HOA Fines/Liens

Good Morning everyone,
I live in Florida and have a condo. The rules of the condo are the owner does not own anything on the outside of the unit. A porch enclosure may be put up, but it must be approved and it is the responsibiliity of the owner if damage or anything occurs.
So, i have lived in my condo for 3 years… I love it. It is cheap, easy to maintain etc. The condo unit did come with an enclosed porch with vinyl windows. My unit is elevated from ground level (up a little bit on a hill) and the rain causes the dirt from underneath my porch foundation to wash away. Eventually it is goign to ruin my porch that i have turned into a mancave and love it.
My neighbor who moved in last year sometime, got persmission to put rocks/bricks to prevent the erosion problem on her unit. I have seen this letter. I asked her when she got free time and i got it approved, if she could do the same thing for mine.

As a wedding present, my neighbor copied her porch. onto mine. she stated it was approved at the last meeting and proceeded. it took her a week to do probably costing about 1000 dollars. . Yesterday i got a letter in the mail stating it wasnt approved and i need tos how up to the next meeting to determine whether i am in violation. The fines could be 100/day up to 10 days. My question is: If i go to this meeting, show the board the letter that approved my neighbors porch, will i get approved? if not isnt that discrimination? Next question: if they say remove it all, and they assess a fine, what happens if i Just say “okay i will pay the fine.” will i get to keep the bricks? it looks amazing and prevents erosion. I just dont knwo what the HOA is going to say. I hope my saving grace is my neighbor’s letter stating she can go into the common elements to fix her erosion problem.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated, b/c i am losin a lot of sleep and gaining grey hairs over this crap.

raczkowski I have bad news for yo and good news for you. The bad news is that you should lose sleep and gain grey hair. The problem with condos is that the power is fully in the condo board’s hands. The depth of the problem is dependent on if the condo board is power tripping or if they are reasonable. The kind of people that normally are attracted to condo boards tend to be power tripping people.

There is nothing wrong with discrimination. Discrimination is normal. There are just 4 reasons that you can’t discriminate. They are race, gender, ethnicity, age, national origin, sexual orientation and gender identity, family status, or veteran. Other than that there is no protection for discrimination. (unless there is some specific local or state law.

The fees usually continue until you remedy the situation and then they will attempt to collect up to and including foreclosure on your house. The upside of this is that the foreclosure for fees takes a subordinate position to your mortgage and thus they are not likely to want to do that. It also gives really bad will to the board unless what you are doing is so hideous that all your neighbors agree with the board.

This is on your side. If you have improved the community they are more likely to yield to either fees as accumilated or take them off all together. But you are at their mercy.

HOAs are as good as their elected board. It’s unfortunate that you have to deal with this situation. If the board hasn’t official approved your condo improvement, you could be in violation and subject to a fine. You can apologize to the board, since they are most likely on a power trip and want you to kiss their a$$. That’s some times all they want. The board has the power to assess or waive any fines. They can also approve your improvement retroactively.

I’m not sure, but I would imagine that the repair you described should fall under the association’s responsibility. Most HOAs maintain the common areas and exterior maintenance. You’ll have to reference your CC&Rs to see what’s the HOAs responsibility and what it your’s.

Best of luck on this!

Bring in the neighbor’s letter of approval (too bad the neighbor didn’t get one for you too). Come to the meeting with photos of the approved work done on her unit and the same work that was done on your unit. Since the work was done at “your” expense, but benefits the condominium association and makes their property look better and reduces erosion, I do not see what will be the big problem. ’

I agree with the other posts, this is mainly a power play to remind all involved who is in control. Play their game, act innocent and apologize (I know stupid but necessary).

Fortunately, Arizona law does not allow a homeowners’ association to foreclose against a homeowner for unpaid fines. Instead, the law distinguishes between assessments and fines, allowing for foreclosure actions based on liens for unpaid assessments, but not fines.