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Subject: Fines: Glass in Pool
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AlexM1
(Oklahoma)

Posts:177


11/13/2017 6:43 AM  
How does an HOA develop fines? The other day, a renter brought in many bottles of beer(we counted them after they returned to their condo)... We are fairly sure who brought the bottles in but even if we did catch them, how do we fine them when there is no fine(I mean, to fine the owner)
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:1986


11/13/2017 7:13 AM  
Before you start fining, you need to get more information on this incident - being "fairly sure who brought the bottles in" is not good enough. Were the bottles strewn all over the pool area? Did you see bottles or glass shards in the pool itself? How was this reported and are there any witnesses who saw the renter bring in the bottles?

Since the alleged offender rents his/her home, you need to talk to the owner/landlord - did anyone complain to him/her? If so, what was the response? Have you sent a violation letter to the owner? What did you ask him/her to do to fix this (e.g. reimburse the Association for cleaning up the bottles)? If nothing happened or the owner told you to pound sand, you may want to talk to the Association attorney as to what your options are. Actually, you should have some idea on what that is because you should have a rules enforcement policy. If that policy doesn't mention fines, you won't be able to fine the owner after the fact.

If you don't have a rules enforcement policy, you need to get one immediately because that's when the fining policy should go. To do that, you'll need to check your documents to see if the Board has the authority to assess fines and it wouldn't hurt to check with the Association attorney to see if you can do it, if your documents don't address the issue at all.

Assuming you're able to fine, you will then need to develop a policy on how much to assess, when fines kick in, appeal rights, etc. Personally, I think fines should be limited to situations where the common area has been damaged. And when it comes to people renting their homes, the policy should also state that the homeowner will ultimately be held responsible since the tenant's lease is with him/her, not the association.

When the rules enforcement policy is established or updated to address fines, you will need an effective date and then notify all the homeowners accordingly. In fact, while you're establishing policy, it wouldn't hurt to get the homeowner's input on whether it's necessary or if there are areas where people need to be hammered as opposed to others.

So - fix the situation with this homeowner first and then start working on a policy.
PaininyourA
(South Carolina)

Posts:119


11/13/2017 8:23 AM  
..... Did you see bottles or glass shards in the pool itself? .....


If YES the pool required complete draining and visual inspection for 'shards'.

Glass of any type inside a pool area is SERIOUS business.

Broken glass ANYWHERE inside the fence requires closure and drainage.

Glass IN the pool even if 'unbroken' requires the same.


Hire a monitor and pass the expense along to ALL owners.

or

Close the pool for 48 hours EVERY time glass is observed.


Watch the membership itself solve the issue.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4381


11/13/2017 8:43 AM  
Does your HOA have rules against glass in the pool area, Alex?

Different question, does your HOA have any schedule of fines for any violations of any of your rules?

Even if you do have a fine schedule, as Sheila notes, you'd not be able to fine the Owner without witnesses.
PaininyourA
(South Carolina)

Posts:119


11/13/2017 10:20 AM  
..... Does your HOA have rules against glass in the pool area, Alex? .....



Matters not.

The authority having jurisdiction (generally the [state] dept of health and/or environmental control who issues the annual pool operating permit DOES HAVE a rule banning glass.

This is UNIVERSAL nationwide.


Do not 'fine', merely 'pass along' the expense of PROPER and REQUIRED maintenance when glass is encountered.


KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4381


11/13/2017 11:04 AM  
But, Pain, I wonder if an HOA can "pass along" the costs of cleanup or repair. We can, per our documents, but what if there's nothing is writing in the HOA's docs that permits such an assessment against the Owner?

It seems I've asked Alex on a different thread if they have anything in writing that allows them to fine, and he doesn't reply. I assume because his HOA has nothing. If that's so, he should follow Sheila's advice. OK state laws may matter too re: fining.
PaininyourA
(South Carolina)

Posts:119


11/13/2017 11:22 AM  
... pass them along to the membership ...



either as a special assessment

or, indirectly, via pool closing(s)

or, if the 'docs' allow, directly to the OWNER of the 'unit' involved with the infraction



let THEM scream for action
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4381


11/13/2017 11:48 AM  
I like the idea of a pool closure to get all residents' attention. This could be really effective in these cases where the HOA has no monitors via staff or cameras.

Here, anyone bringing glass to the pool is very rare--maybe 1-2x a year. They are reported or seen on camera and a security officer goes to the pool and asks the violators to remove the item from the table in the pool area. The violators always comply-usually are ignorant-and don't repeat the offense.

But I think in Alex's case, there are no cameras or security, which makes enforcement more difficult. He comes to us every so often usually with pool-related issues and then he disappears when we ask him questions. My guess is for some reason he's unable to convince his board that they need written rules and a fine schedule. And, of course, witnesses. We'll see what he does this time.
PaininyourA
(South Carolina)

Posts:119


11/13/2017 12:29 PM  
The Oklahoma Department of Health HAS pool rules ALREADY in place.

These rules are NOT optional.

https://www.ok.gov/health2/documents/Public%20Bathing%20Places320.pdf
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14860


11/13/2017 3:08 PM  
Posted By PaininyourA on 11/13/2017 12:29 PM

These rules are NOT optional.




