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REAL ESTATE LAW - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Real Estate - FAQs

 

Are you looking for information about Real Estate transactions under Florida law? our experienced team of real estate attorneys have compiled and answered the most frequently asked questions about this subject In an effort to help you obtain as much information needed as possible. Please read below:

Do I Need a Real Estate Attorney if I Want to Buy or Sell a House?

A real estate attorney can guide you through the process, and help you negotiate a price that is right for you. A real estate attorney will also review listing agreements with brokers, offers, and purchase contracts before you sign them to make certain that your requests are met. Further, a real estate attorney can advise you on financing the house of your dreams.

Title and boundary disputes involve disagreements about who owns a piece of property, and the amount of area the property covers. Title and boundary disputes are becoming less common as better records are kept and property lines are more clearly defined. However, title and boundary disputes still arise, especially when title and boundary lines were recorded a long time ago. Back to Real Estate FAQs

How do I Find my Property's Boundary Lines?

The property description in your deed includes the boundary lines of your property. Deeds to property are recorded at the county or city recorder's office. The recorder's office should have information on all the prior owners of your land and where the boundaries used to lie.Back to Real Estate FAQs

What Is an Agreed Boundary?

Many property owners have a difficult time determining the boundary line between their property and an adjacent property. Often, neighbors will agree on a property line even though it may not be the true property line. This can lead to many problems because of inconsistencies at a later date.Back to Real Estate FAQs

Will an Agreed Boundary Line be Legally Binding?

It is possible for neighbors to have their agreed boundary made legally binding under certain circumstances. This agreement will be enforceable even if a surveyor later determines the true boundary line. However, the agreed boundary line must have been effective because of confusion or uncertainty as to the true boundary line.Back to Real Estate FAQs

What are the Elements of an Agreed Boundary Doctrine?

There are various elements that are necessary for an agreed boundary line. These elements include:

  • Uncertainty as to the true boundary line
  • Landowners must agree on the boundary line
  • Owners must affirm and act as though the new boundary line is the true boundary line
  • Owners should identify the new boundary line. This can usually be accomplished by erecting a fence or some other identification
  • If one of these elements is not met the agreed boundary line might not be legally enforceable.Back to Real Estate FAQs

Is the Agreed Boundary Enforceable against Future Parties?

The agreed boundary doctrine binds future parties to the new boundary. There may be no property records in effect but the agreed boundary doctrine of parties will bind future owners. This occurs frequently when the agreed boundary line has been in effect for many years with the previous owners.Back to Real Estate FAQs

What is Acquiescence to a Boundary Line?

Acquiescence is a legal concept that determines the boundary line between two properties and overrules the boundary listed in the deeds. If the law of acquiescence applies, one property owner loses title to some amount of land and the other property owner gains it.Back to Real Estate FAQs

When Does the Law of Acquiescence Apply?

The law of acquiescence is concerned with adjoining property owners, both of whom are mistaken about where the line between their property is. Adjoining property owners may treat a boundary line, often a fence, as the property line incorrectly. If the law of acquiescence applies, then one property owner will lose all legal title to some amount of land. This is similar to the doctrine of adverse possession, however there is no requirement that the actions be hostile, instead it is based on a mutual mistake. In most states, the law of acquiescence can apply in three situations:

  • Dispute and agreement - If the property owners have a dispute about where the boundary is and come to an agreement to settle the dispute, this agreed upon boundary line becomes the legal boundary, no matter what is listed in the deeds.
  • Acquiescence for a statutory period - If one landowner treats a line as the dividing line between the property for the amount of time required by statute without objection from the neighbor, this line will become the legal boundary. The statutory period is usually quite long, often 15 years.
  • Intention to deed to boundary line - This situation arises when a property owner intends to deed the property with the boundary line but mistakenly uses an incorrect description. In this case, the acquiescence to the intended boundary will fix the mistake.Back to Real Estate FAQs

Do I Need a Lawyer to Make a Boundary Line Agreement?

The law regarding agreed boundary doctrines can be difficult. An experienced Orlando real property attorney can help property owners to put their agreements in writing to make sure no inconsistencies or disagreements occur. A real property lawyer can also check the relevant state laws in your area to determine what steps are necessary to finalize an agreed boundary line.Back to Real Estate FAQs

What Does it Mean to Have "Title"?

Having title to a piece of property generally means that a person actually owns the property described on the deed. Title usually refers to an owner's rights.

Recorded title is also important. When an individual sells or buys a piece of property, he or she is usually required under state law to record this event at the county or city recorder's office. The recorded title will also note any "clouds on title" or "encumbrances" such as liens, mortgages, easements or other things that may affect ownership rights.Back to Real Estate FAQs

What is a Title Insurance?

Essentially title insurance is a guarantee of a thorough search of the public records of your deed to make sure no one else has an interest in the property. The title insurance company will defend your title if there is a "cloud" or another interest recorded on your title that they did not find.Back to Real Estate FAQs

Do I Need a Real Estate Attorney for my Title or Boundary Line Dispute?

Title and boundaries are very essential issues, which may affect your rights as a property owner. A real estate attorney can help you determine the extent of your rights to your property. Additionally, a real estate attorney can help you defend any attack on your boundary rights and your title to your property.Back to Real Estate FAQs

Do I Need a Real Property Lawyer?

It can sometimes be difficult to determine where the boundary is between two pieces of property. If you have any doubt about the boundary to your property, you should speak to a lawyer to avoid losing title to land that is legally yours. A lawyer can advise you of your options as a property owner and represent you in court.Back to Real Estate FAQs

 

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