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Dealing with “that guy” in the neighborhood: Tips for HOAs

| Dec 6, 2020 | Homeowners' Associations

Homeowners associations exist for a reason. They are one of the primary ways that people can protect their lifestyles and the investments they have in their homes. however, not everybody loves them.

Even though everybody who lives in the community agreed to the HOA’’s rules and covenants when they bought their homes, you’re eventually going to have at least one person who causes problems.

What kinds of problem residents can you expect?

Problem tenants come in many varieties. Some of the most common include:

  • The Victim. This is the person who thinks every rule is somehow designed to make their life difficult. They blame and complain and will sometimes focus their dissatisfaction on the HOA or another tenant.
  • The Contrarian. This is the person who always says they’re trying to “look at all sides” of every issue but they really seem like they just like to argue. Maybe they simply revel in the attention it brings them.
  • The Inflexible Resident. This is the person who cannot — ever — permit the slightest deviation from the rules. They may call and complain about trash cans that are left out just a half-hour too long or any number of small issues. They never want to let matters drop.
  • The Angry Guy. Sometimes. a tenant gets abusive to either other residents or members of the HOA. Their verbal abuse may even escalate into acts of violence or vandalism.

How can you deal with problem residents?

It’s the HOA’s job to enforce the rules, but you need to understand what options you’re given in the HOAs. The first thing you need to do is check your bylaws and the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) to see what’s enforceable.

Problem residents can be a drain on your resources and take up a lot of your time — but they can also lead to legal issues for the HOA. Talk to an attorney who understands your problems and has the experience to offer clear guidance.