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I live in Florida & have an HOA. I just received a violation…

I live in Florida...

I live in Florida & have an HOA. I just received a violation letter stating that I can not have a board on board fence at the front of my property and a vinyl fence at the rear. You can't see rear fence from front unless you walk onto my property & look over the front fence. The rules & regulations do not state that all fences must match. How can I fight this? the current board is now using "interpretation of rules for enforcement.

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?

Yes, we wrote a letter & we just spoke to property manager. she is going to "drive by" this weekend but is sticking to the boards violation.

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a FL lawyer about this?

No we haven't because we are retired seniors & the cost of repacing the front fence & attorney fees are just not in our budget.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

This is not the first time & we are not the only senior homeowners that are having issues with the HOA.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I have the HOA rules & Regulations regarding fencing that I can send to you if needed.
Answered in 34 minutes by:
6/8/2018
Attyadvisor
Attyadvisor, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 9,188
Experience: 30 years of experience in General Practice, Real Estate Law and Estate Law.
Verified

Welcome and thank you for your question. I will be the professional that will be assisting you. Can you attach the governing documents?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Do you need the entire rules booklet or the section pertaining to fencing?

If the language is clear that the type of fencing you installed is not permitted this is a violation. If the rules do not state anything about matching their is not rule for you to violate.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
AWHOAFencingRules.docx
1/ 25.8 Fencing
Fences serve many purposes in the community; they restrain small children and
pets, they provide privacy, and they provide a unifying element in the
neighborhood. (Refer to Section 4.7)
4.7 General Fencing·
No fence, barrier, wall, or similar structure shall be erected on any lot without
the prior written approval of the Board of Directors or the Architectural Review
Committee. (Refer to Section 5.8)
4.7.1 Chain link fences are not permitted.
5.8.1 Specifications
(a) The standard fence shall be a six (6') foot high wood/ vinyl stockade,
board on board, or vertical shadowbox fence. Picket fences, basketweave
fences, horizontal shadowbox fences, and chain link fences are not permitted.
(b) By special exception, four (4') foot high fences may be permitted on corner
properties to conform to Oviedo Zoning Regulations; they may Revised 4/09 I
also be permitted at the rear of those properties which back us to retention
ponds and areas which may not be developed.
(c) Any fence, which is located adjacent to the brick wall along Alafaya Woods
Boulevard or Mitchell Hammock Road, shall taper down to the brick wall. Any
fence, which is located adjacent to any four (4') foot high portion of fence, shall
taper down to the four (4') foot high fence.
(d) Fences shall not extend past any portion of the front of the house nor past the
front of adjacent houses. Fences shall be set back a minimum of five (5') feet
from the corner of the house. Fences must abut the house. Exceptions may be
granted for those houses, which are irregularly shaped lots in the cul-de-sacs.
If a fence is currently placed on adjacent property, consideration should be given
to aligning the front portions of the fences.
(e) The finished, uniform side of the fence must face outward toward adjoining
properties. If neighbors agree to share the cost of the fence, they shall decide
between themselves who will have the finished side. Fences installed prior to
January 1, 1990 may remain as installed until the entire fence is in need of
replacement.
(f) Vinyl fences are to be white.
(g) Fences shall not be painted; a clear preservative is permitted. Fences may
be stained, provided the color and type of stain is approved in advance by
the Architectural Review Committee or the Board of Directors.
All fences must be properly maintained at all times. For the purposes of
this rule, proper maintenance includes, but is not limited to, replacement
of all missing, cracked or broken boards, replacement or re- erection of
any fallen or sagging sections, and routine cleaning for mildew, fungus
and other stains.
(h) Fences shall be constructed so that the outermost portion of the fence
does not infringe on adjacent properties. If neighbors share the cost of
the fence, they shall decide between themselves where to locate the
fence. It is recommended that they put this decision in writing with
signatures of all parties to eliminate problems with subsequent
homeowners.
(i) Fences other than those expressly authorized above may be approved
on a case-by-case basis, providing they are not types that are specifically
prohibited.
( j) The homeowner erecting the fence parallel to the brick wall is
responsible for maintaining any landscaping installed, or naturally occurring,
between the brick wall and the fence; overgrown foliage and weeds will
not be permitted.
5.8.2 Applications must include:
1. A plot plan showing the proposed location of the fence, including
dimensions.
2. Specifications of the type of fence and/or other materials proposed.

The board reserved the right to authorize approval of fences on a case by case basis.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
They approved the vinyl fence in the back that we replaced in February. They are now coming back stating that we must replace the 2 front board on board sections on eac side of the house to be in compliance. They are saying that all fences on my property must match!

I agree that there is nothing that says they must match. This is typical board abuse of power. You can appeal their decision and the violation.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thank you so much!

What we often forget is that these board members can be removed. They have a fiduciary duty to all owners to act in the best interests of all owners. Forcing you to spend unnecessary money creates a financial hardship. This is a breach of fiduciary duty. Let me provide some helpful links.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thank you that would be great!

"When electing board members to serve on behalf of your community, you expect them to be on their best behavior and to think of the needs of the building and the people who live there when making their decisions. Regardless of the type of community they serve, board members have a responsibility to govern and make decisions on behalf of that community. This is often referred to as the board's “fiduciary duty.”

Decisions made on behalf of a board's fellow residents must be made in good faith, with the best interests of the community firmly in mind, and violating this duty can lead to legal consequences for boards and individual board members who stray. Unfortunately, some people do stray—and this is why the legal community is steadfast about clearly defining what is expected and required in a board's fiduciary duty." https://soflcooperator.com/article/the-call-of-duty/full

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You may not be familiar with how the site works. The Attorneys to not receive credit from the site for their time or with customers unless the customer provides a positive rating. We answer your questions in good faith, hoping for a good faith response regardless of whether the law is in your favor or not. If you were unhappy with my service please let me know that you would prefer to work with another Attorney and I will opt out.

Thank you for your consideration.

Attyadvisor
Attyadvisor, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 9,188
Experience: 30 years of experience in General Practice, Real Estate Law and Estate Law.
Verified
Attyadvisor and 87 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I just completed your rating. You have been a huge help with this & am now prepared to go up against the board & property manager with this issue. And I feel confident in assisting my neighbors with similar issues. For whatever reason this board has chosen to govern on “individual interpretation” instead of the written rules & regulations.

I am very happy that I could help.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thank you again, you are listed in my favorites!

Thank you for your kind words. There is a group for disgruntled HOA owner's. Let me provide the link.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
That would be a great help!
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