. These actions become particularly prevalent in situations where property is inherited by multiple heirs, when romantic relationships dissolve, or when business partnerships end on rocky terms. This article delves into the intricacies of partition lawsuits in Florida, shedding light on the duration, costs, and legal intricacies involved.

Understanding Partition Lawsuits

A partition lawsuit is a legal action initiated to compel the sale of real estate, often referred to simply as "property." Such a lawsuit typically arises when two or more co-owners of a property cannot reach a consensus on key decisions. This could be disagreements on whether to retain the property, proceed with its sale, or how to equitably distribute the proceeds post-sale. Common plaintiffs in these cases range from ex-partners in a romantic relationship to heirs, family members, etc.

Partition Action Frequently Asked Questions

The primary outcome of a partition lawsuit is usually the sale of the property. Following the sale, the proceeds are divided among the co-owners. This division takes into account their respective ownership stakes and any contributions they've made towards property-related expenses. These expenses can encompass mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance premiums, and essential repairs.

Duration and Legal Work Involved

On average, a partition lawsuit in Florida demands approximately 12 hours of legal work. This work is spread out over a span of 9 to 12 months. However, it's worth noting that if the involved parties reach a settlement, the lawsuit might conclude in less than the typical 9 to 12-month timeframe. Settlements can significantly expedite the resolution process, ensuring that all parties reach a mutually agreeable solution without prolonged legal battles.

Cost Breakdown

Navigating a partition lawsuit comes with its associated costs. Here's a detailed breakdown:

Legal Costs: Initiating or defending a partition lawsuit requires an upfront payment of $500. This covers various legal costs, notably court filing fees.
Nonrefundable Minimum Legal Fees: Our firm charges a nonrefundable fee of $4500 for either filing or defending against a partition lawsuit. This amount is due at the outset.
Contingency Option: For those who prefer a different payment structure, our firm offers a contingency option. Under this arrangement, both legal costs and attorney fees are deducted from the sale proceeds of the property. This means you only pay once the property has been successfully sold and the proceeds are available.

Recovering Attorney Fees and Costs

One of the frequent questions we encounter is whether clients can recover their attorney fees and associated costs. The answer is nuanced. If the property undergoes partitioning, the court can award attorneys’ fees and costs. The amount awarded is commensurate with the services rendered and the overall benefit to the partition lawsuit.

Defenses and Alternatives to Partition Lawsuits

While the partition is a right between co-owners, there are potential defenses and alternatives:

Equitable Defenses: In certain scenarios, equitable defenses might be available to co-owners.
Buy-out Options: The Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act offers provisions on how one co-owner can legally buy out the interests of the other co-owners.
Settlement Options: Before resorting to a lawsuit, co-owners can explore settlement options. This could involve agreeing to sell the property and determining how to split the proceeds or opting for a buyout.

Sale of the Property

In the event of a court-mandated sale, a neutral third party, known as a Special Magistrate, is appointed to oversee the sale. This individual, a licensed real estate broker, charges the standard real estate commission of 6% from the sale proceeds.

Mortgages and Liens in Partition Lawsuits

Any existing mortgages or liens on the property are addressed before dividing the sale proceeds among co-owners. The proceeds from the partition sale are first used to satisfy these financial obligations. The remaining amount is then distributed among the co-owners, either based on a pre-agreed settlement or a court order.

Recommendations and Advice

Partition lawsuits can be intricate, with multiple factors to consider. It's highly recommended to engage an experienced real estate attorney to navigate this process. Their expertise can provide clarity, ensure your rights are protected, and potentially save you both time and money.

The opinions in this post are solely those of the author. The author takes full responsibility for the content. Like all blog posts, this is offered for general information purposes and does not constitute legal advice.


