7700 North Kendall Drive, Suite 607, Miami, Florida 33156   |  
786.440.8615

Real Estate Litigation

Real Estate Litigation

Settle Real Estate Issues Quickly & Easily

Portuondo Law Firm offers legal counsel to agents, brokers, homeowners, landlords, and tenants in real estate litigation matters.  Attorney Marisa Portuondo advises clients on Florida Real Estate Law and assists them in various matters including but not limited to:

  • Breach of contract
  • Escrow
  • Landlord-tenant disputes
  • Review, drafting, and negotiation of lease agreements
  • Eviction notices and proceedings
  • Condo law
Escrow Disputes and Breach of Contract Claims

When a real estate deal falls through, the biggest concern for both parties is often the deposit funds. Without proper representation, escrow deposit disputes can tie up substantial amounts of money for lengthy periods of time. Both buyers and sellers are at risk of losing their potential rights to the deposit funds if these disputes are not handled properly. Sometimes the at-fault party is neither the buyer nor the seller, but the escrow agent. Escrow contract negligence is a common, yet complicated, tort matter that benefits from the adequate professional counsel of an attorney. If a real estate broker or escrow agent is “holding” a deposit then the seller, the buyer, or both may have a claim. Real estate sale contracts often require mediation prior to filing suit, at the expense of the parties involved. Depending on the facts involved, Attorney Portuondo may attempt to negotiate the matter to settlement prior to seeking mediation or filing a lawsuit.  The Firm will also represent the damaged party in mediation or, if necessary, in litigation. Marisa Portuondo understands the stress associated with real estate transactions and the financial risk both buyers and sellers take on during the process. As an example of how significant these deposit disputes can become, the Firm recently helped a real estate buyer recover his $130,000 deposit after two previous attorneys were unable to do so, and she can assist YOU in an escrow deposit recovery claim.

Landlord-Tenant Disputes

The basis to Florida landlord-tenant law, Florida Statutes Chapter 83 outlines the rights of property owners and rental occupants. The lease contract further delineates agreed-upon duties and obligations on the part of both the landlord and the tenant. Florida Statutes provide rules guiding procedural administration of many matters including contracts, notices, withholding of rent, evictions, and liens involving landlord-tenant agreements. When a landlord or a tenant has not performed per Florida Statutes and the terms of the lease, a dispute may ensue. Portuondo Law Firm is experienced in the representation of parties on both sides of landlord-tenant disputes. The Firm will consult with a landlord or tenant client and advise on what his or her rights are given the situation. Any notices or letters can be prepared by the Firm, giving the client the peace of mind that all proper steps are being taken to protect the client’s interests and comply with Florida law.

Landlords often fail to understand the proper steps that must be taken in order to collect against a security deposit.  There is often misunderstanding as to which damages may be applied to the deposit, for example. Another common error is the improper notice.  There are many ways a landlord can improperly claim a right to a tenant’s security deposit. Attorney Portuondo represents tenants who feel a landlord has made an improper claim against their deposits. When the tenant is successful in proving an improper claim against the deposit, the landlord may be responsible for reimbursing the tenant for the Firm’s attorneys’ fees.

Lease Review and Preparation

In addition to Florida law, the lease agreement between a landlord and tenant dictates the terms of the tenancy.  Far too often, landlords use leases they obtained online or through a friend and find that when a dispute with a tenant occurs, the lease does not provide adequate protection to the landlord.  It is especially important that landlords use leases that consider the specific needs of the landlord, as Florida law often favors tenants, especially residential tenants, in disputes with landlords.  The Firm provides landlord clients with customized leases that protect the rights and interests of the landlord while complying with Florida laws regarding residential and non-residential tenancies.

Leases are prepared by or for landlords and, as such, they often protect landlords while exposing tenants to risk and unnecessary obligations.  The Firm provides lease review for potential tenants, providing peace of mind to those wanting to ensure they are entering into a fair agreement.  Tenants often do not know or understand the obligations they are agreeing to when signing a lease. Commercial leases, in particular, are very frequently especially complicated and commit a business to years of obligations under the lease.  Portuondo Law Firm provides a competitive rate lease review which can save an individual or business tenant months of time and thousands of dollars.

Evictions

Evictions can be initiated for various reasons, most commonly for failure to comply with the terms of the lease or for failure to pay rent in a timely manner.  In the event that the violations are of a nature that a chance to cure the issue should not be given, the landlord can serve notice requiring the tenant to move out within seven days.  Examples of such violations include a tenant who has damaged the property, caused a nuisance with neighbors, or repeatedly violated a lease within a 12-month period. In the event that the violation is one of non-payment, the landlord must first serve a Three Day Notice before initiating the eviction process.  Florida Statutes regarding evictions are very complex and require strict adherence. Landlords commonly make mistakes such as serving improper notices and wrongfully accepting payments. These seemingly minor mistakes can cost a landlord his or her right to evict or can even put the tenant in the position to have a cause of action against the landlord.  Very frequently, attorneys’ fees are on the line. For this reason, it is advised that both tenants and landlords consult with an experienced attorney to understand all risks, obligations, and rights associated with eviction proceedings. Portuondo Law Firm provides eviction services to clients in the Metro Miami area.

Condo Law

Florida HOA and condominium association lien laws govern the procedure for notice of owner in the event of delinquent payments or assessments of HOA or condominium dues.  Delinquencies of monthly HOA or condominium dues or assessments can result in a lien on an owner’s property. Portuondo Law Firm represents HOA and condominium associations in these matters as well as owners who have been served with such notices.

Florida rules to landlord, tenant, and condo association laws uphold the doctrine of “sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas”, which dictate that where there is nuisance, there is harm done to another. Apartment community or condo association by-laws generally stipulate that in the interest of protecting the owners and residents, parties identified to be causing a nuisance on the premises must be met with a nuisance letter. A nuisance letter is a document of record that shows that a community association has taken the proper steps of warning a party alleged to be causing a nuisance, prior to taking further legal action. If a nuisance issue is not handled properly, the association may expose itself to a lawsuit and the possibility of attorneys’ fees. For this reason, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney. Portuondo Law Firm assists property association clients in handling various that may arise between the association and residents and/or owners, including general legal matters as well as those requiring litigation.

Portuondo Law Firm also represents residents and owners in matters involving rental community management companies or HOA/condominium associations. Attorney Portuondo understands that HOA and condominium associations may improperly target specific residents or owners, using their power to harass instead of to protect their members. When served with a letter or complaint, it is important to understand your rights as a resident or owner. The Firm can review your lease or condominium documents and provide you with information on your rights and obligations. Attorney Portuondo will work to resolve your issue in an attempt to avoid litigation or costly fees. When litigation is necessary, the Firm stands by ready to protect your interests.

Contact Portuondo Law Firm, P.A. for consultation or representation in a real estate litigation matter.