Hurricane Legal Issues

Now that Hurricane Irma has passed, interrupting commerce from Key West, Florida to Jacksonville, Florida, it is now time to truly read and concentrate on “boilerplate” in your contracts. Yes, ‘boilerplate,” that is, all those provisions where the instructions are to just “get it off the computer.” Truly, when you work with a knowledgeable attorney, he knows that it is more important than that. The importance of “boilerplate” is now front and center because of this major storm. Within “boilerplate” is a clause often referred to as an “Acts of God” clause, or for the agnostics among you, the “Force Majeure” clause. “Acts of God” and “Force Majeure” clauses pop up for the most part in two situations, construction contracts and leases. In construction contracts, it is most frequently litigated in connection with the “2 year completion of construction” rule which is a part of the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act ("ILSA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1701 et seq. Developers are looking to extend the period of completion as a result of an event beyond their control. In leases, the clause gives the landlord the ability to kick a tenant out of a lengthy lease term that may have benefited the tenant because the property is rendered un-tenantable. But, also, closings are often extended by such clauses and contract performance excused in numerous other types of scenarios. Here is the point, if you allow a good draftsman some time to discuss “boilerplate” with you, we can draft a clause favoring one party of over the other. For example, we can change that clause that allows the landlord to escape his obligation to rebuild the premises following a casualty. In drawing leases, we have two completely different clauses: (i) one favoring the tenant (landlord MUST rebuild and do it quickly) , and (ii) one favoring the landlord (landlord may or may not rebuild and may ask the tenant to leave). It can be the difference between financial survival or financial death for either party. Do not wait for the next storm. Let us go over your lease or contract with you or...
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Condo Damage from Hurricance

Hurricane Irma swept the State of Florida from Key West to Jacksonville. With offices in both Boca Raton, Florida and Tallahassee, Florida, we felt the brunt of the storm in both parts of the State. For our clients, we know that the laws surrounding natural disasters and their aftermaths will become of increasing importance to Floridians. As a firm with many residential association clients, we have been fielding questions in the wake of the hurricane about repair responsibilities in multi-family dwellings. Note that the Condominium Act provides that any portion of the condominium property which must be insured by the association and which is damaged by an insurable event is to be reconstructed, repaired, or replaced as necessary by the association as a common expense. In contrast, in the absence of an insurable event, either the association or unit owners shall be responsible for reconstruction, repair, or replacement as determined by the maintenance provisions of the declaration or bylaws. Accordingly, when determining who is responsible for making what repairs, there is a subtle but very important legal distinction between ordinary maintenance (or lack thereof) and damage arising from casualty. Condominium associations and condominium unit owners are encouraged to obtain legal advice if they have any questions before making repair commitments. Feel free to call us should the need arise so we can help you discern what your obligations may be in connection with needed repairs. By: Joseph Arena, Esq. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Leaders in the Industry

Three SSC attorneys are among the first in the state to become board certified by the Florida Bar in Condominium and Planned Development Law. This new field was established by the Florida Bar in 2016 and the first certifications were issued this summer. Earning the new designation are Founding Partner and Chairman Emeritus, Peter S. Sachs, Managing Partner Spencer M. Sax and Principal Edward S. Hammel. Board certification is the Florida Bar’s highest evaluation of competency and cognized attorneys with special knowledge, skills and proficiency in a specific type of law.
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Business Rent Tax Reduction

House Bill 7109 permanently lowers the sales tax charged on commercial leases from 6 percent to 5.8 percent. The state currently levies the tax on the total rent or license fee charged for renting any real property. Residences are exempt from this tax. Florida is the only state in the country to impose this type of tax on businesses. Therefore, it unfairly disadvantages Florida business owners. Although this is a small reduction it is the step in the right direction. Earlier this session, the Senate Committee on Finance and Tax passed Senate Bill 378, by Senate President Pro Tempore Anitere Flores, R-Miami, Monroe, to lower the business rent tax.
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Board Certification Course April 21st in Boynton Beach - Register Now

BOD Certification Boynton Beach General
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Legislative Update 2017

Legislative Update 2017
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Sachs Sax Caplan, P.L. is proud to be recognized by The Florida Bar for our commitment to hiring and developing Board Certified Attorneys.