Title FAQ Videos

Title FAQ

How are condominiums governed in my state?
Florida Statutes Chapter 718 and the Florida Administrative Code cover everything from the creation of condominiums, through rules and regulations, to dissolutions.
What should I do if my landlord is evicting me?
We first have to find out why you are being evicted. If the eviction is due to failure to pay rent, you are not likely to be able to contest the eviction. If the eviction is for another reason, you have to learn and understand what it is. Your landlord has the duty to inform you of the cause for any eviction proceedings. If it’s something other than non-payment of rent, the landlord must give you a seven-day notice and allow you a chance to cure the problem. The best strategy is to learn the reason for eviction, review your lease, 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 – if they don’t do it, you can break the lease. You should consult a real estate attorney as the notification of your intent to breach the lease must be properly made pursuant to your lease and/or applicable 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. Therefore, it’s like getting a new lease every month. So yes, if you are given proper notice, the landlord can legally raise your rent every month.
What are the landlord’s maintenance responsibilities?
Florida Statutes Chapter 83.51 outlines a landlord’s maintenance responsibilities very specifically. The landlord must comply with all applicable building, housing, and health codes and maintain the premises in good structural repair and safe condition. The unit must have functioning heat facilities during winter and working plumbing including running water and hot water. Provisions must be made for the extermination of rats, mice, roaches, ants, wood-destroying organisms, and bedbugs. Consult Statute 83.51 for full information and review your lease for any additional landlord responsibilities.
What is the Fair Housing Act and does it apply to rentals?
The Fair Housing Act protects homebuyers and renters against discrimination and applies to the sales, financing, and rentals of homes and apartments.
How long does a landlord have to return my security deposit in my state if there are no damages to the property?
Under Florida Statutes Chapter 83.49, it states that landlords must return deposits within fifteen days. If a landlord is making a claim on your deposit for any reason, they must notify you in writing within thirty days.
Can my lender sell my mortgage to someone else without my consent?
Yes they can and probably will. Mortgages are traded and sold just like stocks and bonds. You do need to be careful because there are some scams out there. For example, you may take out your mortgage with ABC Bank. Later, you get a letter from XYZ Bank saying “We bought your mortgage. Start sending your payment to us.” Do not take any such action before consulting with your original ABC Bank and receiving notice in writing that they sold your mortgage to XYZ Bank.
What is the Truth in Lending Act?
The Truth in Lending Act of 1968 is a United States federal law designed to promote the informed use of consumer credit. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of a loan and other costs associated with borrowing must be disclosed to the borrower. Other essential information such as insurance requirements and whether or not there is a pre-payment penalty will also be included. One of the most important features concerns refinancing a home. The Truth in Lending Act requires the borrower in a refinance deal to have a three-day right of rescission. That means after you go in and sign for the loan, you have three days to think it over. Should you decide you don’t want the loan, you can cancel it within the three days with no obligation.
If I escrow my tax payment and my lender failed to pay my taxes, what should I do?
The first thing to do is call your lender and find out why they did not pay the taxes. Follow up in writing notifying the lender that the taxes were not paid, then monitor the situation. You can go to the county treasurer and tax collector’s website or the county assessor’s site to find information on the status of your tax payment.
How is my property tax determined?
The County Assessor uses an appraisal process to determine the Full Cash Value (FCV) of your property. This is the current replacement cost of the property less depreciation. Based on that value, an Assessed Value is calculated. Property taxes are calculated by applying a formula to the Assessed Value. If you feel the assessed value of your home is too high, you have a limited time period in which to contest the assessment. It is wise to pay careful attention to your assessment as mistakes are sometimes made.

Escrow FAQ

How does Escrow work?
Escrow is a process that involves having a neutral third party mediate a real estate deal, including holding money and property until the two sides in the deal reach agreement and the sale can close. For example, when a buyer makes an offer on a property, a deposit is placed to indicate strong interest in making a deal. The deposit, called “earnest money” must be deposited in an escrow account by the broker no later than three business days after it is received. The earnest money is held in escrow while closing details are worked out, then it is applied to the purchase price. When the deal closes, the purchase money and property ownership documents also pass through the escrow process. The neutral third party that handles escrow duties in real estate transactions is usually a title company such as The Closing Agent.
Where do I drop off an Escrow check?
You can drop off an escrow check at any of our offices: Ocoee 356 Moore Road Ocoee, FL 34761 (407) 988-2295 / Orlando 11 North Summerlin Avenue Orlando, FL 32801 (407) 988-2295 / Altamonte Springs 1150 Douglas Avenue, #2090 Altamonte Springs, FL 32714 (407) 988-2295 / Winter Park 1030 W. Canton Avenue Suite 216 Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 512-8293 / Celebration 215 Celebration Place Suite 520 Celebration, FL 34747 (407) 988-0973 / 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

More FAQ

Why partner with The Closing Agent?
The Closing Agent offers buyers and sellers of residential and commercial real estate a full set of transaction support services under one roof. We have both title insurance agents and attorneys on staff. As a deal takes shape, our attorneys can provide legal advice regarding documents and contracts as well as about the quality of title being conveyed to the buyer. When it is time to close a sale, we are able to issue title insurance, act as closing agent, and also represent and advise one of the parties to the transaction. Some of the documents required in a closing must be drafted by an attorney; for example, a power of attorney and seller- or other privately-held promissory notes and mortgages. This is why typical title companies that do not have attorneys on staff cannot provide a complete service to their clients. The Closing Agent also helps relieve the stress of your closing by ensuring that all documents are prepared correctly, including proper vesting in the deed, and that all the necessary paperwork is ready to be signed at the closing. Location can also be a contributing factor in the choice of a title company. Several documents will need to be signed, usually in person at the title company office. The Closing Agent has five convenient locations throughout Central Florida: Orlando, Ocoee, Altamonte Springs, Winter Park, and Celebration. We also offer mail-away services where documents are e-mailed for you to print, sign, and notarize then return to us via overnight mail. And our convenient video closings utilize secure web conferencing technology to bring all parties together online in a virtual closing room.
Why do I need title insurance?
The right to own real estate is one of the most precious of the freedoms we have in this country. Any property you may buy belongs to you, and other than your mortgage holder and certain restrictive covenants (i.e. easements and homeowner’s association restrictions), there should be no other claims against your home or restrictions on your ownership. Title insurance eliminates any risk and potential for losses caused by faults in title from events that may have occurred long before you purchased 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. A title insurance policy will protect you from risks that may arise because of faults or inaccuracies in the chain of title or undiscovered ownership interests in the property. Another difference is that you pay a one-time premium for title insurance. There are two principal forms of title insurance: The Lender’s Policy and The Owner’s Policy.
What is a lender’s policy?
A lender’s policy protects the mortgage holder from risks associated with the title to a property. 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 value 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 value of the policy.
How long does my coverage last?
Once purchased, title insurance remains in effect for as long as you own your property.
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 under 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).
  • Fraud
  • Claims for unpaid estate inheritance and gift taxes against prior owners of your home.
  • Unrecorded easements (agreements giving one party the right to enter or use another party’s property).
  • Undisclosed descendants of former owners of your home or the land on which it is situated.
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