Florida property owners should know that they are legally responsible for making sure that their property and use thereof comply with applicable city and county codes. Both cities and counties in Florida have broad authority under Section 162 of the Florida Statutes to enforce building codes and safety rules, as well as rules and regulations in connection with occupancy and use of residential, commercial and industrial property.
Typical kinds of enforcement actions include:
- Construction without necessary permits
- Abandoned motor vehicles on the property
- Overgrown lots
- Building too close to property lines
- Illegal dumping
Florida law permits cities and counties to issue large fines to the property owner and impose liens on the property.
Section 162 also provides protections for Florida property owners. The law requires code enforcement authorities to provide the property owner with adequate notice and a reasonable opportunity to fix the problem. Moreover, the enforcing authority must prove with substantial and competent evidence that the violation has occurred. These requirements allow the property owner to challenge the alleged violation. In most instances, the property owner must challenge the enforcement action within 30 days or lose the right to appeal.
If a code enforcement officer has cited you for violating a city or county code, rule or regulation, you should immediately contact the experienced Tampa real estate attorneys at Lieser Skaff Alexander. We can help you challenge the violation or prepare an appeal. We may also be able to negotiate a reduced fine or prevent the imposition of a lien on your property.