Dealing with HOA Complaints: When Can the Board Intervene?

Addressing HOA Complaints

Part of managing an HOA community is handling complaints. Members of the HOA board must know how to deal with complaints as they arise. This can keep homeowners happy and promote harmony in the neighborhood. Also, this protects the HOA from liability. If your board needs help with handling HOA complaints, visit this page to find the right party to partner with.

Dealing with HOA Complaints

Addressing HOA Complaints

HOA board members must know that complaints are common in community associations. Although they have to run the community, this task does not always include addressing complaints. This is particularly the case if the complaints are beyond the authority of the board.

For example, complaints about illegally parked cars on public roads must be handled by the local government. In general, HOAs do not have control over such roads.

In addition, a resident can file a complaint against another homeowner. While they can go through their association, they should try to resolve the situation personally. If an HOA board gets a complaint from a homeowner about a neighbor, they can advise the complainant to talk to the neighbor first. The board may not step in.

How to Manage HOA Complaints

Each complaint is unique. Board members must assess complaints by case. Below are ways they can manage HOA complaints:

  • Acknowledge the concerns of the complainant. The board must not expressly agree with the complainant. They just have to let the person know they have heard the complaint and will examine it accordingly. Making an HOA complaint form is a great idea as it can standardize the complaint process and keep things professional.
  • Review state laws. Once your board gets a complaint from a resident, create a solution. Start by investigating related laws. Sometimes, these laws can give a solution. But they can also be ambiguous. No matter the case, it’s best to speak with the HOA lawyer for guidance.
  • Examine governing documents. If the laws do not address the complaint, focus on the governing documents of the association. If you are dealing with a complaint regarding association rules or members, check the bylaws and CC&Rs for related provisions. For example, if a resident complains about a loud neighborhood party at 3 am, consult the HOA’s government documents for specific regulations on noise levels.
  • Meet with the HOA board and manager. If you cannot get a solution to a complaint through the law or governing documents, discuss this with the board and manager. Assess the situation and explore options to come up with a resolution that can benefit everyone. But remember that developing a win-win solution may not be always possible.

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