Stephen K. Hachey P.A. Stephen K. Hachey P.A.
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With the rise of hybrid and fully remote work, more and more people are finding the flexibility they need to live where they want while still being able to work. While this has its advantages, such as the ability to save money and improve one’s quality of life, it also means making some tough decisions about where to live. Relocating for hybrid work is a popular option, and Florida has emerged as one of the top destinations for remote workers. Even so, it’s a relatively unexplored topic, so we’ll dig into the pros and cons so you can weigh your options. We will also provide tips on how to make the most of this opportunity, including factors to consider when buying a house in Florida.

The Pros of Relocating for Hybrid Work

One of the primary benefits of relocating for hybrid work is increased job opportunities. When you are not limited to a specific geographic location, you can apply for jobs all over the country or even internationally. This opens up a world of possibilities and can lead to exciting new opportunities and career growth. Additionally, relocating for hybrid work can also lead to cost savings. Depending on where you move, you may be able to find a more affordable cost of living, which can help you stretch your budget further. This can be especially important for those who are just starting out in their careers or who are looking to save for other goals, such as a down payment on a house.

Another advantage of relocating for hybrid work is improved quality of life. When you have more control over where you live, you can choose a location that aligns with your personal preferences and interests. This could mean living in a city with a vibrant nightlife or choosing a more peaceful, rural area with access to outdoor activities. Ultimately, the ability to live and work in a place that makes you happy can lead to greater overall satisfaction and wellbeing.

The Cons of Relocating for Hybrid Work

While there are many benefits to relocating for hybrid work, there are also some downsides to consider. One of the biggest disadvantages is the higher cost of living in some areas. Although relocating to a new area can provide cost savings, it is important to carefully research the cost of living in different locations before making a decision. In some cases, the cost of living may be higher in the new location, which could offset any savings gained from remote work.

Another potential downside of relocating for hybrid work is the expense of the relocation itself. Depending on how far you are moving and how much you need to transport, the cost of moving can be significant. Additionally, there may be hidden costs associated with moving, such as having to replace furniture or household items that do not fit in your new home, or even breaking a current lease.

Lastly, it is important to consider the cultural adjustment that may be necessary when relocating to a new area. Even if you are moving to a location within the same country, there may be differences in customs, traditions, and even language that can take time to adjust to. This can be especially challenging if you have a close-knit community or support network in your current location. It is important to be prepared for these challenges and to have a plan in place to cope with any potential stress or loneliness.

The Rise of Remote Workers in Florida

Florida has become a popular destination for remote workers in recent years. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of people working from home in Florida increased by 87% between 2005 and 2018.

In addition to the overall increase in remote work in Florida, there are several cities that have become particularly popular among remote workers. These include Miami, Orlando, and Tampa. These cities offer a range of job opportunities in a variety of industries, typically worth the relocation. With a diverse population and a wide range of amenities, it’s no wonder that Florida has become such a popular destination for remote workers from around the country and the world.

The Pros of Relocating to Florida for Hybrid Work

Relocating to Florida for hybrid work can offer several advantages, such as the lack of a state income tax and a lower cost of living compared to other states, which can provide more financial freedom for remote workers. The current housing market in Florida is cooling after several years of being on fire, but that could be a good thing for new homebuyers. As a remote worker, you’re home-buying process might be slightly different. For example, initially you may have to rely heavily on images and video to see the property. Additionally, you may have to provide a mortgage letter for remote workers so that your lenders feel at ease.

And all that is before even considering the beach access! Remote workers who choose to relocate to Florida can take advantage of the state’s natural beauty, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, and enjoy activities such as swimming, boating, and fishing. Moreover, Florida’s diverse culture and food scene, along with its many entertainment and recreational opportunities, can provide a unique experience for those looking to make the most of their hybrid work arrangement.

The Cons of Relocating to Florida for Hybrid Work

Even with all the advantages of picking Florida as your new hybrid work home, there are also some potential challenges to consider. One significant challenge is the state’s weather patterns, including high humidity and hurricane season. Hurricane season can be rough, so much so that insurers are starting to raise rates or not cover certain homes/areas at all. Make sure to investigate this further per your exact municipality when you have an idea of where you might end up. Additionally, some of Florida’s tourist destinations can become crowded and busy during peak season, which may not be ideal for those who prefer a quieter lifestyle.

