Visitor Question: My neighbor had his pool cage destroyed by Hurricane Irma and has not rebuilt it. He has received a violation and a notice to appear. Next is posting property and posting at courthouse. What does that mean?
He has not done a thing to repair the cage and has no barrier at all around the pool. The inspectors have been out numerous times since June 12th but not even a temporary fence has been put up. Do the code enforcers allow him to get away with this safety issue for so many months?
Editors Comment: After a major storm, such as any hurricane, often code enforcement is somewhat lenient. Part of this is due to the simple impracticality of city inspectors being able to handle the amount of work generated by citing code violations for nearly every home in an impacted area, and partly this is due to compassion and the desire to be reasonable on the part of city officials.
But we agree that allowing a pool to remain unfenced for about two years now is just too much to tolerate. Rules about fencing around pools are intended to keep children and pets away from pools unless supervised, so in our minds, these are very important health and safety rules.
We are sorry we cannot answer your questions about what the various postings mean. You must ask that question directly to whoever is doing the posting. Usually posting a property means the city is indicating that the property cannot be occupied until certain violations are remedied, but there could be many other reasons that a city or state agency would post a notice on a property.
In terms of posting at the courthouse, usually we have heard that term in connection with foreclosure, which has to do with non-payment of a mortgage on the home. But again, Florida law could provide for a variety of other situations that require posting a notice at the courthouse. So you must ask the person who told you about this.
If we could offer a single piece of advice, we would urge you to contact your elected city councilperson if you have geographic representation by wards in your city. Ask them to obtain answers and to come explain the situation to you and other neighbors as you sit down together for some refreshments. It could very well be that the city is doing the best it feels that can be done to take this property owner through all the steps may lead to him or her losing the property if the pool is not fenced. But you will need more conversation with local officials before you can figure out if they are doing everything in their power legally to move toward code compliance. If not, it is your right as a citizen to keep complaining.
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