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

  1. Lee Silidker says:

    Florida Condo HOA….. We have a fining comittee established in 2015….
    Our current vice president wants to have a meeting with the committee…
    What is the Role of the Vice President in the FC….
    We have never held a meeting prior…. but have had the previous pres/vice.l,. attend
    if they wanted to…..

    • Dan Tiernan, COO Campbell says:

      All committees serve at the pleasure of the board and it is common to have a “Board Liaison” for a committee, which it sounds like the VP may be serving as. The VP should not be an active part of the committee, but I see no harm in meeting with them for a variety of reasons, e.g. providing some guidance on behalf of the board regarding potential warning levels, before fining, discussing the seriousness of certain violations that should be taken seriously, etc., Again, all on behalf of the board. However, in the end, the VP, nor any other Board member would have a say in the day to day actions/decisions of the committee.

  2. A. Bouza says:

    I was at a HOA board meeting and was told that members in the fining committee do not need to be homeowners in the association. I would like to know if ownership is a requirement to be in a fining committee? I don’t want to fined by an outsider of my community.

  3. Marvin FINDLING says:

    Well prepared article! My one criticism is the title “Fining Committee” which implies the purpose of the committee is to impose fines, whereas the purpose is to meet with purported violator and present the committee’s claim/evidence of the purported violation – then request the “violator” to present their position/defense. All per Chapter 718.303 (3) F.S. I believe “Compliance Committee” is a more appropriate title. Our board of directors uses “Fining Committee”, I have objected to that title for the same reason cited above.

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