FLORIDA: Local Government Code Enforcement Authority to Impose Huge Fines & Eventual Foreclosure
Land Use -Code Enforcement Issues - A $700,000 fine against a house valued at $200,000? YES - Take Seriously & Send Timely ResponseCities & Counties in Floriuda have authority to create code enforcement boards that can ultimately issue very steep fines that can be recorded as liens against your real estate and any other personal property you own, and can then FORECLOSE on those properties to collect that fine. Although the government entity cannot foeclose on your homestead, it can foreclose on that vacant lot you own or any other valuable property you might have. There are cases on the books with very major fines stemming from what a reasonable person might consider very minor issues, biut these fines are enforceable and you should take them seriously and on a timely basis. If you get a notice of violation and it gives you a specific date or number of days within which to respond-DO NOT IGNORE IT. ATTEND the hearing on your violation and respond as instructed on the Notice. Otherwise, you may find yourself with fines exceeding six figures --over $100,000 - and a foreclosure lawsuit against your property.
Land Use - Code Enforcement Board (CEB) Issues - TAKE TIME LIMITS VERY SERIOUSLY-Send CEB Your Responses & Objections Within Those STRICT Time LimitsThe fisrt City/County Notice of Violation you receive will tell you your property is not in compliance with a certain code/ordinance and will describe what the violation entails, and it will typically give you a set amount of time (30 days for ex) to bring your property into compliance. Fines may or may not be involved. If you comply with the Notice, the CEB will usually find you in compliance and your problems are usually over at this point. If you DISPUTE that you have a violation or if you DISAGREE with the nature or extent of the violation, SAY SOMETHING AT THIS POINTand within the timeframe for compliance stated in this Notice. If you ignore this Notice, CEB may find you failed to comply and the violation still exists, imposing a fine that can escalate daily ($250 a day, for ex). At this point, if your time has RUN OUT, it may be too late to dispute the nature/extent of the violation - that stage of the game is already OVER and you may have BIG $$ fine problems now