Get 6 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
HOA Websites by Community123.com (National Community Website Provider)
We built HOATalk and we'll build your community website for free!  Click here for information on a free trial website.
Community Associations Network (National HOA Reference Library)
News, articles and blogs about condos/HOA's
Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.
Subject: Violation Letter
Prev Next
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Author Messages
AngieP
(California)

Posts:3


08/05/2007 8:23 PM  
Hello,
I am new to this forum and just need to know what are the rules in California as far as violation fees. We have a "problem child" that refuses to store his boat. We sent him a letter and also reminded him verbally. He reacted with "I don't give a f#&* about the Association Rules. It is outlined in the CCR's that boats and RV's are to be stored in a enclosed garage. Does anyone in California know the rules as to the fees we can assign? He has even gone so far as to retalitate against one of the Board Members by parking his vehicle in front of his house overnite, also a violation. Is there a maximum we can charge him and can we put a lien against his house if it comes to that? We are a new association and this is the first "problem child" we had to deal with.
Thanks for your input.
AngieP
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:4838


08/06/2007 4:24 AM  
You can't just "lien" for the the purpose of punishment. There has to be a loss of money/damages involved. What the HOA can do is pay someone (at whatever rate they can) to store the boat for this person and send the person the bill. It is when that person refuses to pay for that bill that you can LIEN then.

The HOA could have also paid a tow company to remove the vehicle and send the resident a bill as well. The board had to take a vote to approve this action of course. It can't be an individual board member decision.

If you sue your HOA, your suing yourself and your neighbors. You may want to remind this problem child of this fact. Maybe taking a small bit of action like putting the boat up for him and sending the bill will be enough to get him to realize the HOA does have "power" if you don't comply with the rules. Right now, he doesn't quite see that with a letter.

Former HOA President
LarryM3
(California)

Posts:37


08/06/2007 6:05 AM  
Angie,
Your Rules and Regulations need to have a "Fine Schedule". Download the Davis-Sterling Act of California it has all the info you need. It will be your Bible..
Larry
BradP
(Kansas)

Posts:2640


08/06/2007 6:09 AM  
Angie:

As Larry said you should have a fine schedule, if not adopt one. There should be progressive steps you take in this situation from a couple warning letters, to fine levying, to possible a court order or obtaining a lien on the property for the fines owed. Court action should be the last resort.
DwightT
(Idaho)

Posts:664


08/06/2007 8:25 AM  
The CC&Rs in my HOA do not specify any fines, but they do give us the right to "Perform such acts whether or not expressly authorized by this Declaration, as may be reasonably advisable or necessary to enforce any of the provisions of the Declaration." In general, our procedure is:

1) When the violation is first noticed, a "Reminder" letter is sent to the owner of record pointing out the violation (including the section of the CC&Rs that is being violated) and requesting compliance or some communication from the homeowner.

2) If the violation is not corrected after about 2-4 weeks (depending on the severity of the violation) and there has been no communication from the homeowner, we have the management company send a "Demand" letter demanding that the violation be corrected within 15 days. The management company charges a $20 administrative fee for this letter, and this fee is assessed to the homeowner.

3) After 15 days if the problem still is not corrected, the matter is turned over to the attorney, who will start with a stronger demand letter and notice of intent to sue. In addition the attorney fees (about $200) are assessed to the homeowner.

4) After another 15 days, the attorney will file suit. Again any and all costs are assessed to the homeowner.

At any step in the process we will halt everything if the homeowner contacts us and works out a plan to correct the violation. Our goal isn't to "punish" people with fines, but to ensure compliance with the CC&Rs that everybody agreed to when they purchased their home. Unfortunately sometimes there are costs associated with getting that compliance, and those costs have to be passed on to the person who is in violation.

So far most people have resolved the problems or communicated with us about their situation by step 2. We've only had to go to step 3 twice, and never to step 4.
DaneC
(California)

Posts:210


08/06/2007 10:17 AM  
You have first base covered - "It is outlined in the CCR's that boats and RV's are to be stored in a enclosed garage."
It is surprising that you don't have a schedule of fines - until you do, there is really noting you can do to that person.


CIVIL CODE - SECTION 1354
1354. (a) The covenants and restrictions in the declaration shall
be enforceable equitable servitudes, unless unreasonable, and shall
inure to the benefit of and bind all owners of separate interests in
the development. Unless the declaration states otherwise, these
servitudes may be enforced by any owner of a separate interest or by
the association, or by both.
(b) A governing document other than the declaration may be
enforced by the association against an owner of a separate interest
or by an owner of a separate interest against the association.
(c) In an action to enforce the governing documents, the
prevailing party shall be awarded reasonable attorney's fees and
costs.