Moreover, while Florida has a growing job market, some industries may have limited opportunities, which could make it difficult for some remote workers to find suitable employment. It is important to research the job market in your specific industry before relocating to Florida, as well as to have a backup plan in case you encounter any job search challenges.

Tips for Relocating to Florida for Hybrid Work

It’s important to research the cost of living in different areas and to consider factors such as property taxes, homeowner association fees, and insurance rates when deciding where to live. Additionally, remote workers should be aware of the potential impact of hurricanes on their chosen location and take steps to prepare for them, such as having a disaster kit and ensuring their home is properly insured.

It is also important to understand the local job market and whether your specific industry has opportunities in the state. This can be done by researching job postings and reaching out to local professional organizations.

Additionally, a good real estate attorney will help review contracts, negotiate deals, and ensure that your rights are protected during the transaction. They can also help you navigate the complex laws and regulations that govern real estate in Florida, including property tax laws and zoning laws. By working with an experienced real estate attorney, you can feel confident that you are making an informed and well-protected investment in your new home.

Wrapping Up

Relocating for hybrid work can provide many benefits, but it is important to carefully consider the pros and cons before making a decision. Florida has emerged as a top destination for remote workers, thanks to its warm climate, lack of a state income tax, and growing job market. However, it is important to also consider the potential challenges, such as weather patterns and limited job opportunities in some industries. Good luck and happy hunting!


Stephen K. Hachey P.A. Stephen K. Hachey P.A.
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What are the options when a piece of real estate is owned by two or more people and at least one of those people wants to sell the property while the others don’t? A common scenario is where family members inherit real estate as heirs in a will. It also occurs in divorces, when unmarried couples split up, and when businesses dissolve. In addition, cohabitation between friends and associates is on the rise and often leads to the necessity of selling jointly owned property.

Sometimes a Partition Lawsuit is the Only Solution

When owners of jointly owned property are not able to agree on the sale of real estate, a partition lawsuit is the tool used by courts to resolve the matter. Ideally, the co-owners will be able to resolve the dispute without a court order. One way the owners can resolve the matter is the owner, or owners, that do not want to sell the property can buyout the owner that wants to sell. Even in a buyout scenario, however, the parties will still need to agree on a fair purchase price. Another way to solve the matter without a lawsuit is for the owners to agree to sell the property. If the parties decide to sell the property voluntarily they will still need to agree on how to split the profit from the sale. This can be contentious because the parties may have conflicting opinions regarding their contribution to the real estate over the course of their ownership. Contributions to the initial down payment, mortgage payments, property taxes, improvements, and more, are often topics of disagreement. As you can see, there are many factors that can lead to disputes when disposing of jointly owned real estate.

Because the decision to sell and the decisions on how to fairly divide the proceeds from the sale can be so contentious, often the only way to resolve the dispute is to file a partition lawsuit. In a partition action, the court makes the ultimate decision on whether to sell the property and how the proceeds of the sale should be divided amongst the owners based on their ownership share. The court may also consider other factors mentioned above which relate to each party’s level of investment in the property.

Partition Lawyer Stephen K. Hachey Is Here To Help!

Stephen K. Hachey, an experienced partition attorney, can not only help you determine your options, but he can advise you on the best course of action based on your unique situation. And with offices spread out across Tampa Bay, he’s available and accessible to begin working for you. It is never too late to get help. The Law Offices of Stephen K. Hachey proudly serves Tampa, St Petersburg, Clearwater, Wesley Chapel, Brandon, Riverview, South Tampa, Orlando, Bradenton and everywhere in between.

