Having a completely quiet and clean community would be a dream for homeowners association board members and executives. Unfortunately, this isn’t ever the case as there is always the chance that nuisance-related complaints will be present. Nuisance complaints are a major cause of legal action in these communities, both by and against homeowners.
These issues relate to activities that unreasonably interfere with the comfort of other community members, hazardous conditions that are offensive or noxious, or violations of federal, state, or local laws. Common nuisances in HOAs include odors, such as garbage and pets, noise, such as yelling, parties, or musical instruments, and visual problems.
If complaints from homeowners in the community aren’t taken care of, they may feel apt to bring a claim of negligence against the HOA’s board members. And while HOA insurance is a must-have to protect against claims and provide financial help, taking steps to reduce nuisance claims and cut down on them should be the goal.
Here are some common nuisance claims and how an HOA can solve the issue before it grows.
Smoking has become increasingly banned on properties and in communities and secondhand smoke complaints are becoming more and more common. If an owner violates the smoking restrictions in a community, then the board should open up an opportunity for the homeowner to comply. If they persist, then enforcement actions should be taken. The board can decide which measures to take, but they should weigh the overall impact that smoking has on the community.
2. Home Businesses
Many people have struck out on their own to start their own businesses, especially with the rise of the gig economy. But if there is a blanket ban on conducting business inside a home within an HOA, the rules should be enforced. The main issue with this is related to possible harm to the community due to the type of business being conducted, such as selling items or manufacturing.
If an owner violates an HOA’s restrictions on commercial use of their home, the HOA can bring fines against them or take further enforcement against the owner, especially if they are seeing high volumes of traffic of commercial vehicles, customers, and clients who may bring harm to the community.
3. Noisy Neighbors
In buildings that have stacked units, it’s unfortunately common to hear complaints around neighbors being noisy. This can be stomping, hitting walls, slamming doors, loud music, parties, or more. These types of complaints need to be addressed with deference to the sensibilities of a community member. With respect to these types of nuisances, which can be more technical to deal with, it is important for a board to contact association legal help to find the right plan to address the dispute.
About Kevin Davis Insurance Services
For over 35 years, Kevin Davis Insurance Services has built an impressive reputation as a strong wholesale broker offering insurance products for the community association industry. Our president Kevin Davis and his team take pride in offering committed services to the community association market and providing them with unparalleled access to high-quality coverage, competitive premiums, superior markets, and detailed customer service. To learn more about the coverage we offer, contact us toll-free at (877) 807-8708 to speak with one of our representatives.