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Zachary
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3638
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I am the Compliance chair at the condo community I live in,

Customer Question

I am the Compliance chair at the condo community I live in, which is located in Jacksonville, FL. We have fined a resident (his mother owns condo and he lives there with his son-no a tenancy, but mother doesn't live there). He does things like take fish from the pond and put them inthe pool...or ride his bike into the pool while people are swimming...and other semi-dangerous things. We have fined him and his mother won't pay, as she is the owner and doesn't care. We suspended his amenities card. He still jumps over the fence and uses the fitness center and the pool whenever he wants to. What can we do to keep him from doing this? We have about 1000 people at our condo. He breaks whatever rules he wants to...we cannot stop him. What should we do?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zachary replied 6 months ago.

Hi,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX X will be assisting you with your legal question.

My first suggestion is to call the police on him. If his right to use the pool and common areas has been suspended and he continues to do this, this constitutes a trespass and a police report should be filed.

It may well be that the police refuse to do anything about it, and will tell you that this is a civil matter. The condo association generally is the owner of the common elements of the condo community. Thus, it has the right to file suit to sue for trespass and seek an injunction from the court against the resident for the multiple violations.

However, the easiest thing you can do is to assert a lien on the actual condo itself for the unpaid fines. If the owner does not live in the condo, then the condo is not protected by homestead laws. This means that if the lien remains unpaid after a demand, you can move to foreclose the lien and sale the condo.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am credited by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Kind regards,
Zachary
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3638
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
Zachary and 14 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 months ago.

This sounds good...but under FL 718...you can't lien the unit. Does that change because of the homestead thing...his mother doesn't live there she just owns and lets him live there?

Expert:  Zachary replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for your response.

FL Statute 718.116 in fact does specifically authorize liens and foreclosure for an unpaid assessment. Your bylaws should categorize fines as part of the assessment mechanism.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.

It specifically says you can fine up to 1000. - we're getting there with all his shenanighans...but you cannot put a lien on the unit. Is that ok to do now because of the Homestead? That was my question...because Mommy doesn't live there...she is the one who pays the fines...so are you sa
ying that because she doesn't live there...we can lien the unit? I know if the condo is not your primary residence, your tax and writeoffs are different. But he is a family member...??

Expert:  Zachary replied 6 months ago.
Ah! I see what you are are referring to now. Yes, you are correct. FL Statute 713.313 does specifically limit fines to $1,000 and restricts it from being the basis of a lien. This provision is unlike most other Condominium Acts in other states.

No, the fact that it is not a homestead and not the property owner herself who is committing the violations does not remove the situation out from under this section.

Thus, this would mean that the only solution is to pursue a lawsuit for an injunction and for damages and attorneys fees.

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