Orlando Real Estate Lawyer

From large development projects to buying a family home, our lawyers at Bogin, Munns & Munns’ Orlando location can advocate for you during your legal proceedings.

Our Central Florida law firm is your source for all real estate legal services from planning and representation to land development and closings. Our real estate litigation attorneys in Orlando are even able to offer real estate brokerage services.

Orlando is a Hot Spot for Real Estate

Real estate is an essential and growing part of the Orlando area. Millions of tourists come from all over the world to enjoy our theme parks and attractions while staying at any of the numerous hotels along International Drive. With that, many people are interested in buying property for:

  • Restaurants
  • Franchises
  • Shopping centers
  • Entertainment venues
  • Hotels

Obtaining the proper permits and licenses, bidding for the property against other potential buyers, submitting an application, and going back and forth with the landlord can be overwhelming and cause confusion. You can look to a real estate lawyer with our firm to take over these tasks and others for you while you focus on other important matters that go into this process.

What Some of Our Clients Have Said About Working with Our Lawyers

For over 40 years, we have served personal injury, criminal defense, and real estate litigation clients, among many others. We have made it our mission to secure our clients a favorable outcome so that they move forward.

Here are a few of our client reviews for us:

  • My experience with Bogin, Munns, and Munns has been wonderful… I met with John Watson at BMM where he reviewed my case and immediately shared great concern for my health… Any time I had questions, John explained answers thoroughly and provided real- life examples that were relatable…” – Heather W., from Orlando
  • “Ryan Munns and staff have been a great help. With so many attorneys and different areas of practice they are a complete firm with a long history within Florida.” – Alan K., from Orlando

Our team is ready to hear your case to see how we can be of assistance to you.

General Services We Can Provide as Your Real Estate Lawyers

As your real estate lawyer, we can provide you with innovative legal services such as:

  • Licensure assistance
  • Fiduciary duty advice
  • Escrow dispute advice

We are happy to guide you through the real estate process and closing. We can meet you at a location that is most convenient for you in 13 locations throughout Central Florida, with our main office in Orlando. Our attorneys can help ensure your real estate matter is handled with the care you should expect from a firm that has been around for over 40 years.

For a more in-depth look, here are all the different areas we cover in real estate litigation.

Commercial Real Estate

The Orlando and Central Florida real estate attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns are ready to assist you with the following commercial real estate closing services:

  • Reviewing, negotiating, and drafting of real estate contracts that ensure provisions and contingencies are in YOUR best interest
  • Helping buyers, sellers, and lenders navigate through due diligence matters that are applicable to the transaction. Remember that just as there are varying types of commercial real estate, there are varying due diligence issues that need to be considered by the buyer, seller, and lender.
  • Working with lenders and buyers on all types of acquisition financing and ensuring the documents are prepared according to their agreement
  • Evaluating the status of the title and the survey and taking appropriate legal actions to clear up any existing title or survey issues, as requested by our clients
  • Explaining what the title policy does and does NOT protect you against
  • Consulting and assisting buyers with determining what business entity or other forms of ownership are most advantageous for the property
  • Acting as a title agent and closing agent to perform closings in compliance with the ever-evolving requirements of parties to the transaction. In so doing, we ensure that your legal rights are protected throughout that process.
  • Working on defeasance and other complex payoff procedures

If you have issues regarding residential or commercial sales, purchases or leases, land use, financing, evictions, and/or lawsuits, our real estate litigation team can use our resources to help you find a solution.

Development

Real estate development includes all aspects of the project, including: 

  • Site selection
  • Site acquisition
  • Site permitting
  • Site preparation
  • Construction
  • Completion
  • Operation

Our real estate attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns can help with negotiating development agreements to have the necessary entitlements, permits, and land use designations for our Orlando clients. In addition, we work closely with local government officials to ensure the land for real estate and development projects has the required permits and appropriate zoning.

We represent the following entities in commercial, residential, industrial, and mixed-use real estate development projects in Orlando:

  • Developers
  • Landowners
  • Builders

Clients benefit from our ability to resolve land use issues as diverse as the land itself, including: 

  • Land development
  • Zoning
  • Annexation
  • Private covenants
  • And more 

Our Land Use Attorneys Are Prepared to Handle the Complex Issues

We are prepared to negotiate even the most complex land issues and utilize our extensive knowledge of land use planning and zoning law as a foundation for effective resolutions.

