An HOA is meant to cultivate and maintain a sense of community among neighbors, providing them with the necessary framework for preserving common areas while preserving property values. What this means is that, within an HOA, residents are often called upon to vote on various motions, which could have a wide-ranging impact on the life of those who live in the community. Naturally, moments of tension and disagreement can arise—and in these cases, it falls to the HOA to seek a peaceful conflict resolution.
How does a homeowner’s association seek to enact a peaceful conflict resolution? The first step is to check into the ways in which your state laws dictate HOA conflict resolutions. This is something to address with your HOA management company.
Generally speaking, though, HOAs can and should put into place formal conflict resolution policies. There are four components that most any conflict resolution policy should have:
- There needs to be some action taken that triggers the conflict resolution process. Usually, this means one party must request for conflict resolution, probably in writing.
- After this written request is submitted, a meeting should be set up, at an agreed-upon time and location. At this meeting, the two parties should be given ample opportunity to tell their sides of the story and to specifically lay out any resolutions they are hoping for.
- Hopefully, an agreement can be reached during this meeting. If so, get it in writing and have both parties sign off on it.
- If an agreement is not reached, it is necessary to bring in an impartial third party, who will present a resolution, put it into writing, and ask both parties to sign it.
Conflict resolution is not the favorite topic of any HOA board member or manager, but sometimes it is necessary—and as such, associations benefit from devising a conflict resolution plan for your community!