In an ideal world, neighbors would exist in perfect harmony—no disagreements, insults, or grudges. Everyone would get along. In the real world, however, there’s no way to entirely avoid conflicts that arise from time to time within an HOA community. How the association board chooses to deal with such conflicts plays a critical role in whether the problem continues or escalates. Here are a few tips to best handle these types of situations and keep your community running as smoothly as possible:
Prevention is Key
The best way to handle conflict is to stop it before it even begins. By ensuring that rulings are always made in accordance with HOA governing documents, your board can point to specific, concrete rules and regulations that support each decision and prevent any issues from escalating further.
Show You Care
When a homeowner is having an issue or citing a grievance, or is unhappy with a decision that has been made, don’t just flippantly dismiss their feelings. Simply listening to them shows that you respect and value their membership and can go a long way in diffusing a tense situation.
Evaluate and Adjust
With time, communities change and specific rules and regulations in the governing documents may need to be altered or updated. If a certain issue arises frequently or something is causing legitimate concern to your homeowners, take the time to evaluate whether a change needs to be made for the good of the community.
Conflict management is key to maintaining a healthy relationship between the HOA board and community members. Through mutual respect and communication, it becomes easier to prevent, address, and respectfully resolve conflict and work toward a shared goal of a successful community.
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