Whether you require legal assistance in resolving small landowner issues such as zoning variances for single lots or you’re a large real estate developer running a mixed-use development project, our land use attorneys can provide you with reliable legal counsel.

Eminent Domain

Eminent domain is the acquisition of private land by the government for public use, regardless of whether the owner is willing to sell or not. It can be a complicated matter of law, which can greatly benefit from the help of an eminent domain attorney with experience in this area. At Bogin, Munns & Munns, our attorneys can protect you by advocating for your rights to receive fair compensation.

The process is often complex, but we have the knowledge and experience to handle your case no matter what type of property you own, including:

  • Single-family homes
  • Apartment complexes
  • Commercial real estate
  • Small and large acreage
  • Industrial complexes
  • Vacant land

When the Government Condemns Real Estate

The government has the power to condemn real estate, which is the process that a government uses to acquire private property, and you may not have much say in the process. However, you do still have rights that are worth protecting. You have the right to contest the government’s offer, and Bogin, Munns & Munns’ eminent domain lawyers are here to protect those rights.

No matter how large or complicated, our eminent domain attorneys serving Orlando are here to assist you with any type of eminent domain litigation. You deserve to be compensated at the fair market value of the land. We believe that the government should negotiate fairly for the property they intend on purchasing, and if you as a landowner aren’t willing to give up what’s yours, it’s our job to learn your circumstances and fight for you.

Environmental Law

Environmental law often overlaps into other legal areas, including real estate. Depending on the type of land, environmental laws may restrict what type of structure may be built upon it, or forbid construction altogether. Before you purchase a piece of land to build your home or business, make sure zoning and environmental laws won’t keep your dreams from becoming a reality.

The chief concerns of environmental law are conserving our natural resources and controlling pollution. Some landowners may consider:

  • Controlling pollution, which can mean something as mundane as issuing minor fines for littering to pressing criminal charges against heads of the industry for toxic dumping violations. 
  • Conserving natural resources, which covers many different areas as well. This could include restrictions on what days you can water your lawn to helping maintain wildlife populations by limiting hunting to specific seasons or outlawing the hunting and fishing of specific species entirely. 
  • The Endangered Species Act (ESA), which has helped save a number of plant and animal species from extinction.

In the United States, the Federal body overseeing environmental law is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), established in 1970. It was created as a result of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to administer the Clean Air Act along with other eco-conscious duties. The role of the EPA continues to grow as progress marches forward. Programs focused on climate change and creating more efficient household appliances are currently in effect.

Common Law

Environmental laws are in place to protect you and your home. If you have a neighbor who causes damage or harm to your property due to their pollution, you may be able to receive compensation under common law. 

Common law practices allow landowners to sue for either nuisance or even under the theory of trespass. Cases such as these are determined on an individual basis, so you might want to think about reaching out to our firm right away if another party’s pollution is keeping you from a good night’s rest.

Landlord/ Tenant

Florida lease termination can become a complex matter, so you might want to consider leaving these types of cases to real estate litigation lawyers on our team. Leases are typically long and often complicated documents that can be misinterpreted, yet they create the foundation of a tenant and landlord relationship.

The terms lay out the rights and obligations of both parties, which can lead to disputes over negotiations, rights, and early lease termination. Whatever the circumstances are, landlords and tenants should have legal representation to ensure that they are protected under any type of real estate landlord/tenant situation.

The real estate lawyers at Bogin, Munns & Munns can help you with all sides of the spectrum regarding landlord and tenant attorney services, including but not limited to:

  • Tenant evictions
  • Preparing lease agreements
  • Early lease termination
  • Rental and lease negotiations
  • Tenant’s rights
  • Landlord’s rights
  • Lease obligations
  • Lease enforcement

Helping You Understand Your Rights and Obligations

It is important not only for landlords to have a strong lease to avoid liability, but to also have a clear and concise conversation with your tenants to ensure that the agreements set in place are reasonable. Tenants should also thoroughly understand the lease requirements set forth by their landlord so that they are well-informed when it comes to rental property issues.

Whether you’re the tenant or the landlord, real estate law can be tedious and complicated, which is why we recommend consulting our attorneys to help you determine your rights and obligations concerning property law.

