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Is the fine levied against you by your HOA legal?

You may enjoy many advantages by living in a condominium in Florida that has a homeowners’ association. The HOA board is the governing body that has the responsibility to review and enforce the rules and regulations that make the condo a pleasant place to live. However, when the board begins abusing its authority, you could end up facing penalties that seem unfair. Fortunately, Florida statutes protect members of HOAs from unreasonable fines.

When you purchase or lease your home, you must sign a document that binds you to the rules that are defined in the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions. If the board of the HOA informs you that you have violated one of these rules, you must be given a minimum of 14 days to contest the fine and be heard by a group of your neighbors. No board member may be a part of this hearing. The committee has the right to determine whether the fine is fair, and they may decide you do not have to pay it.

A single violation can result in a fine no greater than $100, and if you have more than one violation, these cannot total more than $1,000. While you are obligated to pay it, the board cannot attach a lien to your property. After you have been given 90 days to pay the fine, the board may suspend some of your community privileges such as use of association property, as long as it is not an elevator, parking space or other component of your own home or access to it. You may also lose your right to vote until the fine is paid.

There are other provisions that may apply, and you may have the right to file an action against the HOA. These vary based on the circumstances, so you should not interpret this information as legal advice. 

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