Tampa, FL asked in Real Estate Law for Florida

Q: HOA enforces regulatory NO Dumping signage and in 2017 incured $275 fee. Concern is HOA process violates FL statute 720.

There are signs posted if you dump you are fined. This is not the fining that occurs from the community governing documents or rules and regulations. If you park in the wrong spot you are towed, and you pay the towing fee to get your car back. If you dump, you absorb the fee to remove the dumped items.

When you are towed, it is yours to absorb whether you name it a fine or a towing expense, it is yours to bare because of the owner's action, the board discussed the dumping as the same violation. Also, the documents state if an owner must repair an item, and it is not done, the association has the rights to do it, and the owner absorbs this cost. This is also an example of the dumping situation.

No courtesy warning

No 14 days to request a hearing

exceeds $100 per violation

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1 Lawyer Answer

A: It is impossible to answer your question without reading your HOA documents. Sometimes documents have special provisions that allow HOAs to charge homeowners an individual assessment for certain violations. You would need to consult with a HOA lawyer to review not only your Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, but any board adopted rules and regulations.

Based just on your characterization of the facts, it does appear it may be an illegal fine. In order to dispute something like this a court action would be required since HOAs are not regulated in Florida except for elections and recalls. Pre-suit mediation is required before litigation can be filed. This is not something that should be done without an experienced HOA lawyer.

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