A significant number of residences in Florida cities like Vero Beach, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and elsewhere are subject to rules established by a homeowners association, or HOA. If you are part of a community with an HOA, a situation might arise in which you are said to have violated community or association rules. There are four primary steps you need to take if you receive an HOA notice of violation:
- Confirm the notice is proper.
- Confirm the allegation in the notice is actually a violation.
- Exercise your right to a hearing on the violation notice.
- Understand your right to appeal.
Confirm propriety of notice of violation
Confirm that you have received proper notice of a violation. As a homeowner in an HOA community, you have the absolute right to receive proper notice of an alleged violation.
Confirm allegation is in fact a violation
Double-check that what is alleged to be a violation in a notice really is a contravention of your community’s rule. With some regularity, HOA boards will issue violation notices that don’t have foundation in the rules of the community.
Exercise your right to a hearing
In Florida, if you receive an HOA notice of violation, you have a right to a hearing to present your case. Such a hearing typically is held before the HOA board. You must request such a hearing within the time period specified by HOA law.
Understand and take advantage of your right to appeal
If you are found to have violated a rule or regulation mandated by your community’s homeowners association, be certain that you understand what appeals process may be available to you. Depending on the nature of the violation and the requirements or sanctions associated with that breach, you may want to avail yourself of whatever appeals or reconsideration process is available to you. Bear in mind that HOA rules will establish a specific time frame in which you need to lodge an appeal, or you will lose the right to do so permanently.
If a notice of violation is particularly serious and you believe that you have not deviated from community rules, you may want to give serious consideration to retaining a lawyer. Legal counsel may advise you throughout the process and keep you informed of your rights.