Click the play button to view all 11 videos in the playlist corresponding to the 11 questions listed below:
How are condominiums governed in my state?
Under Florida Chapter 718 and also the Florida Administrative Code, they cover everything from formations, to rules and regulations, and to dissolutions.
What should I do if my landlord is evicting me?
We first we have to find out why they’re evicting you. If they’re evicting you because you didn’t pay your rent, you have a problem, and you are likely going to get evicted. Now, if it’s for another reason then you have to see what it is. First, the landlord has duties to inform you. They give you a seven-day notice if it’s something for other than non-payment of rent and give you a chance to cure whatever it is. So again, you have to look back at your lease, find out the reason, and consult an attorney for help.
How can I break my lease?
First, we need to know why you want to breach your lease. Generally it’s covered by Florida Statute 83.56. For example, if the landlord is not fixing the air conditioning, you can send them a letter. They have seven days in which to cure the problem and then if they don’t do it, you can break the lease. You should consult a real estate attorney as the notification must be properly made pursuant to your lease and/or Florida Statutes.
If I do not have a signed lease agreement, can my landlord raise my rent whenever he or she wants to do so?
If you don’t have a lease, you’re considered a month-to-month tenant, and therefore, it’s like getting a new lease every month. So yes, the landlord can raise your rent every month upon proper notice.
What are the landlord’s maintenance responsibilities?
Under Florida Statute 83.51, it’s very specific what the landlord is responsible for. They are responsible to make sure that there are no rodents, make sure that it’s safe, and to make sure that there’s electricity. There are certain responsibilities that they have. Also, you have to look at your lease agreement and see what is there that they’re responsible for.
What is the Fair Housing Act and does it apply to rentals?
The Fair Housing Act applies to discrimination not only for rentals but also for sales and financing. It’s a federal law that protects against discrimination.
How long does a landlord have to return my security deposit in my state if there are no damages to the property?
Under Chapter 83.49, it states that they have to return the deposit within fifteen days. If they’re making a claim on your deposit for any reason, they have to let you know in writing within thirty days.
Can my lender sell my mortgage to someone else without my consent?
Absolutely, and they probably will. The sale of mortgages is just like stocks and bonds. They’re traded and they’re sold. Now, you’ve got to be careful because there are some scams out there. For example, if you take out your mortgage with ABC bank and then you get a letter from XYZ bank saying “We bought your mortgage. Start sending your payment to us”, don’t because of scams out there. And then you’ll send your check to XYZ bank, and then ABC bank will say that you’re late, you’ll tell them “I got a letter” and they’ll tell you that they never sold it. You first have to make sure that you got a letter from ABC bank saying that they sold it to XYZ bank.
What is the Truth in Lending Act?
It’s a federal act that’s supposed to disclose to consumers the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of your loan and other essential terms, for example, whether there’s insurance required for your property or whether there’s a pre-payment penalty. Also one of the biggest features is if you’re involved in the refinance of your home, under the Truth in Lending Act, you have a three-day right of rescission that when you go in and sign for the loan, you’ve got three days to think about it. If you decide you don’t want the loan, you can cancel it. No obligation.
If I escrow my tax payment and my lender failed to pay my taxes, what should I do?
The first thing you should do is call your lender and find out why they didn’t pay it. If people recall when they close on their property, they’re usually paying a fee, usually $75 or $100, to a third party company that’s supposed to monitor them to make sure they pay their taxes. Believe it or not, this rarely ever does happen because these monitoring services watch the banks. If they don’t pay your taxes, call the bank and find out. But always follow up in writing notifying them that the taxes were not paid, and then monitor it. You can go to the tax collector’s office website and it will show you when it was actually paid.
How is my property tax determined?
What happens is that the county’s tax appraiser appraises your property to find out what the value is. Then based on the value, the county commission, or whatever municipality you live in, sets a millage rate and based on whatever that rate is, they multiply it by the value to come up with your taxes. Every September, every homeowner gets what’s called a trim notice and that notice shows what your bill was last year, what it would be if they don’t increase the budget, and what the rate would be if they adopt the budget. Once you get those rates and they do adopt it, you have a certain amount of time that you can contest it and say “I don’t think this is right. I think the assessment is too high”. You have to watch those dates because they’re very strictly construed and sometimes they do make mistakes.