Know Your Rights Before You Act

Real estate law involves state statutes and laws, which can often be complicated and intimidating. Stephen K. Hachey can explain laws and regulations that govern any and all activity dealing with residential or commercial real estate. As a real estate law firm, the Law Offices of Stephen K. Hachey is committed to helping individuals and businesses in connection with all types of real estate transactions.

Stephen K. Hachey Can Help You Wade Through This Difficult Process To Reach A Positive Solution. Call 813-549-0096 Today!

***The opinions in this post are solely those of the author. The author takes full responsibility for the content. Like all blog posts, this is offered for general information purposes and does not constitute legal advice.***

As a real estate attorney based in the Sunshine State, I can't stress enough the importance of understanding and complying with Florida Landlord Tenant laws. This advice isn't merely a suggestion—it's a necessity for anyone stepping into the shoes of a landlord. In this blog post, I'll walk you through some of the most crucial aspects of these laws and help you comprehend how they can impact your role as a property owner.

The Power of the Rental Agreement

Let's start with the first line of defense—a comprehensive rental agreement or lease. Think of this document as your roadmap in the often complex journey of property rental. It delineates the rights and obligations of both parties involved—the landlord (you) and the tenant. This agreement sets the rules of the game, from the amount of rent and due dates to the terms of property use and maintenance responsibilities.

However, crafting a lease agreement isn't about loading it with restrictions and stipulations aimed solely at protecting your interests. It's about creating a balanced document that also considers the rights of your tenants. Remember, a happy tenant often equates to a hassle-free landlord experience. So, it's in your best interest to be fair and transparent right from the outset.

State Law Rules the Roost

Now, you've got a detailed lease that both parties are happy with. Great start, but it's vital to remember that no matter how comprehensive your rental agreement is, it's always subject to the overriding power of state law—in this case, the Florida Residential Landlord Tenant Act.

Yes, you read that right. State law trumps your lease agreement. This law is designed to provide a fair playing field for both landlords and tenants, ensuring neither party can enforce unjust or abusive terms on the other. If your lease includes terms that conflict with state law, those terms will be unenforceable, and you could find yourself facing a legal battle that you hadn't bargained for.

This is why it's essential to review all relevant state laws and ensure they align with your lease agreement. Understanding the Florida Residential Landlord Tenant Act can be a bit of a daunting task, given the breadth of its coverage. But fear not, I'll be shedding light on some of the most crucial aspects that every landlord should be aware of in the sections to follow. Stay tuned for a deep dive into rental payments, lease termination, background checks, and more.

Remember, being a successful landlord isn't just about owning property—it's about understanding the legal landscape and navigating it effectively. Stay informed and stay protected.

Managing Rental Payments and Lease Termination

Now, let's talk about one of the critical aspects of your role as a landlord: managing rental payments. It goes without saying that timely payments are vital for maintaining a healthy cash flow. However, life happens, and you might find yourself dealing with late or missed payments. Florida law provides a reasonable window for late payments, but it's crucial to specify this in your lease agreement.

However, you cannot take the law into your own hands if a tenant fails to pay. Florida law prohibits landlords from forcing tenants out without court approval. If you find yourself in a situation where eviction seems inevitable, remember to take the legal route by filing a complaint with the courts. This may seem tedious, but it's the only lawful way to protect your interests.

The Value of Background Checks

One aspect of being a landlord that often gets overlooked is the necessity of conducting background checks. In the excitement of finding a potential tenant, it might be tempting to skip this step. However, a comprehensive background check is more than a mere formality. It is a crucial tool to ensure the security of your property and protect yourself from potential legal hassles down the line.

By performing a background check, you're not just securing your property, but you're also providing peace of mind for your neighbors, particularly if your property is part of a shared community like an apartment or condo building. Remember, a little due diligence can save you a lot of trouble in the future.

Navigating the Waters of Security Deposits

Security deposits are another integral part of the landlord-tenant relationship. This sum should be collected before or at the signing of the rental agreement, and it's important to include the specific amount in your lease terms.

