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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: FL Real Estate
Satisfied Customers: 23
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Real Estate Law
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These questions are related to a real estate situation we

Customer Question

These questions are related to a real estate situation we have with the board of Miami Shores Village, Florida.
I kindly ask that unless you have some previous legal dealings/knowledge of this municipality, that you refrain from answering, as the village seems to have a history of "quirk decisions" when dealing with it's residents.
We have a house that we put up for sale there, and received an offer which we accepted. The closing is due for the 23rd of June. Everything went fine until we went to the Village and applied for a certificate for re-occupancy. An inspector was sent to our property and after a quick "run thru" went to our cottage in the rear of the house and came back stating that a "second kitchen" should not be there. When we informed him that it was a rental property and that was previously proven so, he said that he would "check back in the office."
We have since received a ruling(?) that until the kitchen is taken out, (via a demolition permit from the Village,) a re-occupancy permit will not be issued. We are confused and upset over this situation. I did some research and this seems to be an ongoing thing with them and this property. Please note the following that I found in their archives:
-The home and cottage was built in 1925.
-On the Miami Dade property information, under building it lists:
1925 - Build. #1 and Build #2
Land Use 20 - 2 Family (Duplex)
-***** ***** purchased the property in 1976. In answering challenge of illegal rental, (from a neighbor?) He sent in an affidavit stating that he had purchased the property with a tenant in the cottage and had kept it rented ever since, (as apparently that was the requirement of having a rental building.) Wouldn't there have been a re-occupancy permit (and inspection) done then?
-Regarding the same incident, there was a letter also from the Village manager to a person,
(complainant or a representative,) that stated the following:
-(for the 3rd time,) .."Regarding the legal status of the accessory building located on the property. We have no indication that the structure in question has "recently" been converted to an apartment. The earliest files we have date back to Jan. 30th 1958. It was listed then as a guest house, and from the construction we believe that it existed in that configuration much earlier than that date. Under those conditions it was grandfathered in as a building with living accommodations..."
-In 2003 apparently another complaint was lodged against the "illegal rental of the cottage;" an investigation was done, and an apology letter sent to the owner, stating that no further action was taking place as the cottage was grandfathered in and therefore legal.
We need some advice on what we can do please. We are both retired and on a VERY limited income of SSI. We really are in no position to go to court and have to pay a lawyer, although we feel our case is strong and we should prevail. (Plus it would take much more time, and possibly cost us the sale.) Any advice how this can be dealt with? (Does Miami Dade government have precedent over the Shores?) Is there any way to solve this situation quickly? I read in The Miami Shores Village information that if you want to fight a ruling by the board, (or code compliance officers,) you have to go to their once a month board meeting and "state your case." But the next one isn't until the first week of July, and even then we might not get a favorable ruling right away..
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: FL Real Estate
Expert:  Attorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Welcome and thank you for your question. You first have to go through the steps set out in the local ordinances/codes. If you are not satisfied with, or feel the board's determination was unfair you would then have the ability to bring an court action as you have exhausted the required steps.

I am a little confused on the first letter stating that this was "grandfathered in" The Village is now saying that this is not the case? Is that correct?

Expert:  Attorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Please ignore the premium services request. Do you still need assistance?

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