Can the HOA Fine without a hearing?
QUESTION: We have a tenant who urinates in the garage near the trash cans. This is unhealthy and disgusting as well as presents a health problem. Our management company says we have to call the tenant to a hearing before we can fine him, and then the same thing EVERY time this tenant does it. I think that since it’s a Health Code violation we can fine him every time he does it without additional hearings. Who’s right?
ANSWER: Your manager is right. Anyone accused of violating your rules must be given written notice of each violation and an opportunity to appear at a hearing to defend himself from the charge. Penalties cannot be imposed without a hearing. (Civ. Code §5855.) If there are five violations over the course of two weeks, you don’t need five hearings. You can have one hearing for the five violations.
RECOMMENDATION: It sounds like the person has mental issues. If so, fines may not deter him. A letter from association’s attorney threatening to sue him might curb his unhealthy activities. If there is a landlord involved, a lawyer letter to him/her is warranted.
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