How Can Residents Manage Difficult Neighbors Lawfully?

Homeowner associations exist to regulate the behavior of community members and to keep property values high. Just because residents sign an agreement, however, does not mean they always follow the rules. Loud music, uncut grass, and junked vehicles parked in the driveway are just a few of the issues that residents must face from difficult neighbors. Board members, in turn, must take action on homeowner complaints. Here are some tips your clients can use to deal with these situations without being forced to make a claim on their HOA Insurance.

What Homeowners Can Do

The least complicated method of dealing with problematic neighbors is to let the affected homeowners settle it themselves. Here are a few ways of handling bad neighbors the legal way:

  • Loud noises – Explaining to neighbors who play loud music why the noise is bothersome is often enough to stop the behavior.
  • Strangers – Neighbors who are concerned about strangers coming and going from certain houses should introduce themselves and ask if they need help.
  • Aesthetic issues – Neighbors can ask people directly about the unsightly objects in their yards and offer to help clean up or make repairs.

In many cases, improved communication resolves misunderstandings. However, if problematic neighbors become defensive or threatening, then residents should stop trying to handle the situation on their own and should report the issue to the HOA. If they feel themselves to be in immediate danger, they should document what happened and call the police.

What an HOA Can Do

Your HOA board member clients should follow up on complaints as soon as possible by discussing and documenting the problem. The next course of action is to send an official violation notice to the offender. Doing so provides written documentation of the HOA’s action and serves as evidence in case the complaining neighbor decides to sue the organization. Sometimes homeowners are not aware of the rules, so just providing them with a copy of the bylaws may solve the problem.

If the offender challenges the accusation, the HOA must mediate between the parties. In cases where there is a strong conflict of interest between board members and the people in conflict, the board can hire a third-party HOA management company to mediate. Before penalizing guilty parties, they should review their bylaws to make sure they comply with local law. Potential actions could include any of the following:

  • Evict a tenant who engages in illegal or dangerous activities
  • File a lawsuit against the resident
  • Take the case to small claims court

By solving problems within the neighborhood rather than bringing in outside authorities, HOA insurance clients can lessen the potential for liability claims. Many legal options exist to maintain a peaceful community where everyone feels safe.

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 (855)-790-7393 to speak with one of our representatives.

Social Title: How Residents Can Manage Difficult Neighbors Without Breaking the Law

Social Description: Wherever neighbors live in close proximity to each other, there will be conflicts. Here are some ways to resolve differences peacefully.