Commercial Code Enforcement Disputes

Code Enforcement Disputes

Local governments throughout South Florida use code enforcement officers to implement building codes, safety rules, regulations, and laws related to residential, commercial, and industrial properties that protect against threats from public health, safety, and welfare.

A code compliance department monitors violations that can involve construction without building permits, unregistered vehicles, dangerous animals, overgrown trees and vegetation, noise, garbage issues, and illegal structures. Each city has its own set of regulations enforced by their own code enforcement department. If you are experiencing an issue with code enforcement in Miami-Dade, Broward or Palm Beach county, contact the lawyers at Jordan + Pascale, P.L. for a case evaluation.

Under the law, citizens can file complaints about code enforcement violations. Code enforcement officers will register the complaint and evaluate the claim. Sometimes those claims are valid, however, there are also many times that they are not.

Common South Florida Code Violations

There are many types of code violations you might encounter as a property owner in South Florida. Below are some of the most common code enforcement violations:

  • Abandoned Vehicles
  • Building too close to property lines - the zoning code requires minimum setbacks from property lines. Ample space from the property line also ensures safety.
  • Building without a permit - If you need to build, refurbish, move, remove, or demolish structures, you will need a permit.
  • Overgrown lots, junk in yards, vacant and unsecured properties.
  • Operating a business in a residential zone.
  • Illegal Mechanical Repairs.
  • Illegal Units / Mother in Law Suites.
  • Illegal Dumping and other Solid Waste Issues.

Code Enforcement AppealsIf you are charged with a violation of the code, it is important to understand that there is an extremely short time frame for filing an appeal of a code enforcement order. Pursuant to Florida law, an appeal must be filed within 30 days of the execution of the order to be appealed. If an appeal is not filed within the 30-day time frame, the property owner’s right to appeal a code enforcement order is lost forever.

The three primary areas that are the subject of code enforcement appeals are as follows:

  • Whether the local government provided the property owner with due process, i.e. whether the property owner received proper notice of the violation and was given the opportunity to cure the alleged code violation;
  • Whether the code enforcement board’s decision was supported by “substantial, competent evidence”, i.e. whether the local government presented enough evidence about the alleged code enforcement violation in support of its ultimate decision; and
  • Whether the local government’s ruling departs from the “essential requirements of law”, i.e. whether the local government applied the correct law to the particular code enforcement case it decided.

Over the past decade, there has been a noted rise in lawsuits and appeals filed by property owners disputing code violations brought against them by local officials. Our experienced code enforcement lawyers have been at the forefront of many of these cases.

Our real estate lawyers are leading the way in appealing code enforcement violations and reducing code enforcement fines. If you or anyone you know is in need of legal assistance in a code enforcement matter in Miami, Broward, or Palm Beach County, please contact us today at 305-501-2836.