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Subject: Enforcing by-laws & fines
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Author Messages
LoriC
(South Carolina)

Posts:2


04/28/2006 10:05 AM  
Our HOA board is completely new and we've had issues with neighbors not abiding to the by-laws, i.e., parking on street, having sheds in backyard. After numerous letters to them, they still have not obeyed the by-laws. Can we fine them? The by-laws do not specify if a neighbor can be fined. And if we can fine them and they don't pay, what would be our next course of action?
JimC3
(Texas)

Posts:1


04/28/2006 11:54 AM  
Our Board set the fine amounts. A homeowner that is in violation is sent a courtesy notice and given 7 days to correct the violation or contact the board. The board decides if additional time will be allotted the correct the violation. If the HO ignores the notice a formal notice of violation is sent. The formal notice allows 30 days to correct the violation (by law in our state) and/or meet with the board. If the violation is still not corrected the HO is sent a "fine notice" and given 14 days to correct the violation. If the violation is not corrected fines are accessed weekly until a point where a lien is placed on the property. In my state the HOA restrictions are very enforceable and the property can be foreclosed on and sold at auction to recoup fines and legal fees.
The process was developed and approved by our attorney.
Hope this helps.
CalvinC
(Florida)

Posts:20


04/28/2006 12:08 PM  
From what I hear that in Florida you can not make a person pay a fine or put a lein on a hoime for unpaid fines. I'm told that you have to create an assesmnet instead. Sound right? I was told the law was created 2 years ago to curb boards who were overzealous in fining people.
TomJ
(Arizona)

Posts:42


04/28/2006 1:55 PM  
I believe that it depends on your state laws. Arizona changed the statutes last year so that liens cannot be placed on property by the HOAs except for assessment payments. For fines you have to take them to small claims courts. Also when a payment is recieved then it goes to the assessments first.

Our HOA board then started a budget item for legal expense of taking someone to small claims court. Also so all were aware of the fines we published a Fines Policy that states what the fine amounts are and how long the home owner has to correct the problem before a fine is levied. So far we have not had to take anyone to court.

Liens have been effective for us in getting the assessments paid. When I started on the board about 4 years ago we had about $12000 is assessments due and no liens, then we started liens for assessments over 90 days old and now we have about $2000 in assessments due. We go grant payment plans and do not start small claims action or forclosure for assessments as long as the home owner abides by the payment plan.

JoelleM
(Florida)

Posts:6


04/28/2006 3:57 PM  
Calvin,

You are 99% correct. The Florida State Statutes were changed about 2 years ago. The HOA Board can set up a Fining Committee which will basically do the same thing. I'ts more like a checks and balance thing to lessen the "power" of the Board so they can't get too full of themselves.
MelanieB
(Florida)

Posts:1


06/08/2006 2:10 PM  
I am interested in hearing more about establishing a "fining committee" for a Florida HOA. Also where can I find more information on the HOA law in Florida regarding collection of accumulated fines. I have read the relevant Statute 720.305 but am not sure of the proper forum for resolution if a lien is not available.
MikeW
(Florida)

Posts:1


06/29/2006 2:42 PM  
Melanie,
As you probably know by reading the Florida Statues Chapter 720 on fines, you cannot levy a fine and establish a lien on the members property for nonpayment of that fine. As it was explained to me by our HOA attorney, the HOA can bring suit in small claims court for nonpayment of the fine. If the court finds in favor of the HOA, a judgement can be filed, a writ executed and either a garnishee on the members salary or a levy on their property can be established.
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