Real Estate

Real Estate Disputes



One of the principal areas of concentration within Gibbons Neuman is real estate litigation. The firm’s lawyers who practice in this area devote their skills and attention to contested issues and disputes involving Florida real estate.

Gibbons Neuman has years of practice experience in Tampa and Florida real estate litigation. We represent title insurance underwriters, property owners, and mortgage lenders who are insured under title insurance policies. The lawyers practicing in the real estate litigation section of the firm have a broad range of experience in a variety of other real estate litigation matters, including sale and purchase contract disputes; actions to remove real estate title defects; tax deed quiet title actions; boundary disputes; eminent domain proceedings; contesting property tax assessments; landlord and tenant disputes; and homeowners and condominium owners association disputes.

Gibbons Neuman is also proud of the reputation which it enjoys in the area of mortgage foreclosures of both commercial and residential loans. The firm handles foreclosures of FHA, VA, and conventional mortgage loans throughout the state of Florida for a variety of institutional clients. The use of computerized title search data and a highly trained, professional group of paralegals and support personnel enable us to serve our clients promptly and efficiently in the mortgage foreclosure practice.

  • Mortgage foreclosures
  • Quiet title suits
  • Boundary disputes
  • Title disputes
  • Construction lien foreclosures
  • Resolving access issues
  • Landlord-tenant disputes and litigation
  • Title insurance claims

Gibbons Neuman also has experience in resolving conflicts which arise during the course of construction, including construction lien disputes. The firm represents clients involved in all facets of the construction industry – owners, contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers.

Landlord | Tenant Disputes


 There may come a time during a tenancy when a landlord tenant dispute arises. These disputes can occur over many different issues, including but not limited to, paying rent, mold, repairs, early termination, and the security deposit.

Contacting an attorney as soon as the issue arises could be the difference in a favorable outcome.

Security Deposits disputes come across our desks often. In some situations when a landlord doesn’t follow the proper procedure in returning the security deposit the tenant could be entitled to civil theft claim amounting to three time the value of their security deposit. You work hard for your money don’t risk losing it.

Contact us now to see how we can help you.

The following statute is Florida Statute 83.49 that pertains to security Deposits. We have provided it for your convenience. 

Premises Liability



 Sounded in Negligence, “slip and fall” and “trip and fall” cases can be difficult to prosecute in Florida. A slip and fall injury is often the result of the property owner’s negligence. In Florida, a person injured from a slip and fall accident will likely face the “Open and Obvious Doctrine” which may bar, in whole or in part, your claim. Also, beware the law of Comparative Fault!  What is needed to overcome these barriers, is well-documented evidence of the dangerous condition. For example, evidence that the owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition and did nothing, is some of the evidence we seek to collect prior to prosecuting a claim of this sort. We urge you to consider hiring an experienced attorney who knows the best way to prosecute the claim to recover compensation, or “damages” for you, such as ourselves.

Many times, conditions on another’s property can be unreasonably dangerous and may not be readily known to you. If you have been injured on another person’s property or even a business, you really should speak with an experienced attorney.

If you are a party to a slip and fall or have been hurt on another’s property, feel free to give us a call. As always, our initial consultations are free. 

Variances & Zoning


 A variance is, generally, permission for a landowner to go outside the limits of the zoning code, and to build something which would otherwise be illegal under the terms of the zoning code or land development regulations. 

The reason or rationale behind the law allowing variances at all is that in some situations, the literal application of the zoning code would create such a "hardship", that it would not allow any use of certain parcels of property whatsoever. 

Without the flexibility to allow some reasonable use of the property, such totally prohibitive zoning would constitute inverse condemnation, subjecting the zoning authority to liability for a "taking". Askew v. Gables-by-the-Sea, Inc., 333 So.2d 56 (1 DCA 1976). Thus, the legal justifications for variances, and the threshold criteria for determination of a "taking", are closely related. (See, below, criteria for granting variances, when is it a taking not to allow a variance). 

A variance is sometimes mistakenly believed to be simply a tool for allowing a more intense use than would otherwise be allowed. As such, it needs to be distinguished from a special exception or conditional use. 

A "special exception" or conditional use is specifically authorized in that zone, but will be allowed only if specific, listed criteria for that special exception or conditional use are met. A variance is specifically prohibited in that zone, but will be allowed only if necessary to prevent a "taking", i.e., if no authorized use is reasonably possible in its place.

Boards of adjustment have sometimes been unclear on this distinction, granting variances as a convenient expedient to avoiding the zoning and land development regulations. The criteria for obtaining variances are theoretically very strict, and the grounds for overturning illegal variances relatively easy to prove if sufficient facts and discussion of a legal hardship is not placed in the record. 

Insurance Disputes


 Families purchase life insurance policies to protect their loved ones. Life insurance is essentially a contract between the policy owner and the insurance company (insurer) where the insurer agrees to pay a certain sum of money upon the death of the insured. However, life insurance companies often look for an excuse to deny a valid claim, bringing further agony to a family member’s already painful period.

Insurance companies will attempt to deny claims based on one or more grounds, including misrepresentation, omission, or concealment by the insured at the time of application for the policy or a later amendment. Insurance companies may also attempt to forego a claim based on a missed premium payment. Most life insurance policies are governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, or ERISA. If the insurance policy is subject to ERISA, you must appeal the decision of the life insurance company to deny the claim within sixty (60) days of the receipt of the notification of denial. Therefore, time is of the utmost essence when dealing with life insurance claim 

 The denial of life insurance benefits is a contractual problem and requires an attorney that is familiar with the applicable law, including ERISA, insurance law, life insurance applications, life insurance policies, and terminology. That is why you need a top life insurance lawyer. Mindrup | Samole has experience litigating life insurance denial cases against numerous life insurance companies. If you have a claim that has been denied, the Mindrup | Samole may be able to get the insurer to pay the sum your loved one intended you to receive.