Florida has some unique laws and regulations that are related to code compliance violations. These laws are put in place to protect the beauty and safety of the neighborhoods that people live in and to maintain property values. Each jurisdiction has its own compliance requirements as well as its own code violation processes that are followed when there is an issue with the condition of someone’s property.
If you have been delivered a code compliance violation, you might be wondering how you did not know that you were committing a code violation before the notice was delivered to you. There are some common violations that can lead to compliance issues at your property and you will need to know what these violations are so that you can avoid code compliance violation notices.
What Are the Common Code Compliance Violations in Florida?
There are some common issues that can lead to code compliance reports and notices in Florida. Each jurisdiction will have its own specific items that are called out as code compliance problems, so you might find that each jurisdiction has different requirements of people who own property within the jurisdiction.
The most common code violations are for debris on the property, things like yard cars or animals that are not allowed to be kept on the property in the city, or even signage related to a home business that is not actually allowed per the local code. You might also be sent a code violation for noxious fumes on the property or even for lawn violations.
Knowing what things are not allowed per the code for your local area is important when you own a home. It can also be critical for renters as they will end up impacting their landlord if there are issues with the property that they have caused. You will want to be sure that you look into the code requirements for your area so that you can be sure that you are complying with the necessary code requirements.
How Does a Code Compliance Violation Work?
A neighbor usually reports the code compliance for your property and then you are served a notice that you are not in compliance with local code. You will have a set number of days to reply to the code compliance issue. You do not want to ignore a code compliance notice because you will be assessed fines if you do not take care of the issue or acknowledge that you have been told about its existence.
The best thing to do is call the number on the violation and speak with the officer who issued the compliance violation. You can then find out how long you have to resolve the compliance problem and you will get some more details about the date for your hearing. You will want to secure a lawyer at this point as well in most cases to be certain that you are given enough time to work on the resolution of the problem and to be sure that you take the right steps throughout the process.
If you do not agree with the code violation that you have been given, your lawyer can help you to determine what steps you might be able to take to prove that you are not out of compliance with the code for your area. Remember, however, that you cannot exceed the code compliance violation deadlines even if you do want to protest the violation. You will need to be careful to follow the rules of the violation from start to finish to avoid issues with large fines.
Your lawyer can help you with each step of the process as well as with preparing your documentation before your hearing. You will need this kind of support for situations where you do need to appear before a judge so that you do not forget important parts of the documentation that needs to be submitted before you are in the courtroom on the set date of your hearing. Waiting too long to secure a lawyer can lead to issues that will cause you to miss your hearing or to be without the information necessary to support your case.
What if I am a Renter?
If you are renting a property and you are found to be in code violation, the notice will be sent to the landlord who owns or manages the property that you live on. This will eventually lead to them contacting you to take care of the issue. These kinds of violations are often cause for the landlord to ask that you leave the property, so attending to a code violation promptly is important for renters.
If the issue was present on the property when you moved in, you will need to get a code enforcement lawyer as soon as possible to make sure that you are not required to attend to something that the landlord should be fixing or paying for.
Code Violations in Florida Should Not be Ignored
If you have received a code violation in Florida and you are not sure what to do next, the first thing that you should probably do is secure the help of a lawyer for your case. This will make the whole process much easier and you will be sure that no essential steps will be missed along the way. You will also have the advantage of working with someone who knows about the code violations and who can assess if you actually should have been given the code violation in the first place.
Responding to the code violation is very important to show that you are taking the issue seriously. Make sure that you or your lawyer reaches out to the enforcing officer right away to make it clear that you are working on the problem. Code violations can be annoying and can cost you some money to sort out, but you will almost always be saving a lot of money by responding to the code violation before fines are leveled against you.