Given the current economy, real estate investors and mortgagers may find themselves in possession of larger amounts of vacant properties in the state of Florida. By their very nature, unoccupied properties are more susceptible to falling into disrepair, putting their owners at risk of unknowingly violating local or municipal codes. Ensuring compliance with these local codes can be difficult, as code requirements vary from region to region, but it is essential because even the smallest of violations can create thousands of dollars of liability a day. This article provides insight into local code enforcement to help homeowners meet compliance obligations and avoid potentially huge fines, liens, and even foreclosures.
Overview of local code application
In 1980, the Florida Legislature enacted the “Local Government Code Enforcement Boards Act”, located at Florida Statute Section 162.01, et seq. The law allows counties and local municipalities to appoint a special magistrate or create a code enforcement board which, depending on population size, consists of five or seven community members chosen to enforce codes and ordinances. local. Fla. Stat. Sections 162.02, 162.03, 162.05. The local governing body also appoints a lawyer to appear at code enforcement hearings to prosecute cases or serve as an adviser to council. Fla. Stat. Section 162.05.