And should be posted.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14860


11/13/2017 3:09 PM  
Alex,

The process would be similar for any other infraction.
Your Association should have a written process in place.
If they do not, then that would be the first step.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4381


11/13/2017 3:16 PM  
Just skimmed the many, pages, Pain, and seems to have missed anything about glass containers. Page#, please?

A few do seem to be suitable for posting an OK or Alex's municipality may require it. The annual Fire Marshall inspection here at our condo includes makes sure our pool signs meet code.

Do you have any pool rules signs, Alex? What do they say?

DouglasM6
(Arizona)

Posts:438


11/13/2017 4:12 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 11/13/2017 3:16 PM
Just skimmed the many, pages, Pain, and seems to have missed anything about glass containers. Page#, please?

A few do seem to be suitable for posting an OK or Alex's municipality may require it. The annual Fire Marshall inspection here at our condo includes makes sure our pool signs meet code.

Do you have any pool rules signs, Alex? What do they say?






Page 11 2 (e)
AlexM1
(Oklahoma)

Posts:177


11/13/2017 4:41 PM  
I cannot find any type of fine that is supposed to be assessed... I cannot find any law(at the level of the HOA) that states glass is not to be brought into the pool area.
AlexM1
(Oklahoma)

Posts:177


11/13/2017 4:43 PM  
You are right... I cannot get anything done and am planning to have a meeting with our attorneys to find out what a next step can be.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4381


11/13/2017 5:58 PM  
Alex, see Pain's above state law, p. 11 2 (e) that prohibits glass containers. Note that the law includes condominiums.

What rules do you hav posted at your HOA pool now, Alex?

Yes, Alex, an HOA attorney should be able to help you write a fining schedule that your board can approve. You still need to know who the violators are, though.
AlexM1
(Oklahoma)

Posts:177


11/13/2017 6:15 PM  
Yes, we have posted rules against glass in the pool... but this usually happens when Board members are not around... so WHO left those bottles?

We do not have a schedule of fines.... I have recently proposed a fine of $500...may seem high but I want them to know we mean business. Thought about closing the pool with lock and heavy chains but.... in the same area is the work out room and people going there would complain heavily if they could not go into the workout room.

This, as with the dog poop situation... we just have to have pictures and witnesses and that is hard to get... I Think it would be great to put chains around the gate going into the pool if glass is found... close it up for 48hours.. but we have that problem of the fitness room and it would not be fair to them if we closed the pool for 48 hours.
AlexM1
(Oklahoma)

Posts:177


11/13/2017 6:19 PM  
Another important point is that if... a person, Mr. Jones reported that Mr. Smith brought glass into the pool, Mr. Jones would break out the windows or something as retaliation to Mr. Jones.... One gal did this and her vehicle window was broken out.
PaininyourA
(South Carolina)

Posts:119


11/13/2017 7:49 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 11/13/2017 3:08 PM
Posted By PaininyourA on 11/13/2017 12:29 PM

These rules are NOT optional.




And should be posted.




They are (at least when the pool is inspected by the a/h/j).
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3642


11/13/2017 9:04 PM  
Posted By AlexM1 on 11/13/2017 6:19 PM
Another important point is that if... a person, Mr. Jones reported that Mr. Smith brought glass into the pool, Mr. Jones would break out the windows or something as retaliation to Mr. Jones.... One gal did this and her vehicle window was broken out.


Which is why if you have proof such as pictures showing and proving the violations ... nobody needs to know who turned in the information. The BOD should keep this information confidential. It is more difficult when you have he said / she said issues ... and why these should be avoided if at all possible.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:307


11/13/2017 9:44 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 11/13/2017 11:04 AM
But, Pain, I wonder if an HOA can "pass along" the costs of cleanup or repair. We can, per our documents, but what if there's nothing is writing in the HOA's docs that permits such an assessment against the Owner?

It seems I've asked Alex on a different thread if they have anything in writing that allows them to fine, and he doesn't reply. I assume because his HOA has nothing. If that's so, he should follow Sheila's advice. OK state laws may matter too re: fining.




If a vehicle rams the gate breaking the automatic mechanisms, the HOA can and does go after the driver, same applies to offenders that cause
imminent health and welfare dangers to common property such as the pool. If I was your board, I would fine the home owner, tack on the cleanup, containment
and including the cost for water to refill the pool. Once the home owner gets that bill, two things will happen, the home owner will file a small claims tort
against the renter and the owner will serve the renter with a 30 day notice to quit aka eviction notice.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3642


11/13/2017 10:00 PM  
Posted By AlexM1 on 11/13/2017 6:43 AM
How does an HOA develop fines? The other day, a renter brought in many bottles of beer(we counted them after they returned to their condo)... We are fairly sure who brought the bottles in but even if we did catch them, how do we fine them when there is no fine(I mean, to fine the owner)


You develop fines by having a set of Rules and Regulations developed by the BOD with the fines for breaking any such regulation noted. You keep in mind that any such Rules & Regulations along with any fines must pass any "reasonable" court test. You then supply every Owner with a copy ... then you ENFORCE! However, you need to make sure you have ABSOLUTE PROOF regarding any violations before you can fine or go after any owner. There should be no he said / she said. A security video system or an owner cell phone picture noting violations ... is priceless ... and proof beyond reasonable doubt.
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