deal with complaints from apartment and HOA homeowners


If a apartment/HOA proprietor has an issue with facilities or companies, they’re most likely going to carry it to the board. However what if that grievance is about one other neighbor and doesn’t concern the affiliation? Should the board nonetheless take motion? 


Obtain our free grievance kind template


Associations are obligated to assist members resolve some points, particularly those who influence the worth or wellbeing of the neighborhood. Nonetheless, they can’t be anticipated to mediate each time two neighbors get into an argument.

Discovering a stability between being too concerned and too passive is a studying course of that turns into simpler with expertise. Our objective on this article is that can assist you discover that glad medium.  


Why it’s necessary for boards and managers to take heed to homeowners

Associations merely don’t have the sources to resolve each grievance. That stated, boards and managers are inspired to pay attention to every individual that involves them for assist.

If a resident comes ahead with a grievance, no matter it could be, thank them for his or her enter and allow them to know that they’ve been heard. Typically, folks simply want you to lend them an ear!

Acknowledge their considerations, however don’t promise something. You possibly can allow them to know that you’ll comply with up with them by way of e-mail or written letter when you’ve appeared into the grievance.    

By addressing apartment/HOA complaints, homeowners see that the affiliation is fulfilling its duties and that it genuinely cares about its members. Moreover, if the complaints are legitimate, then the affiliation can take the suitable steps as quickly as doable. The grievance may very well be a couple of damaged stair or a dying tree. These kind of points must be handled immediately to stop pricey repairs or accidents to different members.


Use a system to course of complaints

As a substitute of welcoming verbal and written complaints, boards ought to set up procedures for submitting them. This ensures equity and consistency, and a proper submission requirement could discourage frivolous complaints. This additionally offers the board a option to observe points and doc communications if the problem escalates and requires courtroom intervention.

Associations could have a devoted committee to assist them course of grievance varieties, particularly if the apartment/HOA is giant.


Frequent apartment/HOA complaints

Beneath is a listing of the commonest complaints board members will obtain from homeowners:



Associations obtain plenty of complaints from homeowners about neighbors who’re too loud. That is very true in apartment communities. It may very well be music, the tv, events, and even loud footsteps.



Some homeowners overlook (or deliberately disregard) pet insurance policies. Involved or upset homeowners could file complaints in opposition to the offending proprietor because of improper disposal of pet waste, aggressive pet behaviors or strolling the pet and not using a leash.



Some homeowners with out kids are bothered by boisterous play. Children may go away bikes and balls on the highway or on entrance lawns. 



A apartment proprietor could submit a grievance about rubbish being left within the stairwell or in entrance of the rubbish chute.


Ice or unsafe circumstances  

Ice, building particles or different blunt gadgets can probably injure an proprietor. Somebody could submit a grievance if the affiliation falls behind on out of doors upkeep duties.



Not all HOAs can accommodate parking for each homeowners and friends. Disputes can happen if an proprietor routinely parks in a spot that doesn’t belong to them (or if a customer routinely parks in an proprietor’s spot).



Homeowners are very protecting of the boundaries of their property. They’ll complain if their neighbor begins constructing a fence or construction on the proprietor’s aspect of the garden.



Householders could also be prohibited from smoking outdoors their properties, however that doesn’t imply their neighbor received’t be capable of odor it. Smoke can get by way of closed home windows and doorways, irritating neighbors.


Criminal activity

For the security and wellbeing of the neighborhood, homeowners ought to file a grievance in the event that they witness or suspect their neighbor participating in unlawful or legal actions. Harassing or discriminatory behaviors also needs to be reported.


Steps for dealing with complaints in a good and constant method


Complaints in regards to the affiliation

1. Ask for complaints to be submitted in writing

Create a kind that each proprietor should fill out to ensure that the grievance to be taken significantly. If homeowners are involved about being recognized, clarify why you want all the fields to be crammed out. The extra info the board or administration crew has, the faster points may be investigated.

Having good, detailed information additionally helps defend the affiliation if one thing goes mistaken.     