Residential Closing

The real estate attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns can assist you with the following real estate closing services:

  • Carefully reviewing the real estate contract and make certain that all provisions and contingencies are in your best interest
  • Informing you of your legal real estate rights and obligations
  • Evaluating the status of the residential title search and requiring appropriate legal actions to clear up any existing title issues
  • Advising you on exactly what the title policy does not protect you against
  • Preparing and reviewing all residential closing real estate documents related to the transaction, including deeds, mortgages, and final closing statements or HUD1
  • Helping you understand each legal document related to the real estate transaction
  • Advising you on just how you should take the title to your new home and how this could affect your personal and/or business interests
  • Acting as a title and/or closing agent to close the residential real estate transaction for you to ensure that your transaction complies with the ever-evolving legal requirements for residential real estate closings

There are many variables to residential real estate closings, and our lawyers may be able to help you navigate the process.

Shopping Center Development

Our attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns can offer you comprehensive real estate representation for commercial real estate property in Orlando for shopping centers, hotels, and other buildings.

In this area, our real estate legal services may include:

  • Land use and due diligence
  • Contract preparation, including review and negotiation
  • Land development, leasing, and more

Title Insurance

One of the most important aspects of every Florida real estate transaction is obtaining title insurance. The real estate attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns can help guide you through the title insurance process in Orlando. We offer the following professional title insurance legal services:

  • Title insurance for your commercial or residential properties
  • Title claim resolutions

If something in the title documents for the property being purchased is inaccurate, title insurance protects the buyer and lender against possible loss. With a title search, you will learn the current and past status of the property you are purchasing. In addition, title insurance will protect you from forged documents or a missing heir.

You can rely on the title insurance attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns to go over your title insurance policy and title searches in an attempt to prevent any potential problems.

Zoning and Land Use

While not a topic most people regularly consider, zoning plays a very large role in our everyday lives. Where you work, where you live, and even where you enjoy a peaceful day at the park are (in part) all decided by zoning.

Zoning occurs when a local government divides property and designates classifications for how each parcel of real estate may be used. Many considerations go into these land-use decisions, such as plans for future growth of the area, how that growth is best accomplished, and how to best ensure property owners do not conflict with one another’s land usage.

The most common zoning classifications are:

  • Residential
  • Commercial
  • Industrial
  • Recreational
  • Agricultural

Zoning Disputes

Often, the negative aspects of zoning are focused on, as zoning is, in essence, the act of restricting how a property owner may develop their land. Local zoning boards work to determine the best balance between available space and the needs of the community.

Building an apartment complex (a residential structure) between two industrial factories would likely cause a multitude of land use issues, including noise complaints from residents and potential health concerns due to industrial pollution output. Likewise, erecting a playground in the middle of a dense commercial area may pose a risk to children if heavy traffic and construction is commonplace.

Building codes work hand-in-hand with zoning laws. Many typical zoning disputes are, in reality, building or construction disputes, which may include:

  • How (or if) signage may be displayed
  • How many parking spaces and/or their configuration a business must have
  • How tall a building may be

Overview of Zoning Codes

Even parcels of land that are in the same class may be zoned differently. Among two adjacent residential parcels, one may be zoned for single-family homes and the other for multiple-family structures such as condos or apartments. Zoning codes can be quite specific, regulating details such as how far a structure must be from the street, the number of rooms within a structure, and even the size of said rooms.

Before you buy a parcel of property, make sure you know how it is zoned. While classifications can be changed, the effort, time, and money you will have to invest are considerable and may leave you with a piece of land unsuitable for your goals. You don’t have to face a zoning dispute alone.

At Bogin, Munns & Munns, our real estate and zoning attorneys have experience with zoning disputes, including easements, variances, and subdivisions. We can work to ensure your commercial development matters are handled with the care you should expect from a firm that has been around for over 40 years.

Our Firm Can Also Help with Code Enforcement

Each of Florida’s 67 counties and 412 municipalities have a code enforcement department or division. The code enforcement department is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring a property’s compliance with the applicable local government’s code of ordinances.

While the applicable local government is represented by its own in-house attorney’s office, tax-paying property owners are unfortunately left to fend for themselves. Pursuant to Florida Statutes § 162.09, fines can be placed on your property for about $250 per dayThese fines can even become liens which can, in some instances, be foreclosed by the local government (if the property is not a homestead).

