Business Address

Law Office of Randall A. Fischer P.A. At Stuart

2100 SE Ocean Blvd #203, Stuart,
Martin, Florida 34996
Phone: (772) 463-7737


Randall A. Fischer, P.A.

725 SE Port St Lucie Blvd #206, Port St. Lucie
St. Lucie, Florida 34984-5232
Phone: (772) 463-7738


Randall A. Fischer, P.A. Law Office At Jupiter

1080 East Indiantown Road #104
Jupiter, Florida 33477
Phone: (561) 316-7111


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Jupiter condo lawyer

I am getting sued by my HOA

Hiring a lawyer because you have a dispute with your homeowners association or your condo association is usually not a concern prior to purchasing your home or condominium.  Many people purchase a home or a condominium with an association because they appreciate the appearance of the clean community, the amenities, and possibly the safety afforded a manned gate or security system.  The documents governing how the community is managed are just a formality and so is the interview process.  All that was needed was a signature acknowledging receipt of HOA documents, the payment of a fee, and an informal interview and then acceptance into the association.  However, it is very important  to understand how the community operates.  It is important to know and understand the rules and regulations.  It is important to know the finances of your new community.

When a dispute arises with an HOA or a Condo association, often it is the result of an infraction with an existing HOA rule.  The owner never read the rules and regulations prior to closing on the purchase of the home or condominium.  Sometimes these issues can be easily resolved.  However, there are many instances where these conflicts can become very heated.  For example, if an association is pet friendly, know the pet restrictions and follow them.  If there is only a certain number of pets or size limitation, do not purchase a unit where you have more than the number allowed or exceed the limitation.  If you decide to ignore these restrictions, be prepared to be cited.

Whether it is beneficial or detrimental, neighbors in associations concern themselves with the intimate details of their fellow association members.  Frequently, neighbors members take it upon themselves to patrol the grounds and make sure the association’s rules are followed.  Elected board members often take up the mantle as well.  The point of this digression is to make sure you do not put yourself needlessly in their sites.  Read and know your rules and regulations prior to considering the purchase.  Review the financial documents for the association.   Ask questions:  How often has the association has cited a member for noncompliance with the rules and regulations?  What is the most often issue associated with noncompliance?  What was the outcome of these noncompliant cases?  Find out the name of the Management Company hired by the board.  Go to the management company or call and ask questions.  Find out who is on the board and how long they have been on the board.  It is critical to get a feel for the association before you decide to take the plunge.

If the answers you receive do not fit your criteria, do not buy in that HOA.  Do not rely on what your realtor tells you.  They are concerned about the sales transaction, which is their job.  Albeit, there are some very solid and concerned real estate sales agents out there (I know from experience I am married to one), there is still no substitution for sound due diligence.  I have had people come into my office telling me what their real estate sales agent told them and then see their signature on the bottom of the page indicated they had received and reviewed the HOA documents.  If you need help reviewing HOA documents, real estate contracts, have a real estate issue, or end-up in a dispute with your homeowner’s association or condominium association and need a lawyer, give my office a call.

 

Real Estate Brokerage Charges Separate from the Commission

Real Estate Brokerage Charges separate from the Commission

I have received many calls and have had several consultations regarding charges appearing on HUD’s. Often some of those charges are applied without the client’s approval and knowledge prior to reviewing the HUD just before closing. Further, the client does not know what he is responsible for paying and why. Real Estate Brokerage companies like to include these charges on HUD’s when they had not been disclosed and contractually agreed to be paid by the buyer or seller of a home.

It is important to review your agreements with listing agents and buyers agents prior to entering into the contract. When you are deciding on an agent/brokerage firm a lot of the decision making is focused on the personality of the sales agent and the ability to show and sell the property. It is equally important to review the listing contract. This contract dictates your relationship. It governs how the property is sold and how much you are obligated to pay. If there is an aspect of the contract with which you are uncomfortable, let the agent know.  If the agent is unwilling to address the issue or indicates this is how they conduct business, you can either tell them you want to make the changes and if you are uncomfortable with making the changes contact a lawyer or don’t hire them. If you do not address this at the formation stage of contractual relationship, you will be subject to the agreement. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you are going to be upset at the closing.

Often one of these charges included in the listing contract is a charge which is characterized as a Brokerage Fee, or Contract Storage Fee, or it is called some other name. These fees are mentioned separately and are included above and beyond the commission. You do not have to agree to pay these fees. If they are contained in the listing agreement, remove them and let your sales agent/Broker know you are not paying them as part of the agreement. This is a contract. You can negotiate the entire document. If they will not agree to remove the fee, you can hire another real estate brokerage company. In the event they are not included in the listing agreement and they just appear on the HUD, tell the sales agent/Broker that you will not pay these fees and that you did not agree to pay these fees. The real estate sales agent and the Real Estate Broker are compensated via the commission received on the contract.  If you have any issues regarding fees listed on the HUD, first talk to the title company handling the closing, explaining that the fees were not agreed upon and are not part of the contract.  If the Title Company and Real Estate Brokerage firm do not agree to remove the fees, call my office before closing.  You will have to pay for the consultation, but it should be less than the fees.  It is also important to make sure you receive the preliminary HUD and review it carefully before closing.  If you do not understand the HUD, first call the title company and request they review the charges and how they arrived at the figures on the HUD.  If they do not properly explain these figures to you, call my office and we can review them.

If you are buying a home and see charges on the HUD to which you had no knowledge and did not agree to pay prior to closing, request to see the source of the fees and where you agreed to pay for them.  You should have received an estimated fee schedule prior to hiring the title company and a fee schedule from your bank, check the figures listed on the HUD against the figures in the estimate.  If there are figures that you did not agree to pay, request they be removed.  If there are figures which are not near the estimate, request the figures be reduced.  If they will not agree to reduce, call my office.  Do not close.

If you have any questions about the fees being charged by your realtor, need help reviewing you contract or closing documents, or need help sorting out a real estate matter, please give my office a call and schedule an appointment.