Can I have a boat dock? Can I expand an existing dock? Can I have a swimming pool? Can I add on to an existing
residence? David Levin, environmental & waterfront property lawyer in Sarasota Florida, can cover the legal answers to these questions and more.
We are proud to support The Teen Court of Sarasota all year round! This great organization is helping mold the next generation of lawyers and legal professionals right here in Sarasota. The experiences they get in Teen Court are invaluable and can be life-altering. #BeTheOne
The part of Florida on the Gulf of Mexico commonly referred to as “Siesta Key” or “Sarasota” is actually a very large populated area that covers Manatee & Sarasota County. It is also commonly referred to as “Paradise” for its tropical climate, beautiful sandy beaches, high end restaurants and resorts & laid back lifestyle.
Along with my commitment to provide high quality legal representation, I am deeply dedicated to community service. I’m proud to have been a part of the Sarasota community for more than 25 years and I’m passionate about giving back to the community that has supported me for so long. Here are the charitable organizations I support around Sarasota.
Having a clean restaurant is a sign of a quality business. The same can be said for updating social media accounts with tasty pictures of food from that restaurant. I’ve put together a Twitter list of many of the Sarasota Restaurants that have Twitter. I’ve also included restaurants from Siesta Key, Casey Key, Longboat Key, Lido Key, Anna Maria Island & Venice.
Many waterfront or near waterfront properties are sold “AS-IS”. Generally this may mean that there is something wrong with the property that the Seller does not want to take any responsibility for. The mere fact that the Contract is an “AS-IS” contract does not mean that the Buyer cannot conduct a thorough due diligence review of the property with a right to terminate. It simply means that the Seller will not be obligated to cure any identified issues, such as non-compliance with regulatory requirements. Nor does it mean that the Seller will not be obligated to convey clear title.
Properties sold “AS-IS” must contain provisions that give the Buyer adequate time to perform due diligence investigations on all aspects of the property, and to terminate the contract prior to the expiration of the inspection period if the Buyer finds, in his/her sole discretion, that the property is not suited for their intended purposes. To get a copy of the recommended Inspection Addendum.
Now that you understand “AS-IS” property better, relax and check out our Properties Page for Waterfront Property available around Sarasota right now!
According to Dr. Beach, Siesta Key is #2 in his 2016 Top Beaches in the USA list. The #1 & #3 beaches are in Hawaii. Unless you want to move to the Aloha state (as in hello inflated prices and isolation, goodbye family & friends), Siesta Key in Sarasota, Florida is the place to buy real estate. However, there are some important things to know before buying waterfront property in Sarasota & on Siesta Key.
The County’s Code Enforcement Special Magistrate finds the innocent purchasers to be guilty of violating the County’s “FEMA” Code even though it is undisputed that the new owners had nothing to do with creating the violations.
The County argues, and the Special Magistrate agrees, the County’s “FEMA” Code is a “strict liability” ordinance, making an innocent purchaser, who purchased the property without any notice of the violations, responsible for demolishing the ground floor improvements. Even though the information contained on the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s webpage played an important role in inducing your buyers to purchase the property, the Special Magistrate, relying upon a Monroe County case, Monroe County v. Carter, the Special Magistrate finds that the information in the records of the County Property Appraiser should not be imputed to the County Code Enforcement office.
In other words, even though the County Building Department can use the Property Appraiser’s records as evidence of a violation, an innocent purchaser may not use the Property Appraiser’s information in their defense.
The Special Magistrate orders your buyers to demolish the ground level improvements and return the ground floor area to storage space. In so doing, your buyers will have spent approximately one-third of the purchase price on space they cannot use for living purposes.
How do you protect your future buyers from the same fate as those described herein? It is not enough to have the title work and closing performed by a lawyer who is not an expert in waterfront property law. A lawyer with expertise in this field would have known that something was wrong with the ground level improvements. In the absence of any permits of record with respect to the ground level improvements, the only way to protect purchasers from buying a potentially illegally non-conforming residence is to insist that the Sellers produce building permits for the ground level improvements.
If the Seller balks, then seek a written determination from the local government Building Official that the ground level improvements are legal. If that cannot be obtained, then either the purchase price must be adjusted to take into consideration the illegal living space and compensate the buyer for assuming the risk, or the buyer should be encouraged to terminate the contract.
It should also be noted that according to most Contracts, violation of government regulations constitutes a title defect that must be cured by the Seller upon written notice by the Buyer. If the Seller is allowed to choose the lawyer who will serve as the Title Agent, what is the practical likelihood that the Seller’s lawyer will find the illegal nature of the property and counsel the Buyer to notify the Seller of the title defect?
Buyers of waterfront property need knowledgeable lawyers whose primary objective is to protect the interests of the Buyers. And that includes title and closing services.