1357.110. An operating rule is valid and enforceable only if all of
the following requirements are satisfied:
(a) The rule is in writing.
(b) The rule is within the authority of the board of directors of
the association conferred by law or by the declaration, articles of
incorporation or association, or bylaws of the association.
(c) The rule is not inconsistent with governing law and the
declaration, articles of incorporation or association, and bylaws of
the association.
(d) The rule is adopted, amended, or repealed in good faith and in
substantial compliance with the requirements of this article.
(e) The rule is reasonable.

AngieP
(California)

Posts:3


08/06/2007 11:27 AM  
Thank you all for your input. Does anyone have a sample letter they could send me of their Fine Schedules,(Ca). We agreed we need to put one in to place but being new to the HOA we haven't a clue where to start. Do we need a lawyer to have this done?
Thanks ever so much.
Angie
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:4885


08/06/2007 12:12 PM  
Posted By AngieP on 08/06/2007 11:27 AM
Thank you all for your input. Does anyone have a sample letter they could send me of their Fine Schedules,(Ca). We agreed we need to put one in to place but being new to the HOA we haven't a clue where to start. Do we need a lawyer to have this done? Thanks ever so much. Angie



Attached is an example of Rules and Regulations on Enforcement of Covenants and Rules. Whether you chose to use an attorney is up to your Board.

Attachment: 186124822571.doc

JaneK
(California)

Posts:175


08/07/2007 6:16 PM  
That's the kind of letter my board writes. It just makes people angry and doesn't promote cooperation.
JAne
AngieP
(California)

Posts:3


08/07/2007 7:07 PM  
JAne,
Your Board wouldn't have to write letters if everyone followed the CCR'S. I don't understand why some folks think they are "special" and can do whatever. Rules weren't written for them? Those folks should move out to the boonies and do whatever they please.
Have a nice evening.
JaneK
(California)

Posts:175


08/08/2007 10:56 AM  
You miss my point. I’m talking about the best way to convince members to follow the rules. In order to get homeowners to cooperate rather than making them angry is to send a violation letter that is ‘kinder and gentler.’ I don’t know what the first letter you sent said. It sounds like you need to adopt a fine policy. Attached is another example of a fine policy.

The person you are talking about probably needs a good kick at this point. In addition to the sections of Davis-Stirling Dane has posted you may want to check these also.
Jane

Civil Code §1363(g) If an association adopts or has adopted a policy imposing any monetary penalty, including any fee, on any association member for a violation of the governing documents or rules of the association, including any monetary penalty relating to the activities of a guest or invitee of a member, the board of directors shall adopt and distribute to each member, by personal delivery or first-class mail, a schedule of the monetary penalties that may be assessed for those violations, which shall be in accordance with authorization for member discipline contained in the governing documents. The board of directors shall not be required to distribute any additional schedules of monetary penalties unless there are changes from the schedule that was adopted and distributed to the members pursuant to this subdivision.

Civil Code §1363(h); When the board of directors is to meet to consider or impose discipline upon a member, the board shall notify the member in writing, by either personal delivery or first-class mail, at least 10 days prior to the meeting. The notification shall contain, at a minimum, the date, time, and place of the meeting, the nature of the alleged violation for which a member may be disciplined, and a statement that the member has a right to attend and may address the board at the meeting. The board of directors of the association shall meet in executive session if requested by the member being disciplined. If the board imposes discipline on a member, the board shall provide the member a written notification of the disciplinary action, by either personal delivery or first-class mail, within 15 days following the action. A disciplinary action shall not be effective against a member unless the board fulfills the requirements of this subdivision

Attachment: 188561817771.doc

CharlesI1
(California)

Posts:30


08/10/2007 9:52 PM  
Your attachment doesn't open. Will you show it here in comments? Thanks
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:4885


08/11/2007 7:30 AM  
Posted By JaneK on 08/07/2007 6:16 PM
That's the kind of letter my board writes. It just makes people angry and doesn't promote cooperation. JAne


Jane, if you were refering to my attachment it was not a violation notice. It is an example of Rules which are established and sent to all owners prior to sending any violation notice.

Posted By CharlesI1 on 08/10/2007 9:52 PM
Your attachment doesn't open. Will you show it here in comments? Thanks



Following is an example of Rules and Regulations on Enforcement of Covenants and Rules. We first send an Information Notice to make a potential violator aware of the restriction they may be violating. If not corrected a Violation Notice is sent.

