No one plans on having difficult neighbors when they move into a new place. Unfortunately, it can happen even in the nicest of locations. Thankfully, all is not lost when a troublesome relationship emerges in an HOA. There are several steps that you can take to improve the situation, and in some cases solve the problem all together.
Types of Bad Neighbors
Normally in HOAs, neighbors develop close bonds where they trust each other and even become close friends. They go for walks together, visit with one another, and even hang out in common areas as friends.
Unfortunately, there will always be “that neighbor” that may rub you the wrong way. This can happen for a number of reasons.
The Noisy Neighbor
This type of difficult neighbor can usually be dealt with by talking to the HOA about what the rules are regarding loud parties, music, or visitors on the weekends or during the work week.
The noise issue could be coming from an energetic pet, overly loud young children, people partying, or loud music. Most HOAs have guidelines about hours that should be quieter.
Talk to your HOA about appropriate ways you can talk to your neighbor to resolve the issue before having the HOA board take any action. You never know, the resident may have no idea their noise is impacting other people.
The Unsightly Neighbor
From yard signs to unappealing trash cans, unsightly neighbors usually offend other members of the community with nuisance messes or the physical appearance of their unit.
These issues, while annoying, are a bit harder to handle. Cleanliness of the trash areas and the physical appearance of a unit are often regulated through the HOA by-laws. Check out this article, from Home Management, on ways your HOA could handle this type of difficult neighbor in a kind and non-judgmental manner.
Illegal Activity Neighbor
There are lots of illegal activities that go under the radar in many communities, but in a close knit HOA, these actions become very apparent. Your HOA will need to inform the proper authorities as well as make it clear that any illegal actions on the property are cause for legal action against the resident.
HOAs have several actions within their purview regarding difficult neighbors. For instance, HOAs can follow up with complaints between neighbors to determine what the problem is and if it has an easy solution. If that is not possible, violation notices may be sent to stop the difficult behavior.
From there, mediation may be an option to talk through the issue with an unbiased third party. After that option comes legal action to stop criminal or dangerous behavior.
Do you have a difficult neighbor? Tell us in the comments how your HOA handled the situation.