Palm Beach has some of the most beautiful ocean and high-end properties in the world. With its crystal blue waters and temperate weather, this South Florida paradise is also a favorite destination for beach tourism. When you want to enjoy the beach privately from your Palm Beach area luxury home, it’s essential to understand and be able to manage water access issues.
Public v. Private Beaches
In Florida, the Constitution guarantees the public the right to traverse to and from the State’s beaches. Although the public can access the beach by law, this does not mean that citizens are permitted to use all beachfront property. According to a recent report, approximately 60% of Florida beaches are privately owned. Additionally, Florida law provides that private landowners with a superior right to property have the right to eject others from that property under certain circumstances. In the past, when public beach users and private ownership interests have clashed, local municipalities have usually settled conflicts by examining existing easements and the land’s customary use. In 2018, House Bill 631 was signed into law, in an attempt to bring uniformity to this issue. The new law provides private property owners direct power to exclude others from beach property they believe to be exclusively their own. Before, owners had to pursue a legal judgment to establish that the disputed section of their beachfront property was private. Now, the local government will have the burden of filing suit if they believe the landowner’s exclusion is erroneous.
Research is Vital
In the Palm Beach area, as throughout other coastal communities, there are numerous pathways to the beaches. Recognizing the ones that have historically been used by the public is not always easy. Someone buying beachfront property here will need to work with knowledgeable local real estate professionals who have detailed information about the property and the history of the surrounding land. Further, the data will also need to be up to date, as it is possible that property platted initially for public use may have been transferred at some point. If you are buying luxury oceanfront property in the Palm Beach area, it would be best to meet with a local, experienced real estate attorney to discuss the property and any water access issues.
At Rabideau Klein, Guy Rabideau, Esq. and David E. Klein, Esq. are dedicated, Palm Beach area Florida Board-Certified Real Estate Attorneys with extensive experience with luxury real estate transactions and private beach access issues. We have the expertise and local knowledge you need to ensure that your interests are protected. Contact Rabideau Klein today to discuss your real estate legal needs.