If you’ve moved down here to SWFL from the North, you may run into something you never had to deal with in your originating state. . . being part of an Home Owners Association or HOA. Many of the towns in older communities up North were developed one house at a time over a period of time, as opposed to the many planned and developed communities here in Lee and Collier counties. As such, they do not have rules and regulations beyond county and town zoning laws. However, our beautifully developed planned communities here have a lot of wonderful shared amenities such as beautifully landscaped common areas, elevators, swimming pools, clubhouses, parking garages, fitness rooms, and security gates. As such an HOA is necessary to ensure that residents of the community are all equally responsible for maintaining common areas, as well as keeping their own homes, townhouses or condominiums maintained to the satisfaction of the entire community.
An HOA is a legal entity that governs a community of homes, including subdivisions, condominiums, townhomes, or planned community. HOAs operate within state statutes to enforce regulations and collect assessments from homeowners, while also taking care of maintenance repairs of common areas. Their main purpose is to maintain the quality of life for all of the community’s residents and protect the property values for all of the owners in the community.
To fulfill that purpose HOAs set out certain rules that all residents must follow called covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs). The bylaws and CC&Rs commonly also include procedures the HOA must follow when taking any action to enforce the rules. HOA’s will also govern how well you maintain your residence and will often enforce how well you maintain your property, which can include everything from lawn maintenance to keeping your roof clear of mildew and your driveway and lanai clean as well. While none of us likes to be told what to do with our own property, keep in mind that you moved into an HOA community because the property values often higher for HOA communities for a reason, and that’s because they always look great. And because of that, the residents of a community will keep a weather eye on whether or not you are keeping your own property looking nice. If you are in violation of any of the HOA covenants, you will receive a written notice, and told how much time you’ve got to correct the problem.
Florida law allows HOAs to impose fines against members, tenants, guests and invitees who violate the community’s CC&Rs, articles of incorporation, bylaws or any rules adopted by the association. Fines may not exceed $100 per violation, and the fines may be imposed for each day that the violation continues, with a statutory cap that the fines cannot exceed $1,000 per violation.
The HOA must provide written notice to an owner of any alleged violation, and allow the owner time to fix the violation, before fining or suing that person. At UnderPressure, we call that notice a “nastygram,” and we are here to help you avoid a fine if the issue is a dirty roof, driveway, walkway in front of your house, moldy lanai enclosure or filthy pavers.
If you do receive a violation, take the time to read it and understand what it’s for, keep your cool – as long as you’re not a repeat offender, it’s probably not a big deal. Then give us a call at UnderPressure and we will take the cleaning steps necessary to get your property looking fantastic quickly, have you avoid paying a fine, and keep you out of getting in hot water with your HOA. Give us a call at UnderPressure at 239-218-5085!
Under Pressure Cleaning & Sealing Services LLC
Peter LeBlanc - Owner/Operator
239-218-5085 • firstname.lastname@example.org
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