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Subject: Fines
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Author Messages
LindaM36
(Florida)

Posts:6


04/19/2021 9:08 PM  
Can an HOA fine you for something that is NOT in the bylaws or covenants?
TimB4
(Tennessee)

Posts:17856


04/19/2021 9:17 PM  
Short answer - possibly.

Longer answer - It depends on where or what the violation is.

The Board may adopt rules to govern common areas. These rules would not be in the covenants or bylaws.
So if the violation was a rule governing common areas, the answer would be yes.

I haven't checked FL statutes for awhile. Therefore, I don't recall if monetary penalties (fines) are allowed or if they must specifically be mentioned in the covenants or rules to be enforceable. You should check the applicable property statute for your development.

AugustinD


Posts:1937


04/20/2021 7:05 AM  
Posted By LindaM36 on 04/19/2021 9:08 PM
Can an HOA fine you for something that is NOT in the bylaws or covenants?
Like TimB4 is getting at: It depends. If you answer the following questions, this will help others help you:

-- Is this a condominium or not a condominium?

-- Is this community subject to FS 718 or FS 720?

-- Please describe the violation for which the HOA/condo has alleged and fined the Owner/resident.

-- Please look at the Bylaws and CC&Rs and see if there is a related bylaw or CC&R. Then post it here.
AugustinD


Posts:1937


04/20/2021 7:21 AM  
FS 718 (for condos) on fines:
"The association may levy reasonable fines for the failure of the owner of the unit or its occupant, licensee, or invitee to comply with any provision of the declaration, the association bylaws, or reasonable rules of the association. A fine may not become a lien against a unit. A fine may be levied by the board on the basis of each day of a continuing violation, with a single notice and opportunity for hearing before a committee as provided in paragraph (b). However, the fine may not exceed $100 per violation, or $1,000 in the aggregate."

FS 720 (for non-condos) on fines:
"The association may levy reasonable fines. A fine may not exceed $100 per violation against any member or any member’s tenant, guest, or invitee for the failure of the owner of the parcel or its occupant, licensee, or invitee to comply with any provision of the declaration, the association bylaws, or reasonable rules of the association unless otherwise provided in the governing documents. A fine may be levied by the board for each day of a continuing violation, with a single notice and opportunity for hearing, except that the fine may not exceed $1,000 in the aggregate unless otherwise provided in the governing documents. A fine of less than $1,000 may not become a lien against a parcel. In any action to recover a fine, the prevailing party is entitled to reasonable attorney fees and costs from the nonprevailing party as determined by the court."


General note:
A fine is only reasonable if the violation reasonably derives from the HOA's/condo's Declaration or Bylaws or state or federal law (notably, Fair Housing law). The rules must likewise derive from the Declaration or Bylaws.
LindaM36
(Florida)

Posts:6


04/20/2021 9:03 AM  
Can the HOA put a lien on my property for a $1000 fine?
AugustinD


Posts:1937


04/20/2021 9:07 AM  
LindaM36, please answer the questions. Else it's impossible to comment intelligently on whether what your HOA is doing is lawful.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2607


04/20/2021 9:09 AM  
Posted By LindaM36 on 04/20/2021 9:03 AM
Can the HOA put a lien on my property for a $1000 fine?




Unless the law or your governing documents say otherwise, they can lien your property for any amount that you owe. Whether or not it makes financial sense for them to do so is a different question.
TimB4
(Tennessee)

Posts:17856


04/20/2021 3:08 PM  
Posted By LindaM36 on 04/20/2021 9:03 AM
Can the HOA put a lien on my property for a $1000 fine?




Honestly, it's possible.

It will depend on your governing documents.

I've seen Associations apply assessment payments to monetary penalties first and then toward assessments. If this is the case within your Association, the answer would be yes but in a round about way.

