Contract for sale of homestead property enforceable by specific performance

A married couple’s reliance on the protection against forced sale of homestead property in Florida Constitution, Article X, Section 4(a) to defend a specific performance action was rejected in Mirzataheri v. FM East Developers, LLC, 41 FLW D683a (Fla. 3rd DCA 2016).

The buyers sued to enforce after the couple backed out of a contract to sell their homestead. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the couple, relying on Taylor v. Maness, 941 So. 2d 559 (Fla. 3d DCA 2006), in which the Third District had rejected specific performance of a contract on homestead property. But the Third District reversed, citing Florida’s long recognition of specific performance concerning homestead property.  (See, Koplon v. Smith, 271 So. 2d 762, 763 (Fla. 1972); Scott v. Hotel Martinique, 48 So. 2d 160, 161 (Fla. 1950); Westerberg v. Nininger, 6 So. 2d 378, 379-80 (Fla. 1942); Shedd v. Luke, 299 So. 2d 58, 59-60 (Fla. 1st DCA 1974); Bowers v. Medina, 418 So. 2d 1068, 1069 (Fla. 3d DCA 1982); and Carrol v. Dougherty, 355 So. 2d 843, 843-46 (Fla. 2d DCA 1978).)

The Third District held the trial court’s reliance on Taylor to be misplaced, since specific performance had been rejected there not because the property was homestead, but because both spouses owned the property and only the husband had signed the contract.

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