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How a condo association should handle disputes between neighbors

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2020 | Condo / HOA |

If there is one thing worse than a bad condominium neighbor, it is a bad neighbor who owns the unit. What can a condo association do – kick the person out of their own home?

Well, the association can try. Or you can encourage other solutions. In any case, the task is risky for everyone.

What is the problem?

Condo associations are familiar with some of the common complaints about residents:

· Excessive noise

· Smoking

· Leaving belongings in a common area

· Stealing laundry

· Not locking building doors

· Parking in the wrong place

· Pets that run free

· Unattended children

In some cases, complaints come down to perspective. Children playing noisy games are either a nuisance or just acting like children. Who is right in a matter of opinion?

What is the solution?

First, encourage neighbors to work out issues themselves. Depending on the behavior in question, they may be able to settle the dispute on their own. As a backup plan, the board can consider suggesting mediation to settle the dispute.

If unsuccessful, the condo association may have to get more involved. The investigation begins with a written complaint that details the problem. The association then determines whether bylaws cover the situation and provide for remedies.

If all else fails, litigation is possible to force a resident out of the condo complex. This is a worst-case scenario for everyone because litigation is timely and costly. There is also a chance the association will lose its case, leading to more legal trouble.

Condo and homeowner association law is complex. If a complaint is not handled well, it can spin out of control. Other residents may take sides, forcing confrontations and other problems.

What is your role?

In any dispute among residents, a condo association must walk a fine line. Both the person making the complaint and the subject of the complaint have the right to a fair process.

Bad behavior can cause a rift between residents in a condominium complex. The role of an association is to address the dispute without making the situation worse.