3 Tips for Dealing with Angry Owners

Sometimes, as an HOA Board member, you may have to make a tough decision—a decision to do something that’s in the community’s best interest, but may not be well-received by all homeowners. For example, you may determine that there is an unmistakable need to take up a special assessment. Doing so may be essential for the Association’s finances, but it is likely to draw some complaints or even some anger from some Association members.

Dealing with angry Association members is never pleasant, but it is part of the job. Here are a few tips we can recommend for navigating these tense moments.

Be Ready for Backlash

When you know your decision is likely to have detractors, prepare for some complaints and even some hostility. One way you can do so is to have some talking points prepared for explaining your decision, perhaps in an HOA email blast or newsletter. You might also schedule a meeting to explain your decision more fully. Whatever you do, don’t let these incidents of hostility catch you off guard.

Let People Vent

People are going to complain. That’s just part of being human. They will especially want to complain about people in authority—and that means you! Often, they won’t expect any changes to be made; they just want a chance to blow off some steam. Allow your members to vent without yelling back at them. Understand that their anger will probably resolve on its own if you give them time and if you are patient with them. And again, be ready to explain your decision in a meeting; providing homeowners with information is a good way to curb some of their complaining.

Wait it Out

Time heals all wounds—or at least, many of them. The chances are strong that issues in your HOA will fizzle out after one or two weeks. Rather than try to force people to stop their complaining, it’s healthiest to just ride it out and let the hostility pass on its own.

Get Ready for Tough Situations

Hopefully, these scenarios won’t occur too often—but when they do, it’s good to be ready for them, to respond to them graciously and wisely. Communication is key, and so is time. Make the case for your decision, and then allow people to come to terms with it. They are sure to do so, and probably pretty soon.

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Bryan Kuester

Bryan Kuester

Bryan is the CEO of Kuester Management Group. He has over 15 years of managing community associations throughout North and South Carolina.

His specialties include Community Association Management - maintenance, budgeting for operational and reserve funding, long-range planning, covenant enforcement, amenity management, onsite management, large scale management.