Rules and Regulations on Enforcement of Covenants and Rules

In order to maintain property values, safety, and quality of life the Association enforces restrictions itemized in the Declaration (Covenants), Bylaws, and the Rules and Regulations (sometimes called Policies and Procedures). This may be referred to as Covenant enforcement, or Covenant control, or Covenant compliance.

The Property is monitored weekly by the Management Company for Covenant compliance. Owners can also report problems to the Managing Agent and may request anonymity. The Agent will investigate and shall photograph potential violations. A Demand letter will be sent to the Owner advising of the alleged violation, the controlling regulation, a time limit for correction (typically 10 days), and the right of the Owner to request a Hearing before the Board of Directors to challenge the cited violation.

To dispute a cited violation the Owner shall promptly submit a written request for a Hearing. Upon receipt of such a request, a Board of Directors meeting will be scheduled and arguments heard. The Owner shall be mailed a Notice of the Hearing date, time, alleged violation, and the proposed sanction if a violation is confirmed and is not corrected within a revised timeframe which will be determined by the Board. The Owner will be allowed to present a statement, evidence, and witnesses to support their position. After the Hearing the owner will be advised in writing of the Board's decision.

When a violation is not corrected within the specified time limit, an initial fine of $50.00 is assessed. If a violation is not corrected, subsequent citations may be issued and the fine will be doubled compared to the previous Demand letter. If necessary the Association shall get a court order to correct the violation and effect corrections required. The owner’s property shall be assessed for all costs involved. This will include, but is not limited to, the costs to correct the violation, fines, fees, attorney fees and court costs. After correction, if the same violation occurs again within 12 month, after the right to a Hearing, if the violation is upheld the fine amount shall be double the last fine amount assessed.


JaneK
(California)

Posts:175


08/11/2007 11:13 AM  
ENFORCEMENT POLICY FOR COLLECTION OF FEES

The documents governing the XXX Association set forth a series of rules and regulations with the intent of protecting and preserving the property and assets of the XXXAssociation and its members, restricting and governing the use of the common area and to establish architectural guidelines. To be able to properly and effectively enforce these rules and restrictions, the Association Board of Directors has adopted the following procedures, which will come into effect immediately.

If a violation is noted by the management, a member of the Board of Directors or called in by a resident:

1. First letter; Notice of Violation is sent. Violation to be corrected in 30 days or immediately if detrimental to health or safety of other residents. Letter will indicate a fine if compliance not achieved within the specified time.

2 Second letter; Second Notice of Violation and Fine Assessment is sent. Fine assessment and schedule is outlined below. There will be two schedule types for enforcement fees charged: Per incident fee or Accrued fine until compliance is met.

Assessment schedule for violation of CC&Rs and/or Rules and Regulations:

1st Violation (same offense) - Written Reminder
2nd Violation (same offense) - $50 Assessment
3rd Violation (same offense) - $100 Assessment

Continuation of infraction of 3rd violation will be assessed $50 per incident until compliance is achieved.

All violation notices will indicate the nature of violation and the section of the CC&Rs violated.
The offenders have the right to a hearing before the Board of Directors contesting fine via a written request.
The Board of Directors shall determine whether the rules were violated by the owner and shall render a decision in writing. The written decision may levy an additional assessment, penalty or other remedy, which may differ from any previous remedy imposed
JamesC
(Maryland)

Posts:282


08/11/2007 3:46 PM  
Posted By JaneK on 08/07/2007 6:16 PM
That's the kind of letter my board writes. It just makes people angry and doesn't promote cooperation.
JAne



Jane:
I don't think an association should have to promote cooperation, how about just a little
compliance with the Rules/Regulations by the homeowners?
These folks are grown adults, and as such, are responsible for their actions. Sounds like this character feels he is above the rules.
I agree with one of the other posts. If you don't want to abide by the rules, then maybe you should not buy into an HOA. The rules are for the betterment of the entire community, and political correctness does not fit into the enforcement of the guidelines.
In our community, if you break a rule, you are warned, then warned again. (Twice) Then you are called to a hearing before the board. Fail to show, and we find you guilty of the infraction we are addressing. A $25.00 fine is immediate. Assessed against your account.
The second fine is $50.00, then $75.00, $100.00 then $250.00. Don't pay, we put a lien against your property. We have never had to go past the $50.00 fine before the management company was contacted to ask that we NOT fine them anymore.