No matter where you are in the process, a lawyer who is board-certified in City, County & Local Government Law by the Florida Bar can help—and thankfully, Bogin, Munns & Munns employs attorneys on staff who can help you navigate through the complexities of this area of law. In fact, we may be able to resolve the matter without fines or liens being imposed on your property.

Understanding Code Violations

Before you close on any commercial or residential property, it is important to confirm that the property—the way it stands at the time of the closing—is in compliance with zoning, building, and safety codes. If you do not, you could face a surprise later in the form of a code violation letter.

Because code violation letters may be phrased using confusing technical language, the purpose of these letters is not always clear. Unfortunately, too many people fail to respond or throw them away. With daily fines, ignoring this letter could be a very expensive error.

Common Types of Code Violations

There are a wide variety of code violations that a homeowner could be cited for. However, some of the most common include:

  • Poorly maintained lots: A property owner is required to keep their lot properly maintained, removing weeds, overgrowth, stagnant water, garbage, and other unsanitary materials. Property owners are given a set period of time to clean the property before a local government contractor will step in and do it for them.
    If this event occurs, they will receive an invoice for the work completed. If there are multiple lot maintenance violations within a year, the property owner may face additional penalties.
  • Signs:Property owners must have a permit to erect or change a sign, such as a “for lease” sign. If a property owner puts up a sign with no permit, they may be in violation of the code and could be facing fines.
  • Inoperable or unlicensed vehicles: If the property owner owns an inoperable or unlicensed vehicle, it must be stored in an enclosure.
  • Signs located in the right of way: While it is common to see signage during election season, signs cannot be put in the right of way of roads, streets, or publicly owned space.
  • Parking on lawns or grass:Vehicles must be parked on approved, maintained, all-weather surfaces. If additional parking is needed, permits are available. However, the property owner must apply for a permit and be approved.
  • Trees: Trees must be maintained, and issues that arise over limbs that extend over a neighbor’s property must be resolved between the neighbors. You must obtain a permit to remove trees that are over four inches in caliper.
  • Building permits: Homeowners typically must obtain permits prior to adding additions onto homes or buildings, adding storage sheds, or other independent structures.
  • Commercial vehicles: Commercial vehicles cannot be parked on public streets or private driveways or property unless they are there to load or unload cargo.

These examples are just a handful of the most common types of the many possible code violations that a homeowner or property owner could receive a violation notice about. 

Whether you received a letter about these, something else, or even if you are uncertain what the notice is about, a board-certified City, County & Local Government lawyer from Bogin, Munns & Munns can help you interpret the letter and determine what the best course of action may be.

Enforcement Process for Code Violations

Here is a look at the basic steps for how a code violation is enforced:

  • The violation is reported.
  • The complaint is registered.
  • The case is assigned to a code enforcement inspector.
  • A code enforcement inspector visits the site of the reported violation and conducts an inspection.
  • A Notice of Violation is issued, if the violation is confirmed.
  • The property owner has a defined period of time within which to resolve the problem, depending on the type of violation that occurred.
  • The property is then re-inspected.
  • If the violation still remains, an Affidavit of Non-Compliance is issued by the code enforcement officer, and the case is referred to the Code Board and/or the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate for an evidentiary hearing.
  • At the hearing, if the Board or Magistrate agrees with the code enforcement department, a daily fine is placed against the property and continues running until the violation is corrected. Once corrected, the fine stops running, but the lien it has created remains (usually accruing with interest) upon the real property until paid or a settlement is reached with the local government.

Our Real Estate Litigation Attorneys in Orlando Can Handle Complex Cases

Buying, selling, planning, and developing real estate often requires the cooperation of many parties. Sometimes disagreements occur during this process that may be detrimental to the project. 

If you are involved in a real estate dispute and would like to learn more about your potential legal options in Orlando, Florida, the team from Bogin, Munns & Munns can discuss your claim during a consultation. Our real estate litigation lawyers work with a broad range of real estate law and can help you decide on the best course of action based on your legal options.

Typical Legal Real Estate Claims

Understanding the nature of real estate disputes may help you decide whether or not your claim could warrant legal action. Some common legal claims surrounding real estate include but are not limited to:

Discrimination

Discrimination is typically defined as unfair or unjust action against an individual due to sex, race, gender, or ethnicity. Discrimination is illegal and grounds for legal action through the U.S. Government.

