- October 6, 2021
- Posted by: CCM
- Category: Uncategorized
Most homeowners make an effort to get along with their neighbors. Unfortunately, disputes can still arise. Often disputes involve noise – such as loud music or barking dogs, odors – from smoking or cooking, or property maintenance – such as overhanging branches or lack of proper outdoor maintenance. The question many HOAs face is if and when to become involved in a neighbor-to-neighbor dispute.
If a homeowner wants HOA assistance in resolving a neighbor-to-neighbor dispute, they should request this in writing and submit it to the property manager or an HOA board member. The property manager or HOA board should investigate the complaint to determine if this is a situation that requires HOA intervention. This is when having an outside property management company, like CCM, handle the complaint can help prevent board members from awkwardly having to investigate a dispute among their own neighbors.
Some of the criteria that the property manager will need to investigate are:
- Does the behavior violate Fair Housing Act (FHA) regulations? If a homeowner is being harassed due to their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or any other protected class, the HOA has a duty to intervene.
- Does the behavior break HOA rules? If there is a clear rule violation, such as a noise ordinance, smoking prohibition, maintenance requirement, etc., that would normally receive a fine or other rebuke, the HOA should intervene.
- Does the behavior threaten people or property?
- Was this a one-time issue or a chronic issue?
- Does the behavior impact other HOA residents as well?
If the property manager decides that the HOA should intervene, review the situation with legal counsel to protect the HOA before contacting the offending party. Similarly, any complaints regarding a possible FHA violation should involve legal counsel, regardless of whether the HOA decides to intervene.
Types of intervention could include a warning letter, fine, or cease and desist letter. Depending on the situation, if the offending behavior continues, it may be appropriate for both parties and/or the HOA to enter into a mediation or arbitration. In a mediation, both parties meet with a neutral third party and work together to create a compromise that both parties can accept and abide. In an arbitration, both parties present their sides to a third-party arbitrator, who will make the final decision about how to resolve the issue. As a worst-case scenario, one of the parties and/or the HOA could take the case to court, however, that is expensive and time-consuming and should be reserved for when all other options have been exhausted.
CCM has decades of experience in handling neighbor-to-neighbor disputes. Our property managers are experts in conducting investigations and recommending whether the HOA should intervene. We also have access to top-notch legal counsel to provide advice on how to handle a dispute, if necessary. Contact CCM today to learn how we can help you manage neighbor-to-neighbor disputes as well as provide ongoing world-class property management services to your HOA.
Consolidated Community Management (CCM) is a full-service property management company specializing in condominium and homeowner association management in Broward and southern Palm Beach Counties. We are committed to working together with community Boards of Directors to develop management plans tailored to the unique requirements of each community and their residents.
CCM provides a quality of service that is unique to our industry and consistently delivers a distinct competitive advantage. Our concentrated, extensive local presence and knowledge of community associations results in lasting partnerships and superior service. We have built our industry reputation on employing the best in the business and assigning only a limited number of properties to each Property Manager Team.
Our team at Consolidated Community Management provides expert property management services at competitive prices. Contact us today by calling (954) 718-9903 or clicking on ccmfla.com.