From a legal standpoint, it is imperative that HOA boards and HOA members learn how to resolve conflicts professionally. The failure to properly solve conflicts can turn a small dispute into a major legal battle.
Below we share some practical tips for resolving conflict professionally and legally.
What Do HOA Members Fight About the Most?
The three areas that homeowners and HOA board members dispute include:
● Special Assessments
● Neighborhood rules
Tensions can rise over the HOA’s ability to fine homeowners who don’t comply with rules or do not adhere to regulations over dues. Resolving conflict with your HOA can be a delicate process depending on who your board members are.
How to Quickly and Legally Resolve HOA Conflicts
Here are four ways to effectively handle HOA conflict:
1. Know and Your HOA’s Rules
Before attempting to negotiate with your HOA, you should stay current on all relevant rules and documentation, including government documents, rules, and regulations. Knowing the rules so you can comply with them is one of the best ways to avoid conflict in the first place.
2. Remain Civil and Stay Within the Law
Keep in mind, your HOA’s board members are also your neighbors and are volunteering to make your neighborhood a great place to live. Treating people with kindness and respect goes a long way toward a better outcome during a dispute. After all, your board members are only looking for you to comply with the rules; they don’t want to punish people unjustly.
If you disagree with a rule or a decision, then remain civil, and present your dispute in a professional and calm manner. If you lose your temper or try to take matters into your own hands, you may find yourself suddenly in the middle of a nasty legal battle—one in which everybody loses.
3. Document Everything
HOA conflicts that escalate are likely to go to court if they linger on long enough. Keep correspondence with your HOA in writing so that you have a paper trail to reference in the event you do need to make an appearance in court. It may also help to have all members of the board on the same page with your conflict, as well as any neighbors to avoid bringing hearsay into the situation. Whatever you do, try to avoid saying or doing anything that can be held against you.
4. Pay Your Dues No Matter What
It is crucial that you continue paying your dues in the midst of conflict. Otherwise, any outstanding amounts can escalate quickly once attorneys are involved. If you are overcharged for dues or assessments, you can request a refund after the conflict is handled. If you do not pay your dues, then the other party has legal leverage over you in court.
Property Management Services in the Twin Cities
Whether you are an HOA or a property owner, RowCal can help you with your property management responsibilities. We offer a wide range of services including management, financial administration, online resources and tools, and project management.
To find out more about the products and services we provide in the Twin Cities area, call us at 651-233-1307. You can also send a message on our contact page.