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Better to repaint than HOA face fines, court order

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Nov. 29, 2016 – Question: Twenty years ago, we painted our front door and house trim “rustic brick.” The association never challenged us. In May, we received a letter of violation, stating that the garage door, previously unpainted, needed to match the front door and trim color. We complied. Now we are being told, in three ensuing correspondences, that our house trim color is suddenly “red,” which is not an approved color, and must be repainted to match the garage door. What can we do? – Ira
Answer: Assuming your governing documents give your association the power, you must follow your community’s guidelines regarding both the color palette and approval process. Many communities have a special committee that must be consulted before any work is done, while others, like your association, have a more enforcement-based approach. In either case, you must comply with the rules, or you can face fines or even a court order forcing the change.
These rules apply to more than just paint colors and often include landscaping, sheds and remodeling. Owners often have had to repaint their homes and even remove expensive remodeling projects because they were not approved.
While you painted your garage door rustic brick – the same color you painted your other trim two decades ago – perhaps the paint has faded from its original color to more of an unapproved red. It is the color that your paint is now that controls the situation, not the color that you originally used years ago. I suggest you repaint, because that’s a much easier solution than facing potentially costly fines.
About the writer: Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He practices real estate, business litigation and contract law from his office in Sunrise, Fla. He is the chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is a co-host of the weekly radio show Legal News and Review. He frequently consults on general real estate matters and trends in Florida with various companies across the nation.
2016 © 2016 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Gary M. Singer. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.  

Source: Florida Realtors Feed

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