HOA fining committeeThis week’s word is Fining Committee.

A fining committee also known as a compliance committee, violation committee, grievance or rules enforcement committee administers the fining process when a resident fails to re-mediate violations. The fining committee is the last arbiter that a resident who is accused of rules violation has.

KEY POINT: The goal of fining should be compliance, not revenue generation.

Once the board or management discovers, or is notified of a violation, they tell the resident about the violation and ask that they correct the issue. The board or management can also state that if no corrective action is taken, a fine may be issued. By law, the resident is entitled to a hearing before the fining committee to plead their case before a fine is issued against them.

The fining committee must be composed of at least three members appointed by the board who are not on the board, are not employees and are not relatives of a board member or employee.

A fine hearing letter must be sent to the violating resident and give at least 14 days’ notice, but not more than 30 days’ notice of the fine meeting place, date and time. Fine committee meetings must also be noticed to association members at least 48 hours prior to the meeting with a sign on the property. Residents may attend the meeting, but are not allowed to speak.

Prior to the fine committee hearing all letters and correspondence with the resident should be given to the fine committee for review.

The fining hearing is an opportunity for the resident to give a reason why they should not be fined. Remember, this is not a time for debate or to lecture the resident. The fining committee should try not to engage in a back and forth with the owner. Once the violating resident has made their case, it is advised that the fining committee let them know the committee’s decision via mail, which gives the committee time to deliberate and also helps avoid an argument between the owner and the committee at the hearing.

Fining should follow your documents. The maximum fine is $100 per violation. Statutes permit an ongoing violation to be fined $100/day up to $1,000, if not corrected. A fine can become a lien against a unit if it reaches $1,000.

by Dan Tiernan, COO, Campbell Property Management