REAL ESTATE: RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS: RULES OF CONSTRUCTION: COVENANTS THAT RUN WITH THE LAND MUST BE CONSTRUED IN FAVOR OF THE FREE USE OF REAL PROPERTY: AMBIGUOUS COVENANTS MUST BE CONSTRUED IN FAVOR OF LANDOWNER: PROVISION THAT BUILDINGS, FENCES, WALLS OR OTHER STURCTURES, AND EXTERIOR ADDITIONS TO OR CHANGES OR ALTERATIONS THEREIN WERE SUBJECT TO APPROVAL OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION OR ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD WAS EITHER INAPPLICABLE TO SOFTSCAPE CHANGES TO HOMEOWNER’S FRONT YARD OR WAS AMBIGUOUS AND UNENFORCEABLE

Bendo v. Silver Woods Community Association, Inc., ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D358 (Fla. 5th DCA February 6, 2015)

The association approved the homeowner’s proposed hardscape changes to his front yard but disapproved his proposed softscape changes because they did not include a grass lawn. Based upon its interpretation of a restrictive covenant, the trial court … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

REAL ESTATE: RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS: MARKETABLE RECORD TITLE ACT: MARKETABLE RECORD TITLE ACT DID NOT EXTINGUISH RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS REQUIRING HOMEOWNERS TO PAY ASSESSMENTS FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF COMMON ELEMENTS

Barney v. Silver Lakes Acres Property, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D364 (Fla. 5th DCA February 6, 2015)

The appellate court affirmed an order of the trial court determining that the Marketable Record Title Act did not extinguish restrictive covenants requiring homeowners to pay assessments for the maintenance of “streets, street lights, beaches, marinas, and other … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

REAL ESTATE: HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATION: LIEN FORECLOSURE: CIVIL PROCEDURE: TRIAL COURT DEPRIVED PRISON INMATE OF DUE PROCESS OF LAW BY IGNORING HER MOTION TO APPEAR TELEPHONICALLY AT SUMMARY JUDGMENT HEARING: NONLAWYERS: INMATE’S DAUGHTER, WHO WAS NOT LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW, LACKED AUTHORITY TO APPEAR AS HER MOTHER’S REPRESENTATIVE AT THE HEARING AND TO AGREE TO THE ENTRY OF JUDGMENT

Hubsch v. Howell Creek Reserve Community, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D214 (Fla. 5th DCA January 16, 2015)

The appellate court reversed final summary judgment foreclosing a homeowner’s association lien for unpaid assessments. The trial court deprived the defendant, a prison inmate, of due process of law by ignoring her motion to appear telephonically. Although the … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

REAL ESTATE: HOMEOWNERS’ ASSOCIATION: LIENS: FORECLOSURE; APPEALS: TRIAL COURT LACKED JURISDICTION TO AMEND JUDGMENT THAT WAS ON APPEAL

Jallali v. Knightsbridge Village Homeowners’ Association, Inc., ___ So. 3d ___, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D2548 (Fla. 4th DCA December 10, 2014)

The trial court entered final judgment of foreclosure for the homeowners’ association on its claim for unpaid dues. While an appeal from the judgment was pending, the trial court amended the judgment at the request of the … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

REAL ESTATE: FORECLOSURE OF HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATION (HOA) MAINTENANCE ASSESSMENT LIEN; CIVIL PROCEDURE: JURISDICTION: SERVICE BY PUBLICATION: INSUFFICIENCY OF SERVICE: SERVICE BY PUBLICATION WAS INSUFFICIENT AND DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST DEFENDANT WAS VOID BECAUSE HOA DID NOT SERVE THE DEFENDANT AT THE ADDRESS IT HAD FOR HIM ON FILE AND FAILED TO CONDUCT AN ADEQUATE SEARCH FOR THE DEFENDANT

Martins v. The Oaks Master Property Owners Association, Inc., ___ So. 3d ___, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D2385 (Fla. 5th DCA November 14, 2014)

The appellate court reversed summary final judgment foreclosing a homeowners association (HOA) maintenance assessment lien.  The court determined that the judgment was void because constructive service by publication was defective.  The HOA’s affidavit reflected that … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...