Jim
JudithC
(Virginia)

Posts:253


08/12/2007 4:10 AM  
James, it seems like you are more than a dollar short here, and are just focusing on one post that annoyed you rather than the subsequent posts.

I don't think anyone disagrees that rules and regulations should be followed. However, residents are human and sometimes boards send letters that make people "dig in their heels" rather than cooperate with the board. If you want to deal with the results of that, fine, otherwise it makes common sense to try to communicate with the homeowner in a manner that would promote cooperation.

As far as choosing to live in an HOA, in many parts of the country one has to stop quoting that old saw. Certainly around here you cannot find any new houses without an HOA, and probably no houses that are less than 25 years old. Living in an HOA is no longer a choice. I wish it were, because as a board member it was nice to believe that if people did not like all the restrictions they could move. Now it is a frying pan and fire type of decision.
JamesC
(Maryland)

Posts:282


08/12/2007 12:23 PM  
Judy:

I respect no one's comments on this board, as much as through submitted by Roger.
Roger, supplied her with where to go for documentation to be used by their HOA.
Those documents are going to read on, and on about the homeowners obligations to be FOLLOWED.
Reading her first post, and subsequent ones I derive that this homeowner has the attitude (which he made pretty clear) that he just does not care about their rules.
My position is, he had to have thought about the consequences before they informed him of the rules, so in that case I would make a clear point by fining him.
Do you really believe if they invited him out to Tea, he would begin to abide by the rules/regulations?
Political correctness in the country has run a muck. (No I won't move out of the country because I don't like the way things go down, but I will abide by the rules)
There are always a few bad ones in the barrel, and absolutely if he does not want to abide by the HOA's guidelines, he should clearly move. Was he also one of those that while signing on the doted line, he forgot to read the part on OBLIGATIONS OF HIS OWN TO THE COMMUNITY?
Cooperation is a two way street.
Reading your post, I sense your trying to accuse the accuser, by asking the board to "communicate". Did you read her first post clearly, where he told them what he thought about their rules.?

Jim
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


08/13/2007 7:20 PM  
Jane:

Our CC&Rs aren't written in a warm fuzzy language either. Yet they still must be followed.

Would we prefer motivated cooperation? Sure.

First letters are generally reminder letters, "benefit-of-the-doubt" letters, however, after the first notification, if the resident refuses to comply, a nice "huggles" letter won't make any difference. Sometimes frank, terse, firm communication elicits compliance better than reams and reams of a continual stream of "let's just all get along" letters.

No nonsense letters communicate that very well. If someone doesn't like the "tone" the best way to avoid it in the future is to refrain from violation.
SheilaM2
(Florida)

Posts:10


08/15/2007 6:55 PM  
What is the procedure in Florida for a HOA to follow regarding late maintenance fees?
LindaC3


Posts:0


08/15/2007 7:53 PM  
SheilaM2--- your by governing documents should outline the proper procedure with regards to late payments.....for general information with regards to HOA'S go to www.myflorida.com and look up the Statutes #720.........It deals with HOA'S....also be sure to look at the drop down menu and put in the year 2007 as there are a few changes that were signed into law effective July01 2007.....Hope this helps LindaC
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).



General Legal Notice:  The content of forum messages are from the posting member and have not been reviewed nor endorsed by HOATalk.com.  Messages posted by HOATalk or other members are for informational purposes only, are not legal or professional advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship.  Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.  HOATalk is not a licensed attorney, CPA, tax advisor, financial advisor or any other licensed professional.  HOATalk accepts ads from sponsors but does not verify sponsor qualifications nor endorse/guarantee any sponsor's product or service.
HindmanSanchez Legal Notice:  (For messages posted by HindmanSanchez) This message has been prepared by HindmanSanchez for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Members of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send us confidential information unless you speak with one of our attorneys and get authorization to send that information to us. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in our firm. Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in the state of Colorado only.

Legal Notice For Messages Posted by Sponsoring Attorneys: This message has been prepared by the sponsoring attorney for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Readers of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send any sponsoring attorney confidential information unless you speak with the sponsoring attorney or an attorney from the sponsoring attorney’s firm and get authorization to send that information to them. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in the firm of the sponsoring attorney. Sponsoring attorneys that post messages here are licensed to practice law in a specific state or states as indicated in their message signature or sponsor’s profile page. (NOTE: A ‘sponsoring attorney’ is an attorney that is a HOATalk.com official sponsor and is identified as such in the posted message or on our sponsor page.)

Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.
Copyright HOA Talk.com, A Service of Community123 LLC ( Homeowners Association Discussions )   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement