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Contract dispute exacerbated by unclear terms

The real estate business in Florida can be extremely lucrative. And if you work with others to bring a successful project to fruition, you deserve to receive your share of the profits in a timely fashion. This is why when you do create a development contract with another party, it is a good idea to include time frames for payments. To do otherwise could allow the other party to put off making good on their financial obligations.

Recently, a developer filed suit in Pinellas County Circuit Court in an effort to get payment he believes he is owed from several parties he worked with on a shopping mall project. Among those parties are a CEO of a venture capital firm and the CEO's wife, who is the property manager of another venture capital firm.

This is not the first time the developer has taken the CEO and his wife to court to work out this dispute over payments. Late last year, a judge ordered the couple to pay the developer $5.2 million to settle the dispute. The judge was also critical of the fact that the 2004 contract did not clearly state when the developer should receive payment.

Prior to the decision, the CEO and his wife stated the developer would get his money following the sale of the mall or the death of the CEO. The judge did not find this arrangement acceptable and ruled in favor of the former director.

It is important to make sure your interests are well served by any contract that you agree to sign. As such, when you are working out the details of an agreement, you may wish to have it examined by a Florida contract litigation attorney. The attorney could go over the contract's wording so as to help make sure you receive your due payments within an agreed upon time frame.

Source: Tampa Bay Business Journal, "Developer for Pinellas Park mall seeks $5.2M from Tampa Bay mayor," Wade Tyler Millard, July 27, 2015

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