As a Board member of a homeowners association you have many duties. Sometimes you might feel like you’re in a tug-of-war when dealing with uncooperative tenants who refuse to adhere to the rules. The Board must act in these situations though and the group needs to stand firm in all matters.
Problems in the Homeowners Association
It seems that there are always people who don't want to play by the rules. It might be an individual, couple, an entire family, or the frequent people that visit them that go against the grain. For whatever reason they become a problem and it has to be addressed for the good of the Association as a whole.
A few of the problems a HOA board will encounter are:
- Excessive noise
- Poorly maintained homes and yards
- Numerous vehicles at a dwelling
- Uncontrolled parties
- General violations of Association rules
How Do You Handle Uncooperative Tenants?
Fortunately, you have many ways to deal with the difficult people causing these issues. This will surely be an unsavory part of your job as a Board member, but it's part of what the Board must do.
Some tips for dealing with unruly tenants are:
- Familiarize yourself with the rules. These can be the homeowners association, local, state or federal guidelines. Know what you can and can't do when dealing with tenants and how the entire Board can and must act. Homeowners association rules will be specific on what tenants have to abide by. Government rules may require the assistance of an attorney.
- Document everything you can. Get statements from all involved. The more people you can get to talk about the issue the better. Written statements are great. Pictures and videos are even better. You don't want to get into a "he said, she said" tit-for-tat. Document as much as you can from as many people as you can.
- Try to settle the problem by talking with the homeowner in a private setting with only a couple of Board members present. The best outcome would be to have the issue resolved of at this step. During this meeting the offender should be shown the homeowners association rules and regulations, what they have violated, and what they have to adhere to.
- If this meeting does not solve the problem then the Board will have to take more formal steps. This is the time to get the homeowners association lawyer involved. Follow your attorney's lead. As a Board member you should lend your support and do all you can to remedy the situation in a manner fair to all involved.
- The offending party may still be uncooperative at this point and further action may have to be taken. This might involve going into mediation and even litigation. Again, as a Board member do what you can, within the rules, to support your entire Board and the homeowners association.
- Don't ever give up trying to solve the problem. Try to do all you can to keep the issue from going to mediation and litigation. Those steps generally only heighten the animosity for all parties involved. Just stay calm and keep a cool head. Even if you know the Association's rules are on your side work with the other party to remedy the issue.
An uncooperative tenant can cause frustration and disharmony in the homeowners association. When issues arise do all you can as a Board to defuse the situation and resolve it, keeping in mind it’s for the good of the community as a whole.