How can an Association impose a fine on a homeowner?
Condominium Associations and Homeowners Association virtually always have governing documents laying out rules and regulations. When not followed by a homeowner such a violation could give rise to various remedies in favor of the Association including imposing a monetary fine. However, in order for an association to levy a fine, a fining committee must exist with reasonably understandable procedures. The fining committee must be comprised of individuals who own a unit within the community, typically three persons, and may not be a member of the Board of Directors nor related to any member of the Board of Directors. Once a violation is committed, the violator must be given 14-days notice of a hearing before the committee. If the committee decides that a fine should not be imposed, then the board of directors must accept that decision and the fine may not be imposed. However, if the committee decides that a fine should be imposed, then the board of directors has the option to modify the fine amount or waive the fine. For both HOAs and condominiums, fines may not exceed $100 per violation, and the fines may be imposed for each day that the violation continues, with a statutory cap not to exceed $1,000 per violation. While condominiums may not convert fines into liens, Homeowners Association may record a lien on a homeowners property if fines exceed $1,000.00 in the aggregate. Since one violation can’t result in a fine more than $1,000.00, there must be at least two separate violations in order to place a lien on a homeowner’s property in an HOA.