162.09 Administrative fines; costs of repair; liens.—
(1) An enforcement board, upon notification by the code inspector that an order of the enforcement board has not been complied with by the set time or upon finding that a repeat violation has been committed, may order the violator to pay a fine in an amount specified in this section for each day the violation continues past the date set by the enforcement board for compliance or, in the case of a repeat violation, for each day the repeat violation continues, beginning with the date the repeat violation is found to have occurred by the code inspector. In addition, if the violation is a violation described in s. 162.06(4), the enforcement board shall notify the local governing body, which may make all reasonable repairs which are required to bring the property into compliance and charge the violator with the reasonable cost of the repairs along with the fine imposed pursuant to this section. Making such repairs does not create a continuing obligation on the part of the local governing body to make further repairs or to maintain the property and does not create any liability against the local governing body for any damages to the property if such repairs were completed in good faith. If a finding of a violation or a repeat violation has been made as provided in this part, a hearing shall not be necessary for issuance of the order imposing the fine. If, after due notice and hearing, a code enforcement board finds a violation to be irreparable or irreversible in nature, it may order the violator to pay a fine as specified in paragraph (2)(a).
(2)(a) A fine imposed pursuant to this section shall not exceed $250 per day for a first violation and shall not exceed $500 per day for a repeat violation, and, in addition, may include all costs of repairs pursuant to subsection (1). However, if a code enforcement board finds the violation to be irreparable or irreversible in nature, it may impose a fine not to exceed $5,000 per violation.
(b) In determining the amount of the fine, if any, the enforcement board shall consider the following factors:
1. The gravity of the violation;
2. Any actions taken by the violator to correct the violation; and
3. Any previous violations committed by the violator.
(c) An enforcement board may reduce a fine imposed pursuant to this section.
(d) A county or a municipality having a population equal to or greater than 50,000 may adopt, by a vote of at least a majority plus one of the entire governing body of the county or municipality, an ordinance that gives code enforcement boards or special magistrates, or both, authority to impose fines in excess of the limits set forth in paragraph (a). Such fines shall not exceed $1,000 per day per violation for a first violation, $5,000 per day per violation for a repeat violation, and up to $15,000 per violation if the code enforcement board or special magistrate finds the violation to be irreparable or irreversible in nature. In addition to such fines, a code enforcement board or special magistrate may impose additional fines to cover all costs incurred by the local government in enforcing its codes and all costs of repairs pursuant to subsection (1). Any ordinance imposing such fines shall include criteria to be considered by the code enforcement board or special magistrate in determining the amount of the fines, including, but not limited to, those factors set forth in paragraph (b).
(3) A certified copy of an order imposing a fine, or a fine plus repair costs, may be recorded in the public records and thereafter shall constitute a lien against the land on which the violation exists and upon any other real or personal property owned by the violator. Upon petition to the circuit court, such order shall be enforceable in the same manner as a court judgment by the sheriffs of this state, including execution and levy against the personal property of the violator, but such order shall not be deemed to be a court judgment except for enforcement purposes. A fine imposed pursuant to this part shall continue to accrue until the violator comes into compliance or until judgment is rendered in a suit filed pursuant to this section, whichever occurs first. A lien arising from a fine imposed pursuant to this section runs in favor of the local governing body, and the local governing body may execute a satisfaction or release of lien entered pursuant to this section. After 3 months from the filing of any such lien which remains unpaid, the enforcement board may authorize the local governing body attorney to foreclose on the lien or to sue to recover a money judgment for the amount of the lien plus accrued interest. No lien created pursuant to the provisions of this part may be foreclosed on real property which is a homestead under s. 4, Art. X of the State Constitution. The money judgment provisions of this section shall not apply to real property or personal property which is covered under s. 4(a), Art. X of the State Constitution.
History.—s. 1, ch. 80-300; s. 8, ch. 82-37; s. 2, ch. 85-150; s. 8, ch. 86-201; s. 2, ch. 87-391; s. 8, ch. 89-268; s. 4, ch. 94-291; s. 1, ch. 95-297; s. 5, ch. 99-360; s. 1, ch. 2000-125; s. 65, ch. 2004-11.