Resolving HOA Disputes

How Can Homeowners Amicably Resolve Disputes?

While it’s possible for litigation to be conducted amicably, in the vast majority of cases, that’s not what happens.  Instead, you get hard feelings, tons of stress, and big legal fees.  So, if at all possible, it’s usually best to try to resolve disputes informally. 

Sometimes, simple polite communication is all it takes.  Before sending a formal letter from an attorney demanding that the board enforce a certain covenant, an owner might instead just talk to a board member or raise the issue at a member meeting.  Or, if there’s a disagreement over whether a planned home renovation does or does not comply with the covenants, the owner and the board might try informally negotiating a compromise that satisfies all parties. 

If that doesn’t work, voluntary mediation with an experienced mediator is almost always cheaper, faster, and more cordial than litigation. Georgia does not require mediation prior to HOA suits, but states that do, such as Florida and California, have had positive results. It may be that having a knowledgeable, neutral third party provide an informed opinion is enough to convince an otherwise obstinate board member or homeowner to reassess a contentious position. You can visit the American Arbitration Association to locate a Mediator.