How does Escrow work?
The money the buyer puts down indicating their strong interest while working out the closing details is called earnest money. The money is held until closing and then applied to the total purchase price, including closing costs. If the transaction does not reach closing the earnest money deposit cannot be released until the express written consent from both parties has been given.
A title company, such as The Closing Agent, acts as the neutral third party, which manages the funds. Brokers are required by law to move quickly when they receive a deposit check from a prospective buyer. The broker must deposit the money in an escrow account no later than three business days after receiving it.
Where do I drop off an Escrow check?
Escrow deposits can be made in person at any of our three convenient locations Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 PM. Please be sure to include a copy of the signed contract with your deposit, regulations do not allow us to accept checks without accompanying sales contract signed by all parties.
356 Moore Road
Ocoee, FL 34761
11 North Summerlin Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801
1150 Douglas Avenue, #2090
Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
You can also mail your escrow deposit to our corporate accounting office at:
The Closing Agent, Inc.
Attention: Escrow Accounting
11 N. Summerlin Avenue, Suite 100
Orlando, FL 32801
Why partner with The Closing Agent?
The Closing Agent has both title agents and attorneys on staff, offering the services of both. While the title agents issue title insurance and act as closing agents in real estate transactions. The attorneys can provide legal advice about the contracts and other various documents being signed or about the quality of title being conveyed to the buyer. We are able to issue title insurance, act as closing agent, and can also represent one of the parties to the transaction and offer them legal advice. We will help relieve the stress of the closing by ensuring that all of your documents are prepared correctly including proper vesting in the deed, and all the necessary paperwork is ready to be signed at the closing.
Some documents utilized in the closing must be drafted by an attorney and therefore other title companies cannot provide “full” service to their clients. For example, a power of attorney, seller or privately held promissory notes and mortgages must be drafted by an attorney
Location can also be a contributing factor in choosing a title company. You will need to sign several documents, some in person at our office. We have three convenient locations throughout Central Florida: Orlando, Ocoee, and Altamonte Springs. Or we offer “mail away” closings where we can e mail you the documents and you sign and have them notarized and overnight them back to us.
Why do I need title insurance?
Owning real estate is one of the most precious values of freedom in this country. Get the assurance that the property you are buying will be yours. Other than your mortgage holder and certain restrictive covenants (i.e. easements and homeowner’s association restrictions), no one else should have any claims or restrictions against your home.
Title insurance eliminates any risks and losses caused by faults in title from an event that occurred before you owned the property.
How does title insurance differ from other types of insurance?
Title insurance is different from other types of insurance in that it protects you, the insured, from a loss that may occur from matters or faults from the past. Other types of insurance such as auto, life or health cover you against losses that may occur in the future. Title insurance does not protect against any future faults.
Another difference is that you pay a one-time premium. A title insurance policy will protect you from risks or undiscovered interests.
There are two principal forms of title insurance:
- The lender’s policy
- The owner’s policy
What is a lender’s policy?
A lender’s policy protects the mortgage holder. If there is a fault in title that results in a loss, the mortgage holder will be paid.
What does an owner’s policy provide?
- Protection from financial loss due to demands that may be charged against the title to your home, up to the cost of the title policy.
- Payment of legal costs if the title insurer has to defend your title against a covered claim.
- Payment of successful claims against the title to your home covered by the policy, up to the cost of the policy.
How long does my coverage last?
Once purchased, title insurance remains in effect for as long as you own your property. Title insurance adds security and peace of mind to homeownership.
What “hidden risks” are protected under a title policy?
- False impersonation of the true owner of the property by the seller or other persons previously in title.
- Forged deeds, releases and other documents.
- Deeds by persons of unsound mind.
- Deeds by minors.
- Invalid documents completed by an expired or invalid power of attorney.
- Invalid deeds delivered after the death of the grantor.
- Deeds by supposedly single persons but actually married, when involving homestead property.
- Claims for unpaid estate inheritance and gift taxes against prior owners of your home.
- Unrecorded easements – giving one party the right to enter another party’s property.
- Undisclosed descendants of former owners of your home or the land on which it is situated.
What is an owner’s policy?
An owner’s policy protects you, the purchaser, against a loss that may occur from fault in your ownership or interest you have in the property. It protects your right, title and interest in the property. You should protect the equity in your new home with a title policy.