Currently, Florida is the fourth wealthiest economy nationwide. Boosted by a massive influx of tourists, pro-business policies, and tax advantages, the state offers a fertile environment for investors seeking to purchase land.
In this article, you will understand the remedies for the breach of a land sale contract in Florida.
Remedies for Breach of Land Sale Contract in Florida – Full Walkthrough
Florida law has solid provisions to ensure that each party to a contract fulfills the agreed-upon duties and obligations under the purchase agreement. When one of the parties to a land sale agreement breaches the contract, the injured party may seek legal remedies in court.
Depending on the degree of the breach and the results of the breaching party’s actions, the injured party may be entitled to damages.
Generally, damages for a contractual breach of a land sale contract consist of the difference between the sales price and the property market value on the date of the breach. It may also incur incidental costs.
The injured party may also request a court to compel the breaching party to perform a specific action under the contract. When filing to obtain specific performance, the plaintiff must demonstrate that:
- The contract exists
- The plaintiff has performed their contractual duties (or is ready, willing, and able to do so)
- The legal remedy is not adequate
- The enforcement of specific performance is feasible, and
- The breaching party has no defenses available
It is worth noting that plaintiffs often have a challenging experience when requesting specific performance due to the third element. Providing that the legal remedy is inadequate is not easy, as the item for sale must be unique.
Considering land is a unique asset by nature, the injured party may be entitled to specific performance. In such cases, specific performance would result in the forced sale of the property. Depending on the outcome of the litigation, the court may:
- Force the seller to transfer ownership of the land to the buyer, or
- Force the buyer to transfer funds to the seller
Land sale contracts generally require the party purchasing the property to deposit an amount in an escrow account. This amount is referred to as “earnest money.” This condition is part of most agreements to protect the seller in case the buyer defaults in performance and fails to pay the agreed-upon amount.
Hence, the seller may retain the amount held in escrow as “liquidated damages” if the buyer fails to perform under the contract. Please note that this specific type of damages cannot have a punitive nature, as it must be part of the terms agreed to in the contract.
If one of the parties involved seeks court intervention, a judge may order the retention of the earnest money by the sellers if the amount appears to be reasonably equivalent to the seller’s actual and anticipated damages.
Remedies for Breach of Land Sale Contract in Florida – Immediately Seek Expert Legal Guidance
Dealing with a breach of a land sale contract in Florida requires superior legal expertise. Contact Attorney Romy B. Jurado today by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing [email protected] to find a cost-benefit solution for your case.