Issues with Contractors

Some property owners rely on the work of contractors for construction, maintenance, and other services related to their property. If a contractor fails to provide an adequate or promised service that affects property value or the ability for the property to function as desired, this instance could lead to real estate litigation.

Fraud

Fraudulent activity is not uncommon in real estate transactions. There may be a tremendous amount of money exchanged throughout the process, and all parties involved should be honest about the condition and expectations of a property for an agreement to be fair.

For example, if the utilities of a property are not functioning properly but a seller knowingly advertises the utilities to be in perfect shape, this misinformation may be classified as fraud. In this example, the repairs could be financially devastating to the potential new owner of the property.

There are many forms of fraud, and if you were the victim of fraud, you may be entitled to compensation.

Partnership Disputes

Because real estate may be expensive or pertain to business matters, more than two individuals or entities may claim a stake in the investment. This occurrence could create different forms of disagreement. Failure to agree on a developmental direction, construction plan, contractors, or even day-to-day operations may result in the need for litigation to settle disputes fairly.

Zoning Issues

Real estate development is governed by rules regulating the types of structures that can be built in any location where development is possible. Putting a shopping mall next to a quiet neighborhood, for example, may be a violation of zoning law.

Code Violations

Every structure is subject to building codes that are designed to protect occupants and visitors. Coding rules differ depending on the jurisdiction of a standing structure and may also vary based on the type of building.

Leasing and Contract Disputes

Much like transactional disputes, disputes regarding leases and contracts may occur for many reasons. One example is if a tenant in a real estate building tries to break a lease while a landlord still holds them accountable for payment. It may then require legal arbitration to settle these types of disputes.

Common Facilities

While common areas are designed to provide an equal opportunity for everyone to enjoy a particular area, this is not always the case in practice. This situation may lead to disagreement over how the common space in that property is shared, maintained, or used.

Boundary Disputes

Every owned property has a legal boundary, but sometimes those boundaries are unclear. This confusion may cause a disagreement between owners who share a common boundary line. If another party is infringing on your property, a real estate litigation lawyer on our team may be able to help you settle your dispute.

These instances are just a few examples of the way real estate disputes and legal claims may arise. Real estate law is often complicated. If you are involved in a real estate dispute or are considering taking legal action, consider the benefits of speaking with our real estate litigation team in Orlando.

Our team at Bogin, Munns & Munns can evaluate your case and help you pursue a settlement you may be entitled to collect. 

Forms of Compensation You may be Able to Recover

Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for financial compensation in a real estate litigation case. If a third party intentionally or unknowingly acted in a way that created financial loss, you may be entitled to reimbursement. If you were misled, unfairly treated, or are involved in a real estate dispute of any nature, the team at Bogin, Munns & Munns may be able to help.

What to Do If You’ve Received a Notice of Violation

If you have received a Notice of Violation letter, you have options, including making a request for an extension for compliance, requesting to reduce the penalty imposed against you, or requesting a hearing before the Code Enforcement Board. 

According to Florida Statute § 162.11, you may also have 30 days to appeal a ruling from a code enforcement board. With daily penalties, you could easily cost yourself thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in fines if you do not act quickly after receiving a letter about a code violation.

A code enforcement lawyer from Bogin, Munns & Munns can help you better understand the violation and pursue a resolution.

Bogin, Munns & Munns is Here For You in Orlando

To discuss your real estate litigation case with a member of our Orlando team, contact Bogin, Munns & Munns for your initial consultation at (407) 578-1334.

Frequently Asked Questions

You should immediately contact an experienced attorney to assist you.  That attorney will work with an experienced storm water engineer to determine the exact source of flooding and who is responsible for the damages to your property.  Once the source of storm water is determined, then the attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf against those responsible.

Depending on the type of flood insurance you have, that flood insurance may pay for the damages.  However, if you did not have flood insurance, you could take out a home equity line of credit (HELOC) to pay for the cost of litigation so that you can repair your damaged home, build a retention wall, or (worst case scenario) move to another location.

No, under the American Rule, attorney’s fees are only a shifting expense when there is a contract or a statute that provides for entitlement to attorney’s fees.

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