The way you handle this deposit is regulated by Florida law. The collected money should be kept in a separate account, not mixed with your personal or business funds. You're also required to disclose to the tenant the location of the deposit and whether it's held in an interest-bearing account.

At the end of the lease, unless there are valid reasons for deductions, such as unpaid rent or damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear, the deposit should be returned to the tenant. If you plan to make deductions, Florida law requires you to give a written notice outlining the specifics within 30 days of lease termination.


Navigating the legal landscape of landlord-tenant laws can seem daunting, especially if you're a first-time landlord or if you're unsure whether your lease agreement complies with Florida law. It's highly recommended to consult with a knowledgeable, licensed real estate attorney who can guide you through this process.

Remember, being a successful landlord is not just about owning a property—it's about understanding the legal landscape and navigating it effectively. So, arm yourself with knowledge, stay informed, and protect your interests.

If you need assistance wading through these complex waters to reach a positive solution, don't hesitate to call. I'm here to help make your landlord journey a smooth one.


Stephen K. Hachey P.A. Stephen K. Hachey P.A.
Have Questions?
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Call Now! (813) 549-0096

Nothing is more of a kick in the gut than faithfully paying rent on time for years just to get a notice stating that your rent is about to climb. You’ve budgeting your money intently with the purpose of having a rent check handy for your landlord on the first of the month. You may not necessarily have the means to absorb a rent increase, but now you have one. And you have a decision to make. Pay the increased rent or look for a new home. It’s a frustrating and often, unanticipated decision that many of us have faced throughout our lives. What’s worse is that Florida is not a rent-controlled state. This means that your landlord can increase rent as much as he or she wants and, in more desirable parts of the state, rent increases can be extreme from year to year. While it may appear that you are powerless to constant rent increases, there is a way to fight back.

People may become squeamish at thought of negotiating for the things they need in life, but they really shouldn’t. Negotiation is no longer the domain of corporate power players and people trying to win back hostages. It’s a simply of method for ensuring that your interests are protected. We all earn a certain amount of money and it’s up to each one of us to make the best decisions in regard to it. While saving your money and making proper investments is a part of that, so to is getting the best prices possible for goods and services. The rent you pay for your home is no different. To protect your interest in this area sometimes requires asking the right questions and seeking the best price possible.

Negotiating a better rent doesn’t have to be intimidating. Follow these basic steps and you may earn a rental price that works best for your budget.

Put in the Homework

First and foremost, you have to do some research. What are your neighbors paying for their places? What are the rent prices for comparable places in your area? Not just places on your block, but places of similar size, quality and age. This will be done in the hopes that you find a pattern of locations like yours with lower rent prices. Armed with this information, you can approach your landlord with the confidence to negotiate.

Build a Plan

Part of building a plan is determining what outcome are you looking to achieve. Do you want to keep the same rent? Gain more amenities? Upgrade certain items? Once you’ve determined what you want, it’s time to gather your research of similar places and the positive attributes you bring to the table and build a sound argument. If you’ve paid your rent on time each month, not hosted all-night foam parties, and been an all-around model citizen, you have more leverage than you realize. Your landlord is not going to be as willing to roll the dice on finding a tenant of your ilk. Use that to your advantage.

Put Yourself in Your Landlord’s Shoes

To that point, empathy is a critical part of any successful negotiation. While your landlord wants more income on a monthly basis, they also don’t want to risk losing a good and stable tenant. This doesn’t mean that you tell your landlord “my way or the highway”, however it does help you determine what you can offer to get what you need. Perhaps you offer to pay a couple of months rent in order to keep your rent at the same price. Or you may offer to sign a longer lease. Oftentimes, consistent income is better than more income.

Negotiate in Person

In our digital age, it’s become all too easy to hide behind and a screen and push people around. It’s much harder to be aggressive in person. When negotiating your rent, do so in a formal meeting. It’s likely that your landlord will not have prepared thoroughly for the discussion. If you come in polite, prepared and persuasive, you’ll have a great advantage in negotiation.

