Summer is a busy season for moving in Florida. This time of year is a popular time for families to move because it follows the spring real estate season and because school is out, parents won’t have to deal with enrolling their children in a new school mid-year. Landlords should ensure that they are aware of and in compliance with Florida law prior to renting.

Before signing a rental agreement or lease, landlords are encouraged to seek legal counsel to ensure that their lease complies with Florida law and that they are aware of the laws governing the landlord tenant relationship.

Landlord’s Responsibilities

In Florida, landlords are responsible for maintaining the dwelling. At all times during tenancy, the landlord shall (1) comply with the requirements of applicable building, housing, and health codes; (2) maintain the roofs; (3) doors; (4) floors; (5) steps; (6) porches; (7) exterior walls; (8) foundations; (9) and all other structural components in good repair. The landlord must also maintain the plumbing in reasonable working condition.


Continue Reading Florida Rentals: What is the Landlord’s Responsibility?

Over the past several years, hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) has become a very divisive environmental and political issue in many areas of the country. As our society’s desire for cleaner energy has become more of a priority, lawmakers and agencies at federal, state, and local levels have been confronted with determining whether and to what extent the use of hydraulic fracturing methods should be regulated, and whether such activities pose a potential threat to our drinking water sources.

What is Fracking?

Developed in the 1940’s, hydraulic fracturing is a method to extract conventional oil and gas resources found in permeable sandstone and carbonate reservoirs by drilling vertically into rock formations and injecting fluids under high pressures.


Continue Reading The Future of Fracking in Florida

On June 27, 2016, Lee County staff presented a series of proposed Land Development Code (LDC) amendments to the Local Planning Agency (LPA). Of significant importance, were staff’s proposed amendments to LDC Sections 2-45 through 2-46 and Sections 66-76, which specifically impact the County’s current provisions governing its “Proportionate Fair-Share” and Concurrency programs. In addition, as a companion amendment, staff has proposed a complete revision to the Administrative Code (AC) 13-16.

The Purposes for the Proposed LDC and AC Amendments

According to staff, the purposes behind the proposed changes are:
Continue Reading Lee County Local Planning Agency to Consider Proposed Amendments to its Proportionate Fair-Share Program

tax burdenThose owning real property in Lee County have likely received their annual TRIM (Truth in Millage) Notice. We have found that some questions continue to repeat every year once taxpayers receive their TRIM Notices.

To help taxpayers understand what the TRIM means for them, we thought it would be helpful to go through a few quick tips for what to look for when reviewing this important document:
Continue Reading Helpful Tips for Reviewing your TRIM Notice

The homestead application filing deadline of March 1 is approaching quickly. Below is a snapshot of eligibility and documentation requirements for real property owned in Lee County, Florida.

What is the Homestead Exemption?

The homestead exemption is a constitutional benefit of up to a $50,000 exemption deducted from the assessed value of the property.

Who Is Eligible to File for an Exemption?

Individuals whose names appear on the deed, who reside on the property as of January 1, and who are bona fide Florida residents as of January 1 are eligible to file. To be eligible for the exemption this tax year, an owner must file an Application for Homestead and related documents with the County Property Appraiser no later than March 1, 2015. Only new applicants or those who had a change of residence are required to apply. For individuals who have previously filed for and been approved for the homestead exemption, notices of automatic renewals should be received from the Lee County Property Appraiser in January of each year.

Lee County’s Application Requirements


Continue Reading Homestead Deadline Approaching for Lee County Landowners

In recent years, procedures for hearings before Lee County Hearing Examiners have evolved formally and informally, sometimes resulting in confusion and frustration for the parties, the public, and the hearing examiners themselves. A recent amendment to Lee County Administrative Code Section 2-6, aims to eliminate uncertainty in special exceptions, variances, zoning cases, and other matters like administrative appeals. Some are simple changes (for example, the “24-hour pre-hearing memo” is now the “48-hour pre-hearing memo”), while others are more complex and require a greater understanding of legal procedure than ever before.

The following is an attempt to highlight some of the more significant changes found in Lee County Administrative Code Section 2-6, however it is not intended to provide a comprehensive summary or analysis of all changes. 


Continue Reading New Lee County Code Re-Writes Hearing Examiner Rules