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Proving knowledge of latent defects in a newly purchased home

Florida real estate is probably one of the most substantial investments you’ll ever make. It is your responsibility to conduct inspections and make inquiries before finalizing the purchase and signing on the dotted line. Adler Wellikoff, PLLC often represents clients who discover defects in their new home, despite adequate due diligence.

According to The National Law Review, buyers cannot identify latent defects by visual inspection. These defects can make the house unfit for living and can be too dangerous to occupy. Sellers must make extensive disclosures, which enables buyer awareness regarding the potential issues of the property.

Considerations for selling your business

If you are thinking about selling your business in Florida, whether you are retiring, moving on to something different or to make a profit, there are a number of things to consider. While you want to get as much money as possible, you also want to price it correctly so you do not waste anyone's time. If you have employees you also need to consider them and their needs.

According to Entrepreneur, the selling price is something worth taking the time to think about. Look not only at how much the business takes in but also what its operating expenses are. Experienced buyers ultimately want to see the profit the business makes so make sure this is clear. It is also important to price it based off its current profits as opposed to potential or past successes.

Workers comp costs to businesses drop by double digits

Florida officials announced in early November that the state’s workers’ compensation insurance rates will drop by 13.8 percent in 2019. That follows a 9.5 percent drop one year ago.

Among the causes for the decrease are a long-term decrease in the frequency of claims, overall safer working conditions, increases in automation and greater employment which means greater premiums.

What does the law require in a real estate contract?

If you are selling your home in Florida, it is essential to ensure you have a legal contract. While you may have professionals who create the contract for you, knowing the proper elements required by law will help you to understand the process better and ensure the contract you use is completely legal and valid. The Florida Realtors explain what you must have in your real estate contract.

The first important thing to keep in mind is that your contract must be in writing. There are only limited situations where an oral contract works, so always make sure any real estate transaction has a contract that is in writing.

Cybersecurity threats for businesses

In today’s world, cybersecurity issues can have major impacts on businesses. There are all kinds of important customer and financial data held by companies. This makes businesses a target for hackers. Some estimates point to cyberattacks against companies having gone up nearly two-fold over the past five years.

A business can suffer great harm when its data is compromised by such an attack. For one, major financial losses can come from such a breach. A data breach could also hurt a company’s reputation and erode consumer trust in the business.

Panhandle building codes under scrutiny after Hurricane Michael

While South Florida has kept up with strict building codes meant to help buildings stand up to hurricane-force winds, the Panhandle didn't start tightening up its codes until later. Exemptions were provided under the theory that the region's forests would act as a barrier against catastrophic storms.

"We're learning painfully that we shouldn't be doing those kinds of exemptions," says a former Panhandle legislator who is now with the Florida Building Commission. "We are vulnerable as any other part of the state. There was this whole notion that the trees were going to help us, take the wind out of the storm. Those trees become projectiles and flying objects."

Are you in a dispute with your homeowners association?

A homeowners association (HOA) can protect property values in the neighborhood by setting rules and regulations, maintaining common amenities and ensuring that renovations and repairs are completed on time and in uniformity with neighborhood standards. They act in the best interest of the neighborhood (or another common interest development, such as a building), as opposed to in the interest of individual homeowners.

Most associations maintain a set of covenants and codes and collect fees and assessments. These should be in accordance with the association's foundational documents and are generally expected to be reasonable. However, each association sets its own rules, and people naturally disagree about the reasonableness of rules, so disputes are relatively common. It's also possible to get into disputes over how the rules are enforced, how fees and assessments are set, and how the association is managed.

Merchants, credit card companies settle lawsuit for $6.2 billion

Visa, Mastercard and several credit-card issuing banks have agreed to settle a long-running dispute with merchants over credit card swipe fees. The class action lawsuit was brought more than a decade ago on behalf of approximately 12 million retailers who accept credit cards.

The 13-year-old lawsuit accuses Visa, Mastercard and several banks that issue the cards of violating federal antitrust laws. Merchants say they are forced to pay a swipe fee every time a customer uses a credit card and that they are not allowed to direct customers to payment methods that are less expensive for the merchant.

Sears spinoff making a mint redeveloping unprofitable stores

Since its founding in 1892, Sears has been locating stores in prime areas. While the retailer itself is struggling, a spinoff company called Seritage Growth Properties is taking advantage of that prime real estate by buying up underperforming locations and redeveloping them into luxury retail centers, offices and even residences.

Consider a former Sears location in Aventura, Florida. Construction has already begun on a luxury shopping center with palm-lined boulevards, water fountains and upscale eateries. In Hicksville, a town on Long Island, a former Sears is slated to become a 600-unit apartment complex. In Santa Monica, California, offices tailored to the tech elite are taking shape just blocks from the Pacific Ocean.

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