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to be a master negotiator, just confident and motivated to get what you want out of a situation. That and preparation will go a long way.

Stephen K. Hachey Can Help You Wade Through This Difficult Process To Reach A Positive Solution. Call 813-549-0096 Today!

***The opinions in this post are solely those of the author. The author takes full responsibility for the content. Like all blog posts, this is offered for general information purposes and does not constitute legal advice.***

According to Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes – specifically article 53 – a landlord cannot remove locks from a property unless it’s for the purpose of maintaining, repairing or replacing them. The same chapter also covers whether a tenant can change the property’s locks without the landlord’s content. Let’s take a look.

Landlord’s Access to the Property

According to Chapter 83, article 53 of the Florida Statutes, tenants have certain obligations when it comes to granting landlords access to the property. Landlords may require entry for a variety of reasons:

Inspections: Regular checks to ensure the property is in good condition.
Maintenance or Repairs: Addressing wear and tear or specific issues that arise.
Providing Agreed Services: This could include pest control, HVAC maintenance, or other services agreed upon in the lease.
Showing the Property: Landlords might need to show the property to potential buyers, tenants, or other stakeholders.

It’s also worth noting that landlords have the right to access the property at any time to protect or preserve it. This could be in situations where there’s a risk of damage or harm. However, in most cases, landlords should provide at least 12 hours’ notice and should visit between the hours of 7:30 A.M. and 8 P.M. There are exceptions, such as emergencies, when the tenant has given consent, if the tenant unreasonably denies access, or if the tenant has been absent for an extended period.

Changing the Locks as a Tenant

Security is a primary concern for many tenants. However, when it comes to changing locks, there are specific guidelines to follow. Unless the lease agreement explicitly allows it, tenants should not change the property locks without the landlord’s consent. Doing so can lead to complications, including potential eviction.

If a tenant feels their privacy is being violated due to a landlord’s frequent and unannounced visits, it’s crucial to address the issue. Communication is key. Discussing concerns with the landlord might lead to a resolution. However, if the problem persists, seeking legal counsel is advisable.

Due to our current caseload, our office simply does not the have the resources
needed to dedicate to any additional tenant legal matters.
Any tenant-specific legal matters should be referred to the following organization:
Lawyer Referral Service Online (available 24/7) — https://www.floridabar.org/public/lrs/
or Phone (800) 342-8011 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Seeking Legal Advice

Navigating property rights can be complex. If tenants or landlords face issues related to property access, security, or any other disputes, consulting with a legal expert is essential. An experienced real estate attorney can provide guidance, ensuring that both parties’ rights are upheld and that any conflicts are resolved amicably.

***The opinions in this blog are those of the author whom takes full responsibility for the content. Like all other content on the site, this does not constitute legal advice and is for general information purposes only.***

If you own a property and are thinking about selling it with a tenant still occupying it, you might ask yourself if you’re legally able to. Simply put, you can sell your property if you buy the tenant out of his or her lease. Otherwise, the person who purchases the property would have to honor the terms of the withstanding lease.

Let’s take a closer look at this often-asked question.

How to Handle a Month-to-Month Lease When Selling a Property

If you’ve rented your property on a month-to-month basis, you’ll only need to notify the tenant before you’d like him or her to move out. You must notify the tenant with a letter, either by mailing it (ensure that he or she has received it with a signature) or delivering it in person. In Florida, when terminating a month-to-month lease, you must notify the tenant not less than 15 days before the end of any monthly period.

Remember, you don’t need a reason to terminate a month-to-month lease, which is one of the benefits of having one. When writing the letter, ensure you include:

  • The current date.
  • How many days the tenant has before you terminate the lease.
  • A statement to remove all possessions and return the keys by that date.
  • A statement informing the tenant you’ll start the eviction process otherwise.