2. Make it simple for homeowners to submit complaints

A locked field may very well be put in on the clubhouse, or the affiliation might create an e-mail account particularly for submitting complaints. The affiliation might additionally use property administration software program for service requests. A web based system permits homeowners to submit new requests from their telephones, and people accountable for managing some of these points may be notified instantly when a brand new request has been submitted.


3. Know when a grievance requires board motion 

If extra info is required, or the grievance may be very advanced, be certain the board is investing the time required to correctly tackle the problem.


4. Keep involved with the complainant

The particular person investigating the grievance ought to preserve the proprietor who submitted it within the loop. A dialogue could must be had with the proprietor—relying on the character of the grievance—if extra info is required. However, on the very least, allow them to know what has been performed, what the following steps are and, if doable, give them a tough estimate of when the matter can be resolved. 


5. Keep away from complying with unreasonable actions or behaviors

Having a course of for dealing with complaints is necessary as a result of it units expectations for homeowners. If homeowners are being abusive or insulting in an try and get their difficulty dealt with sooner, the board can firmly clarify to them that they need to comply with the method.

Abusive or intimidating habits isn’t acceptable. In the event you or anybody else dealing with the grievance feels unsafe, search help from an lawyer or police officer.


Complaints in opposition to one other proprietor

1. Ask for complaints to be submitted in writing

Similar to complaints relating to the affiliation, complaints about different homeowners must be formally submitted in writing. See our grievance template to seek out out what info must be collected from homeowners.


2. Examine the grievance

The particular person accountable for dealing with the grievance ought to take the time to search for proof and proof {that a} rule or bylaw has been damaged. Do your greatest to stay to information versus siding with the one that seems to be essentially the most upset.


3. Implement guidelines in a good and constant method

To discourage unhealthy behaviors from recurring, condos/HOAs should make it clear that homeowners who violate the principles and rules can be fined or obtain the suitable sanctions. It’s equally necessary to make sure guidelines are enforced evenly.

If a rule has been damaged, comply with the affiliation’s enforcement course of. Simply as each neighborhood has its personal guidelines and bylaws, every one has its personal rule enforcement course of. The steps that the affiliation takes will rely upon the neighborhood and state legal guidelines.

Many condos/HOAs will begin by sending out a few warning letters, adopted by a proper violation discover. If, after a sure period of time, the problem continues to be impacting different members, the affiliation could give out fines, revoke entry to facilities, and many others.


4. Let homeowners know mediation is an choice

If the dispute between two homeowners continues, and the alleged offender insists they don’t seem to be doing something mistaken, the affiliation can invite them to take part in different dispute decision. The apartment/HOA would rent a third-party evaluator to mediate and resolve the problem. The prices can be divided between the homeowners and the affiliation.


5. Seek the advice of your lawyer

Neighbor disputes may be tough to cope with. In case you are involved a couple of specific difficulty, or the legal responsibility of the apartment/HOA, seek the advice of your lawyer. Keep away from taking dangers that you just don’t should take.


What occurs if complaints are actually neighbor-to-neighbor disputes?

If after investigating a grievance, the affiliation finds that this can be a “he stated, she stated” incident and there’s no proof a rule was damaged, the board is inside its authority to deem the matter a neighbor-to-neighbor dispute. The board can decline additional motion.

That doesn’t imply the proprietor who submitted the grievance can’t do something extra. Every proprietor could implement the governing paperwork in their very own capability in opposition to different homeowners. Relying on the scenario, they could additionally ask for assist from the native police division or animal management, and even escalate the matter to civil courtroom.

If a neighbor-to-neighbor dispute coverage is unfamiliar to you, think about discussing this along with your lawyer. The sort of coverage could also be drafted in a option to preserve the affiliation out of neighbor-to-neighbor disputes till the homeowners concerned within the disagreement attempt different dispute decision (ADR) first.  

On a ultimate notice, associations don’t should be concerned in every neighbor dispute. Nonetheless, if the dispute includes harassment or discrimination, the apartment/HOA is legally obligated to step in.