|Step 1 – Compliance Rides / Homeowner Complaint
Management does a compliance ride – two people with a list of addresses drive through the community and inspects each home for violations. Some rides are general purpose; other rides look for specific violations such as bare spots in the lawn every March after the winter freeze.
A homeowner or more than one homeowner calls in or emails a complaint with a picture or clear explanation of the violation.
|Step 2 – First Notice of Violation
Management company staff prepare violation letters (yellow paper) based on the format specified within the Asbel Estates community standards. This first warning is then mailed by regular mail to the homeowner.
|Step 3 – Owner’s Opportunity to Fix Violation
Usually after the homeowner receives a violation letter, s/he fixes the violation and writes on the bottom of the letter what action they have taken. The owner then mails, emails or faxes this letter back to the management company. After two more subsequent rides with no issues being noted, the violation is closed and no further action is taken.
The owner ignores the violation letter or takes some action but either doesn’t completely fix the violation or doesn’t notify the management company of their actions.
|Step 4 – Compliance Rides
During a subsequent compliance ride the management company notes the violation still exists.
|Step 5 – Second Notice of Violation and Association’s Right to Cure
The management company office staff prepares second notice of violation and mails it via certified mail return receipt requested to the homeowner. The homeowner’s account is then charged $10. Note that if the violation is a lawn maintenance issue or other maintenance issue, the Association has the right to send in the lawn service and charge the owner’s account for this service plus a $25 administrative fee which goes to Asbel Estates.
Violation Appeal Process
|Step 1 – Owner’s Opportunity to Request Hearing
Owner requests a hearing with the Covenants Enforcement Committee within 14 days from receipt of the certified letter. A hearing will be scheduled and the owner notified of date and time. Note that the Covenants Enforcement Committee usually meets on the 4th Monday of every month at the Land O Lakes Community Center 5401 Land O Lakes Blvd.
|Step 2 – Preparation of Committee Packets
Management prepares hearing packets for all homeowners that have requested a hearing. Hearing packets normally contain the first and second violation letters, any pictures taken on the rides, and a copy of the owner’s response requesting the hearing. Packets are sent to the Covenants Enforcement Committee members about a week before the meeting. Management also prepares a list of all homeowners who were send second violation letters but did not request a hearing. The list is sent to the committee along with above packets.
|Step 3 – Covenants Enforcement Committee Hearing
Committee meets to hear from owners. Decisions are made based on two factors – was there a violation? And if there was, are their extenuating circumstances that prevented the owner from fixing the violation?Owners normally have 10 – 15 minutes with the committee to explain their position. Committee makes decisions on each hearing and on each violation where a hearing was not requested.
|Step 4 – Notify Owners of Committee’s Decision
Management reviews committee’s decision, charges owner’s accounts for fines and costs. Prepares and mails (certified mail return receipt requested) notices of committee’s decisions. Owner pays fine within 30 days from date of letter. Note that the fines belong to Asbel Estates; the management company does not get any portion of the fines, only the $10 reimbursement for postage and labor for certified letters. If the Owner does not pay fine and collection process begins which can include attorney fees, liens, etc. At this point if the violation still exists, the Board of Directors can choose to continue to send in the lawn service, decide that the violation is too expensive for the Association to fix (e.g., replace an entire dead lawn on a foreclosure home where the irrigation is turned off), or proceed with getting a court injunction to force the owner to comply. Unkempt yards and maintenance issues may be turned into the County Code Enforcement Department for further assistance in gaining compliance.