How Failure to Meet Certain Requirements Doesn’t Necessarily Void a Real Estate Contract

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on March 26, 2014

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We automatically think that one slight ‘breach’ of a real estate contract might void the agreement. That’s not always the case, though, especially when an Act under law – in particular, for this case involving N. Carillon, LLC and the CRC, the Condominium Act – doesn’t specifically state any requirement to void contracts for any particular reason or violation. In other words, when in doubt…. Always look to the law.gavel

Specifically, this case involved an issue about failure to maintain deposits into escrow for the buyer over two condominium units back in 2006. Apparently, the Act stated a mandate to maintain escrow deposits, but the seller did not do so. There was no basis for voiding the real estate contract, though, and the trial court dismissed the claims.

This is where assumption can lead to eventual nothingness in real estate law. If it doesn’t actually state it, it’s not applicable. However, the Third District Court of Appeals reversed the decision, believing that the contract was voidable under those escrow provisions provided by the Act, plus a 2010 amendment to the Act wrongfully provided retroactivity of the Act, allowing parties to disregard vested contractual rights upon changes to an agreement or law. Again, though, the actual words – the plain meanings of those words – still stand the test of time.

The Supreme Court reversed that decision, stating that the 2010 amendment did nothing to change the law to suit that argument. Additionally, contracts were not voidable under those 2006 statutory provisions. That stands to be the ultimate truth of how a contract is bound by the agreement and not necessarily the stipulations within the agreement. It still doesn’t nullify a contract.

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