On October 1, 2015, various revisions to the Bert J. Harris, Jr., Private Property Rights Act will take effect. On October 1, among other things, the definitions of “property owner” and “real property” will change as set forth in Chapter 2015-142 Laws of Florida. The changes may limit the reach of the Second District

open till late.jpgA recent decision from the Florida 4th District Court of Appeal illustrates some special land use concerns that come into play when the affected party holds a leasehold interest rather than fee simple ownership.

Changing Regulations Can Affect Leaseholders

In Village of N. Palm Bch. v. S&H Foster’s, Inc., 80 So. 3d. 433 (Fla.

120px-FlaSupremeCrtBldgFeb08.JPGIn Maronda Homes, Inc. of Florida, et al, v. Lakeview Reserve Homeowners Association, Inc., the Supreme Court of Florida will soon determine whether common law implied warranties extend to the construction of common areas and facilities of a residential subdivision.

The Facts
After the turnover of control by the developer, Maronda Homes, the Lakeview Reserve community experienced drainage problems. Upon hiring an engineer to conduct an inspection, the Lakeview Reserve Association determined defects exist as to the paved streets, retention ponds, underground drainage pipes and grading of the site and lots. As a result of such defects, multiple lot owners allegedly experienced stagnant water, sinkholes, loss of grass, and erosion on their lots. 

The Association filed a complaint against Maronda Homes for breach of implied warranties of fitness for a particular purpose, merchantability, and habitability arising out of the alleged defective construction of the common area improvements. The Association claimed that the developer failed to construct the common areas properly to support a residential subdivision and the homes within it. The trial awarded a summary judgment to the developer. 


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