Hi, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be glad to assist you with your question,
I am sorry to hear about the problem you are facing. The title company was very nice in offering $500 because they do not have any responsibility in this situation. The responsible parties and the ones who should pay to have the sod corrected and the violation removed is the seller and the seller's real estate agent who listed the property for sale.
The seller knew of the violation and should have disclosed it to you as the purchaser and to his real estate agent. However, even if the seller did not disclose it to his real estate agent, the real estate agent has a duty to research the property he is listing for sale and to discover all violations. This obligation is imposed on all listing agents and they cannot use the excuse that the seller did not inform them because they have an affirmative duty to gain full knowledge of all aspects of the property they are listing for sale.
You will have to correct the problem and then sue the seller and the seller's agent for reimbursement. Because you have a duty to mitigate (lessen) your damages, you cannot sue the seller and the real estate agent and wait for them to pay you before correcting the violation because you will not be able to collect the $100 per day penalty if you just let it accumulate,
I realize that this is not the exact Answer you were hoping for and it would have given me great pleasure to give you the Answer you wanted to hear, but I have an ethical obligation to you to give you only correct Answers and information, so I am respectfully XXXXX XXXXX you not hold the law applicable to your situation against me,
Please be kind enough to rate Excellent Service" so that I receive credit for assisting you,
Bonus and Positive Feedback on survey is very much appreciated,
Thank you Andrea for your detailed and very quick response. However, I noticed that you practice law in New York and Pennsylvania. Does this advice also pertain exclusively to Florida. I need to be sure to take the correct party to small claims court in this state
The Answer I gave you is under Florida law. And, before starting my own practice, I was Assistant General Counsel to one of the major title companies on the East Coast whose home office is in Florida. :)
Ok, thank you so very much for the help. I do truly appreciate it. So, should I take the listing agent or the seller to small claims court and will I stand a chance to retreive back the cost to replace said sod? Should I let them know what I am planning to do before doing it to see if they choose to settle with me without incurring court costs or just file the claim?
They are both liable, with the owner having priXXXXX XXXXXability. You do not have to tell them that you are filing a lawsuit, but you should write to both and demand that they pay the cost because they had a legal obligation to disclose this violation. You can tell them that you prefer resolving the problem amicably, but in order to do so, their active cooperation is required, but if they do not meet their legal liability, they will leave you no alternative but to look to the Court to protect your property rights. If they do not respond favorably, then you can file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court,
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).