Florida HOA Election Fraud: File a Formal Complaint Today
Florida currently has 48,500 registered HOAs, with close to 10 million residents living in HOA communities. While homeowner associations (HOA) are designed to support the community, sometimes elected officials either overstep their boundaries or don’t do their duties, and homeowners no longer reap the benefits of the organization. It can be hard to find the proper authority to contact about HOA complaints, and arguing with neighbors does not usually get you too far.
Many people are forced to endure stressful situations, not knowing where to turn for help. The rules and regulations of an HOA can become a bit overwhelming. A simple noise complaint can turn into a pesky fine, and unjust homeowners association late fees can add up fast. Florida HOA election fraud is also one prevalent complaint.
If you are involved in a homeowners association dispute, suspect Florida HOA election fraud, or have experienced HOA discrimination as a renter, DoNotPay can help. Our easy-to-use automated system will guide you through a series of questions to help you determine the best cause of action. We can outline your rights as a homeowner, file a complaint, and argue an alleged violation on your behalf.
Is HOA Election Fraud a Civil or Criminal Case?
In 2017, a local Florida news station revealed that 30% of common-interest communities, such as HOAs, were under investigation for electoral fraud.
HOAs are run by elected board members who are volunteers. They are responsible for managing the community finances, which often involves substantial amounts of money. Without much oversight, sometimes the temptation becomes too great and unethical members take control.
While most cases of election fraud are unfounded, it does occur. If you believe your HOA board members are acting against the covenants of the community guidelines, you are well within your rights to file a complaint.
In some instances, current HOA board members will try to have a specific person elected to a role on the existing board. Together, they can use their power to make decisions that benefit one another, as opposed to the good of the community.
If HOA officers convicted of election fraud are found guilty, they could face criminal prosecution for forgery, criminal conspiracy, wire fraud, tampering with records, identity theft, and more.
Who Regulates Homeowners Associations in Florida?
Florida has more comprehensive HOA laws compared to other states. The Florida Homeowners' Association Act (HAA) governs the formation, operations, powers, and management of Florida HOAs. Florida Statute §720.301 applies to not-for-profit organizations managing residential HOAs in Florida.
There are several federal and state statutes that also affect HOAs, including:
- Condominium Act
- Non-Profit Corporation Act
- Cooperative Act
- Fair Housing Act (FHA)
- Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
Unlike condominium associations, no agency regulates homeowner's associations in Florida, and no entity has independent investigative authority. HOA election disputes are subject to arbitration by the Division of Condominiums.
The Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR) Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes provides oversight and has authority to arbitrate election and recall disputes. They do not have investigative power on complaints, but you may contact them nonetheless.
|Florida DBPR Contact Information
Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes
|Hours||8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Eastern Time
or 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time
|Address||Division of Florida Condominiums,
Timeshares, and Mobile Homes
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0791
|Website||Department of Business & Professional Regulation|
How to Report Florida HOA Election Fraud On Your Own
In most cases, HOA board members are trustworthy, and elections occur around the state without issue. There are usually safeguards in place to protect the voting process, with clearly stated rules and regulations regarding voting and ballot counting.
But, despite best efforts, HOA election fraud does occur. If you suspect election fraud, here are the steps you need to take to file a complaint:
1. Evidence of Election Fraud
The first step in proving Florida HOA election fraud is to provide evidence that the alleged misconduct affected the election results and be able to identify the individual(s) involved. Gather as much information as you can to support your claim.
2. Request a Copy of HOA Records
Residents in good standing are entitled to request a copy of all HOA records, which include:
- Financial Statements
- Tax Returns
- Membership Lists
- Minutes from Meetings
- Governing Documents
- Contractor Proposals and Invoices
After reviewing the records, you may find what you thought was a fraud was merely an error on the part of a board member. However, if you still suspect fraud, you can take the next step in gathering evidence to file a complaint.
3. Request a Special Meeting
Homeowners can request a special session as specified in the HOA bylaws. At that time, you can discuss the suspicious activity with the board members and other residents and provide supporting documentation.
If the board denies your request for a special meeting, you may have to involve law enforcement.
4. Contact Law Enforcement
You can contact local law enforcement to discuss your options, and the proper authorities will investigate your claim. If they determine there is enough evidence to suggest a crime has been committed, they will forward the case to the county district attorney's office.
How to Report Florida HOA Election Fraud With the Help of DoNotPay
Handling a Florida HOA election fraud complaint on your own can be challenging, time-consuming, and frustrating. You may feel unsupported and find it hard to find justice in an unfair situation. DoNotPay has experience dealing with HOA issues and can direct you to the proper authorities to report suspected Florida HOA election fraud.
DoNotPay also eliminates the hassle and gives you the power to address problems with your HOA head-on. Our automated system does all the work, giving you the confidence that you are not alone in your fight.
How to File a Complaint With Your HOA Using DoNotPay
If you want to lodge a complaint with your HOA but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 4 easy steps:
- Choose and describe the nature of your complaint (neighbors, maintenance, etc).
- Explain how this problem has negatively affected you and how you want the HOA to address the problem.
- Tell us how long you've been a member of this HOA.
- Confirm your home address so we can generate state-specific legal arguments on your behalf!
And that's it! DoNotPay will generate your complaint letter on your behalf with a two-week deadline for their representatives to either resolve the issue or contact you with more information. All you have to do is drop the letter off to your HOA manager!
How to Appeal a Fine From Your HOA Using DoNotPay
If you're struggling with unfair fees from your HOA, DoNotPay can also help you appeal them in a few easy steps:
- Tell us why you received the fine (what violation are you being accused of)?
- Tell us the amount you are being fined for.
- Describe why you think this fine is wrong or unfair. For example, the alleged violation may have incorrect details or you may appeal on the basis that the rule is selectively enforced and discriminatory.
- Enter the date you received this fine and whether or not you received prior warnings.
And that's it! DoNotPay will send the demand letter on your behalf with a two-week deadline for their representatives to either resolve the issue or contact you with more information.
If you don't receive a timely response from your HOA, you can escalate the issue to small claims court using our "Sue Now" product.
What Else Can DoNotPay Help You With?
DoNotPay is not limited to HOA complaints and issues. We can also help you find resolutions in other areas and locate resources that will make your daily life more enjoyable. Some of the many things we can help you with include:
- Sex Offender Search
- File a Complaint Against a Neighbor
- Start an Insurance Claim
- Get Help With Bills
Whether you want to file a complaint regarding Florida HOA election fraud or need help with any other issue, DoNotPay is here to help. Our automated service is available 24/7 and can be conveniently accessed from your home computer. Don't wait to get started!