Bernhard Law Firm wins case to void a $1.1 million option in Coral Gables real estate

This week, Bernhard Law Firm won a judgment voiding a $1.1 million option contract in the purchase and sale of Coral Gables real estate. (Florida Bar disclaimer: results may not be typical. You may not have as beneficial a result).

“As 2 ½ years has now shown, Defendants’ lease contract terms are preventing [the Plaintiff] from utilizing the property for any purpose other than housing the Defendants in perpetuity without recompense.”

As taken from Bernhard Law Firm’s filings:

“Plaintiff seeks to void Defendants’ option to eternally veto any sale of [Plaintiff’]’s property below $1.1M, as it is an invalid and unenforceable restraint against alienation. Iglehart v. Phillips, 383 So. 2d 610, 616 (Fla. 1980) (right of refusal for unlimited period and for fixed purchase price is invalid and unenforceable as an unreasonable restraint on alienation); Peavey v. Reynolds, 946 So. 2d 1125, 1127 (Fla. 5th DCA 2006) (holding lease that gave tenant right to renew every 2 years at a fixed rate for an indefinite period was an unreasonable restraint on alienation). As 2 ½ years has now shown, Defendants’ lease contract terms are preventing [Plaintiff] from utilizing the property for any purpose other than housing the Defendants in perpetuity without recompense. Peavey at 1127. [Plaintiff] remains obligated to pay the property taxes, insurance, and structural expenses, regardless of cost or duration. Id.

Coral_Way_20100321
By Averette – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10046862

“The declining market, together with Defendants’ 2-week holdover clause, makes it impossible for [Plaintiff] to sell the Property under these clauses. Id. A buyer is ready to purchase at $950K upon voiding of these two lease clauses. The buyer has only provided up to October 6th to obtain this Court’s approval, creating an emergency. Under these circumstances, the Court should reform to remove the $1.1M veto and 14-day holdover, to allow sale.”

Based on Bernhard Law Firm‘s motions and oral argument, the Court entered judgment voiding the $1.1 million option. Bernhard Law Firm focuses on trials and appeals in business and financial disputes. If you have questions about real estate disputes, financial disagreements, and contract interpretation, please contact Bernhard Law Firm at www.bernhardlawfirm.com, 786-871-3349, abernhard@bernhardlawfirm.com

For more information on the above case, see the case filings in 16-003899 CC (26) here:

https://www2.miami-dadeclerk.com/ocs/Search.aspx

Bernhard Law Firm

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