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Code Enforcement Process
Code Compliance
A complaint may be called into the Code Compliance Department 954-390-2180 either anonymously or a person may leave their name and number if they would like a call back.  If a person chooses to remain anonymous and the complaint is not a violation, there is no way for the Officer to advise that person of their inspection findings.  Anonymous complaints are difficult to proceed with if the complainant is not willing to testify at the Special Magistrate hearing.  Code Compliance Officers drive around the City proactively conducting inspections and make field observations regarding new violations.  If the property or business owner is not in at the time, a courtesy door hanger is left with the type of violation, means for correction and compliance date listed.  If the property is a rental, the owner is not on site and or it is vacant; a courtesy notice of violation is mailed to the owner of record.  If a property owner requests a reasonable time extension, it will be granted.  However, if the property has a life safety violation, it must be addressed as soon as possible. 

If the property does not come into compliance by the required date and the owner has not contacted the Code Compliance Officer, a courtesy notice of violation is mailed regular and certified mail.  If the property is still in non-compliance upon inspection on the specified date, a second notice (summons to appear) is mailed to the owner of record both regular and certified mail.  This second notice informs the owner of record that a hearing is scheduled to hear this case before the Special Magistrate.  Special Magistrate hearings are usually the first Wednesday of each month at the City Hall Council Chambers.  The City and the owner of record will each have an opportunity to present their case, usually along with photographs of the alleged violation.  The owner may request an extension to comply.  Again, a reasonable time to comply is usually granted.  The Magistrate will give a reasonable time to comply and then an order is issued to place a fine of $50.00 to $250.00 per day for every day of non-compliance. This amount is then placed as a lien on the property.  The lien accrues until the property comes into compliance.  The owner of record is responsible to inform the Code Compliance Officer/City that compliance has been achieved, so that the property may be inspected and the case marked complied.  The fine then ceases to accrue as of the compliance date.

The Broward County Property Appraisers website is researched to determine the owner of record.  If a property has been foreclosed and the Bank or Mortgage Company is known, then the Notice of Violation and Second Notice may be mailed to them if they are listed as the owner of record. 

There are numerous properties which are in foreclosure or the owner has “just walked away”.  In such cases, the City attempts to contact the owner of record by mail and telephone.  These vacant properties are then posted with a 72 hour notice and cut and cleared by the City after all attempts to reach the owner of record has failed.  The cost for this cutting and clearing is then posted as a lien to the property.

A 72 hour notice can only be posted on a vacant and abandoned property.  In some instances, the owner of record is noticed to the Special Magistrate hearing as a repeat violator, rather than posting a 72 hour notice.

Liens placed on properties will surface when the property owner tires to sell or refinance the property when a Title Company conducts a title search.  Properties may be foreclosed on if the lien is excessive.  However, properties which have homestead cannot be foreclosed on according to law.

Some of us may wonder why a property in need of repairs remains in non-compliance.  The case usually is that these violations have been addressed by Code Compliance, and that the property owner refuses to come into compliance.  There has been a Special Magistrate hearing and there is an ongoing fine and lien on the property. The City cannot foreclose this property due to the fact that the owner has homestead.