How to Handle a Fixed-Term Lease When Selling a Property

If you’ve rented your property on a fixed-term basis, it’ll take a little more effort – or money – to ensure your tenant moves on. Here are the five options you have.

  • Wait until the fixed-term lease has expired
  • Sell the property with the lease still active
  • Negotiate and pay the tenant to vacate
  • Sell the property to the tenant
  • Execute an early termination clause in the fixed-term lease

While a month-to-month lease is relatively easy to work around, a fixed-term lease is another story. Although you have options, it’s best to talk with an experienced real estate attorney to sort through them.

Stephen K. Hachey can help you wade through this difficult process to reach a positive solution. Call 813-549-0096 today!

***The opinions in this blog are those of the author whom takes full responsibility for the content. Like all other content on the site, this does not constitute legal advice and is for general information purposes only.***

Managing your assets while you’re alive and distributing them after your death are important steps to establishing financial family security. Creating a revocable trust is one way of doing so, and many people choose this option because you can change or cancel its provisions at anytime before you pass. With a revocable trust, you also ensure that a court doesn’t manage how your assets are distributed after death.

If a spouse or a minor child survives you, keep in mind that Florida law prohibits the devise of a homestead property, including ‘gifting’ through a will or ‘transferring’ through a revocable trust. To put it simply, if you have a surviving spouse or a minor child, Florida prohibits you from gifting or transferring your property after you die.

The Florida Constitution states that, “The homestead shall not be subject to devise if the owner is survived by spouse or minor child, except the homestead may be devised to the owner’s spouse if there be no minor child.” This can especially impact people who have been married multiple times and established long-held trusts.

Luckily, you can work around the Florida law and its homestead property restrictions. One way of doing so is setting up an irrevocable trust. Florida law states that if a homeowner commits his or her interest in a homestead property to an irrevocable trust and surrenders the power to revoke it, a court won’t consider the transfer of it a devise and it’ll respect the its disposition as directed by the trust.

Although irrevocable trusts aren’t as flexible as revocable trusts, Florida law still provides homeowners with some features of flexibility when planning one.

With an irrevocable trust, a homeowner can:

  • Retain a lifetime interest or a term of years.
  • Delay the possession of the homestead property until a specific date.
  • Subject the interest to a lapse or a divestment.

For more information about homestead properties and the different types of trust planning, contact our real estate team today to alleviate your worries and stress.

Stephen K. Hachey can help you wade through this difficult process to reach a positive solution. Call 813-549-0096 today!

***The opinions in this blog are those of the author whom takes full responsibility for the content. Like all other content on the site, this does not constitute legal advice and is for general information purposes only.***

There are two types of real estate contracts in Florida, including the ‘as is’ real estate contract. In a nutshell, an ‘as is’ real estate contract specifies that the person purchasing the property must do so in its existing condition without demanding the seller make any upgrades or repairs. The contract also states the purchaser has a short time period – usually 15 calendar days – to get the property inspected. Upon inspection, if the property needs repairs, the purchaser can ask the seller to lower its selling price or provide a credit at closing to cover the future repair costs. If the seller declines, the purchaser can back out of the contract within that time period.

Sellers Must Disclose Things About the Property to Prospective Buyers

If you’re debating whether to purchase a property using an ‘as in’ contract, it’s important to note a seller must disclose the following things about the property:

  • Potential or actual complaints, claims or legal proceedings
  • Disputes regarding boundaries
  • Pest damage and infestations
  • Potential or actual damage from sinkholes, whether past or present
  • Environmental hazards
  • Problems with HVAC, plumbing, roof, electrical, etc.
  • Homeowners association rules to comply by

Although it gives you less time to inspect the property, an ‘as is’ real estate contract offers more flexibility to back out of a deal if you’re a buyer.

Stephen K. Hachey can help you wade through this difficult process to reach a positive solution. Call 813-549-0096 today!

***The opinions in this blog are those of the author whom takes full responsibility for the content. Like all other content on the site, this does not constitute legal advice and is for general information purposes only.***