ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE PROCEDURES
Typically, the first thing a homeowner will get in any covenant enforcement will be a letter. This may be called a “notice of violation,” an “initial demand,” an “initial violation notice,” a “cease and desist notice,” or it may just be a friendly reminder. The title of the letter may vary, but it will likely point out the violation, inform the alleged violator what he or she needs to do to fix it, and how long he or she has to fix it in order to avoid a penalty. The time limit may vary depending on the type of violation, the governing documents, and law.
If the problem has not been fixed within the time requested by the HOA or condo, then the alleged violator may receive a notice of hearing. An HOA may or may not have a written procedure for holding hearings. However, in order for the HOA to fine, there must be an express covenant giving the HOA the authority to fine members for violations. Hearings occur in executive sessions with the HOA or condo board. There may also be other people present, including the community’s management agent and attorney.
An HOA or condo can also ask the appropriate circuit court to order the alleged violator to stop a violation or fix a violation. They do not have to go through the full hearing process first, but to take the alleged violator to court, they must act before the legal time limit (called the “statute of limitations”) expires.
The court may order the alleged violator not to violate the governing documents or may order he or she to take some action, like removing an unapproved structure or alteration from the exterior of the home.
THE LAW OFFICE OF P. HONG LE, LLC CAN HELP
Whether you are an HOA or condo board enforcing a covenant or if you are a homeowner that has been cited for a violation, the Law Office of P. Hong Le, LLC can help. The Office has years of experience litigating covenant violation cases and interpreting governing documents. Contact the Office today to schedule a consultation regarding your covenant violation matter to receive advice on the best way to accomplish your goals regarding your property!