HOA Management: Handling Neighbor Disputes

HOA management and dealing with neighbor disputes can be very uncomfortable for everyone involved.  It’s a fact of life that not everyone in a community will get along.  Even good neighbors, at some point, might have issues.

Unfortunately, people forget the most important ingredient to resolving any conflict:  face-to-face communication.  Too often, an angry neighbor might resort to sending a curse letter, or worse, calling the police.  Nothing could make a situation worse than having a law enforcement officer show up on someone’s doorstep.

A more constructive approach, and a much better way to diffuse a situation, is to talk it out.  In many cases, a neighbor may be unaware of an offending behavior.  When brought to their attention, they rectified the situation before it escalates.

Experts recommend not discussing the issue with a neighbor until the offending activity is over.  It will give both parties time to be less emotional.  Then, the conversation and demeanor can be polite and calm. 

Although it’s gone by the wayside, talking should always be the first step in resolving a conflict.  If a calm discussion doesn’t work at resolving the issue and/or reaching a compromise, a third-party, objective neighbor might be willing to help resolve the issue. 

Most situations can be handled without the need to take any further steps.  With open, calm and considerate communication, neighbors should be able to resolve differences without resorting to more drastic measures such as professional mediation or the court system.

Continue to read the Associated Asset Management Blog for information about HOA Management.

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