Example:

Assessment $500 month
Monetary penalty (fine) $1,000


Apr 1 - assessment due - $500
Apr 2 - Fine assessed - $1,000
Balance - $1,500
Apr 5 - payment - $500 (applied to fine)
May 1 - Assessment due - $500
May 5 - payment $500 (applied to fine)
Jun 1 - Assessment due - $500
Jun 5 - Payment - $500
Balance - $1,000 (past due assessments as fine was paid off)
Lien filed for past due assessments

MalakA
(Virginia)

Posts:10


04/24/2021 6:09 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 04/19/2021 9:17 PM
Short answer - possibly.

Longer answer - It depends on where or what the violation is.

The Board may adopt rules to govern common areas. These rules would not be in the covenants or bylaws.
So if the violation was a rule governing common areas, the answer would be yes.

I haven't checked FL statutes for awhile. Therefore, I don't recall if monetary penalties (fines) are allowed or if they must specifically be mentioned in the covenants or rules to be enforceable. You should check the applicable property statute for your development.





This just makes me ask the question too: what is truly a common area? How is that legally defined?
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2607


04/25/2021 4:44 AM  
Posted By MalakA on 04/24/2021 6:09 PM
Posted By TimB4 on 04/19/2021 9:17 PM
Short answer - possibly.

Longer answer - It depends on where or what the violation is.

The Board may adopt rules to govern common areas. These rules would not be in the covenants or bylaws.
So if the violation was a rule governing common areas, the answer would be yes.

I haven't checked FL statutes for awhile. Therefore, I don't recall if monetary penalties (fines) are allowed or if they must specifically be mentioned in the covenants or rules to be enforceable. You should check the applicable property statute for your development.





This just makes me ask the question too: what is truly a common area? How is that legally defined?




Look in your covenants and restrictions - there should be a definition of what is common.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11667


04/25/2021 11:07 AM  
Linda

What is the association fining you for?
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11667


04/25/2021 11:07 AM  
Linda

What is the association fining you for?
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1469


04/25/2021 4:49 PM  
Linda, did you attend the hearing your HOA summoned you to? Did you read any mailed correspondences your HOA sent you via USPS? They should have sent you something registered mail to get your attention.
LindaM36
(Florida)

Posts:6


04/25/2021 8:29 PM  
The HOA stated at a park meeting on Monday, April 19 that residents that live on the fenceline have until May 1 to clear the fenceline of any obstacles to the new fence being installed. Fines of $25 per day begins May 2. First of all, it is not in writing. Second of all, according to the law, I have 14 days to appeal it but no indication as to when that 14 days start. Is it 14 days from the date they notify that I am being fined or 14 days after the date they told us about it?
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11667


04/26/2021 7:01 AM  
Posted By LindaM36 on 04/25/2021 8:29 PM
The HOA stated at a park meeting on Monday, April 19 that residents that live on the fenceline have until May 1 to clear the fenceline of any obstacles to the new fence being installed. Fines of $25 per day begins May 2. First of all, it is not in writing. Second of all, according to the law, I have 14 days to appeal it but no indication as to when that 14 days start. Is it 14 days from the date they notify that I am being fined or 14 days after the date they told us about it?



Why are you objecting to clearing obstacles?
AugustinD


Posts:1937


04/26/2021 7:31 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 04/26/2021 7:01 AM

Why are you objecting to clearing obstacles?
Ditto.

Sounds like the fence is a "common element," for which the HOA has maintenance responsibility. Covenants give the Board the right to make reasonable rules about the use of common elements and fine for violations of these rules. In Florida, see FS 720.305 for non-condo HOAs. Proper notice is needed, but it sounds like the HOA may be stuck with a time-sensitive situation. I think honorable owners should try to work with boards in these situations, recognizing all that is on the Board's plate and how a vendor here is involved and the vendor is a pretty busy entity itself. If the OP thinks the Board is being unreasonable, well I think the OP may be being unreasonable regarding moving the obstacles.
MarshallT
(New York)

Posts:180


05/03/2021 6:27 AM  
Hi Linda,

This does sound like a reasonable request considering the board doesn't have much time. Considering the circumstances, I believe that the HOA could issue fines to owners who do not try to accommodate the request.
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