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Wednesday, October 27, 2021











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Subject: Neighbor-Neighbor complaints
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Author Messages
HenryS6
(Arizona)

Posts:80


09/27/2021 10:52 AM  
How do other associations handle neighbor-neighbor complaints?

We received 0 neighbor-neighbor complaints in the first 18 months I was on the board. Then in the last 6 months, we have received 3.

I'm suspecting that as we have become re-energized as an HOA, homeowners are realizing that we actually do stuff and take care of stuff, so when they have a neighbor-neighbor issue, they are now expecting we'll deal with it instead of them handling themselves.

I'm not wanting to get involved in neighbor-neighbor issues. I'm sort of the philosophy that we should have 2 or more neighbors complain about the problem neighbor before we get involved, so we know it's bothersome to the community and not just one person. The other board is silent on this. I plan to discuss it at our next meeting but am looking for some background to prepare for the meeting.
MaxB4


Posts:1394


09/27/2021 10:54 AM  
Stay out of neighbor to neighbor disputes.
MichaelS56
(Minnesota)

Posts:279


09/27/2021 11:05 AM  
Max you said it all.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11539


09/27/2021 11:36 AM  
Posted By MichaelS56 on 09/27/2021 11:05 AM
Max you said it all.



I agree.
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1681


09/27/2021 11:41 AM  
Agree with the others. Unless a covenant or rule is being violated, it is not an HOA issue. If laws are being broken, you can let the owner know to contact local authorities as appropriate, or just leave it as "not an hoa issue".

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
JerryD5
(Colorado)

Posts:214


09/27/2021 12:22 PM  
I agree....do not get involved. I speak from experience. It won't end well (typically). We had 3 homes in a row; lets call them homeowners A, B and C. The homeowners B had a history of HOA violations (they always fixed them when the PM sent them letters). Also, the husband was on the board and the wife served on our ARC. Homeowners A and C on either side were civil but tensions were starting to come to the surface. Every little thing that Homeowners B did was perceived as a slight. Homeowners A and C asked for the HOA board to host a meeting and mediate a solution. In the interest of harmony, the board agreed and the property manager set up a meeting. It was civil and each of the 3 homeowners got to voice their problems/solutions. Surprisingly, homeowners B agreed to be better neighbors. As we were ending the meeting, the wife matter of factly stated, "oh by the way, we are getting chickens and there is nothing you two can do about it." So much for harmony. Both homeowners A and C sold within the year and homeowners B did get their chickens (short lived as it was). They also sued the HOA (and lost). The wife was removed from her ARC position and the husband lost his reelection bid to the board. Fast forward several years, they are still in the HOA but do not talk with any of their neighbors.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:1040


09/27/2021 1:58 PM  
It depends on what you mean by neighbor to neighbor complaint. If one neighbor makes a complaint that another neighbor is violating the CC&Rs, then I think you have a duty to take take action, at least in so much as you would have taken action otherwise. For example, if piles of garbage are not allowed, you cannot refuse to take action simply because it is only visible to one neighbor or only one neighbor complains.

If the neighbor's action does not violate any CC&Rs then you should stay out of it.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11539


09/27/2021 3:20 PM  
Posted By BenA2 on 09/27/2021 1:58 PM
It depends on what you mean by neighbor to neighbor complaint. If one neighbor makes a complaint that another neighbor is violating the CC&Rs, then I think you have a duty to take take action, at least in so much as you would have taken action otherwise. For example, if piles of garbage are not allowed, you cannot refuse to take action simply because it is only visible to one neighbor or only one neighbor complains.

If the neighbor's action does not violate any CC&Rs then you should stay out of it.



Sound advice.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8620


09/27/2021 3:52 PM  
Agree with Douglas & Ben.
BobD4
(up north)

Posts:944


09/27/2021 7:10 PM  
Just for the record, jurisdictions have choices including to set up adjudicative tribunals to platform online resolution including of direct owner v owner friction. ( Talking : nuisances/interference with enjoyment that appear to potentially trigger governance documents. )

Two Canadian jurisdictions have shown that taxpayer-funded online dispute resolution - adjudicated by lawyers appointed as staff adjudicators - CAN function including amidst COVID-19. This has surprised me.

It's not a chance to win big awards, but rather to culminate in a Tribunal Order that can gain the status of conventional Court Order once so-registered.

Arguably not so popular with junior lawyers & paralegals, who would have handled a lot of such work before, whether or not it ever reached formal litigation . . . Mine was launched initially to resolve records access disputes.
AugustinD


Posts:1695


09/28/2021 6:17 AM  
Posted By BenA2 on 09/27/2021 1:58 PM
It depends on what you mean by neighbor to neighbor complaint. If one neighbor makes a complaint that another neighbor is violating the CC&Rs, then I think you have a duty to take take action, at least in so much as you would have taken action otherwise. For example, if piles of garbage are not allowed, you cannot refuse to take action simply because it is only visible to one neighbor or only one neighbor complains.

If the neighbor's action does not violate any CC&Rs then you should stay out of it.
Perfect.

I agree.
MichaelH34
(North Carolina)

Posts:43


10/04/2021 1:24 PM  
What about a CCR rule like the following? It would seem to require the HOA to respond to just about anything a neighbor might complain about.

"5.03 Nuisance. No owner of a Lot or Dwelling shall do or permit to be done any act, or accumulate any items or animals upon his property which is, or may become, a nuisance"
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8620


10/04/2021 2:18 PM  
Most CC&Rs have a "nuisance clause." But our GM would not send a courtesy letter to the alleged violator without confirmation by a staff member here. Nor would she call an alley ged violator to a hearing without confirmation by a 3rd party.
AugustinD


Posts:1695


10/04/2021 2:57 PM  
Posted By MichaelH34 on 10/04/2021 1:24 PM
What about a CCR rule like the following? It would seem to require the HOA to respond to just about anything a neighbor might complain about.

"5.03 Nuisance. No owner of a Lot or Dwelling shall do or permit to be done any act, or accumulate any items or animals upon his property which is, or may become, a nuisance"
I agree with KerryL1 that such clauses are common nationwide.

Yes, the HOA is to investigate; be reasonable in its assessment (per the courts and one heckuva lot of case law on what constitutes a "nuisance"); possibly consult the HOA/COA attorney; and respond as it would with any other alleged violation of the CCRs.
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