Property owner facing criminal charges after HOA dispute

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2024 | Real Estate Disputes |

A man who lives in another state maintains a backyard apiary (beehives) as a hobby. This man believes he has a right to do so. Several others disagree, however, including members of the HOA that governs community property where the man lives. An HOA dispute has led to a lawsuit filed by the county and criminal charges pursued against the homeowner.

The HOA dispute involved multiple issues, one of which was prompted by the homeowner’s debris and sapling removal and other landscaping improvements he made in the area behind his home. This area has a creek running through it, which is owned by the HOA. The homeowner said he was performing outdoor maintenance because so much debris had built up that the water of the creek ceased to flow, and the HOA was not doing its job to properly maintain the area.

Additional issues involved in the HOA dispute

HOA members also wanted the man to remove a beehive from the area behind his home, which they said was on HOA property. However, the man was told by several official sources that his property line extended to the berm of the creek. The homeowner said he had sought and received proper approval before doing the maintenance.

The HOA also wanted the homeowner to remove a beehive from the area. However, the bee company sent to remove the hive refused to do so, saying the homeowner was not violating the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs). It may have been their dissatisfaction regarding the bee issue that prompted two HOA members to report the tree removal issues to the county, which has led to criminal charges for malicious injury of property against the homeowner, to which he pleaded not guilty. If an HOA dispute of this magnitude arises in Florida, it is best handled under the guidance of an experienced real estate law attorney.


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