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Jacksonville Legal Blog

Homeowner Associations must take action post hurricane Irma

We are in the midst of tropical storm season. This year has been particularly active. Puerto Rico is without power and drinking water. Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas. Hurricane Irma swept through here in Florida, after growing in strength to category five at one point. Though damage has already occurred, hurricane season technically still has two months remaining. Homeowner Associations will need to be vigilant in the process of repairing homes.

Chances are that as an association, you already have best practices and plans in place for tropical storm season damage. It is your goal to have residents back to a normal way of life, and standard living conditions met, as soon as possible.

Small business: should you enter a general partnership?

When you start a small business, there are several ways to structure your company. One of the simplest, and most popular, structures is a general partnership.

Legally, you do not even need to file paperwork to create a general partnership. You just need to create a for-profit business, and enter into business with at least one other partner. Despite their simplicity, general partnerships come with financial risk. What should you know before you enter into a general partnership?

HOA: can you prevent disputes with homeowners?

Homeowners Associations (HOA) bring order to a community. They ensure a minimum appearance standard, maintain community spaces and collect dues for community upkeep. Despite their good intentions, homeowners and their HOA regularly fall into contention. Arguments over something as small as a house’s paint color can quickly escalate to expensive litigation costs. What can you do to keep peace with homeowners?


Litigating mold lawsuits

Because of the expense of remediation, and the health concerns it engenders, the appearance of black mold in a new building often leads to intense litigation over who is responsible.

It is commonly known that mold thrives in moist, unventilated areas. But it is another thing credibly pinpointing the actual causes of toxic mold in a building. The presumption often is that defects in construction allowed the mold to take over and devalue the property. 

What To Look For In A Franchise Disclosure Document

Prospective franchisees interested in opening a restaurant franchise, hotel franchise, retail store franchise or any other type of franchise will be presented with a franchise disclosure document (FDD). These documents can be daunting, as they can run up to 200 pages long. However, it is critical to review the document thoroughly, as the success of your franchise will depend on your understanding of and compliance with the FDD.

The franchise development director may walk you through the document. Keep in mind though that the director does have an interest in getting you to sign, so that may influence how they present the information to you. It is in your best interest to take the time to review the document on your own or with the help of an independent party such as an attorney who practices franchise law.

Construction defects are more prevalent in condos

Construction defects can have lingering effects in homes. From causing discomfort to rendering a space unlivable, a single construction error can have widespread consequences and require thousands of dollars to fix. However, it appears that residents of condominiums may experience construction defects more often than their counterparts in single family homes or townhouses, according to a new report by Community Associations Institute (CAI), a nonprofit focused on “community association education, governance, and management.”

The CAI study was compiled by examining the scale of litigation surrounding claims of construction deficiencies and their impact on homeowners.

Resolving A Construction Defect Claim Could Get More Difficult

When a Florida property owner discovers a construction defect, getting the matter resolved is no simple process. In fact, it seems to be getting more and more difficult.

Florida's construction defect law went through a substantial overhaul in 2015. Among the changes were more detailed written notice requirements for claimants. Now, a bill has been introduced in the Florida Senate that calls for further changes to written notice requirements, as well as to other aspects of construction defect claims.

What Happens When A Condo Owner Discovers A Construction Defect?

Construction defects can occur just as easily in condominiums as they can in houses. Just as the owners of houses have the right to take action, so too do the owners of condos. When a condo owner discovers a leak, water damage, mold damage or any other construction defect, he or she can seek compensation for damages through legal action.

However, there are definitely major differences in how these cases unfold.

Who Is Responsible For A Construction Defect?

You bought a new home or went through a remodel, only to discover a roof leak, a foundation issue or some other construction defect. You want it repaired and you want compensation for losses. The question is, who do you take action against? Who is responsible for the construction defect?

Was It The Storm Or A Construction Defect?

In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew and a particularly destructive hurricane season, many Florida homeowners are searching for ways to rebuild. For many, that means turning to their homeowners insurance policy. But what happens when the insurance company rejects the claim on the basis that the damage to the home was not the result of the storm, but the result of a construction defect in the home?

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