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How HOA Boards Can Handle Demanding and Unruly Homeowners

Almost every HOA has at least one person who is a thorn in the side of the Board of Directors. They can be demanding, imposing, and downright a nuisance sometimes to have to work with them. If you have served as a volunteer on a Board of Directors, most likely you have encountered this kind of person. When folks act up and act out what can the Board do about it? We will consider this topic in this month’s segment.

1. Establish a Communications Policy. One thing we offer the HOA’s that we serve is a communications policy, if they do not already have one established. A communications policy helps to slow down demanding people in order to allow the Board adequate time to review and consider the requests of homeowners. This will create a cool down period that often will alleviate any emotionally charged attacks against the Board. While the Board will want to act promptly, it should avoid any particular Board member responding without first allowing the entire Board to act collectively and in solidarity. Second, make sure that the policy includes a provision whereby the Board will communicate through the management company. The Board should work together and in good faith to prevent homeowners from attempting to go after a single Board member, or to seek authorization through any particular Board member acting alone. Channeling all communications received through the management company and copying each Board member is a good practice to follow, so that everyone that has a need to know is readily informed.

2. Require Compliance with State Law for Receiving Records. Another resource that may be consulted in relationship to a communications policy may include the requirements of state law for inspection of records. In North Carolina, there are statutory laws that a member of a homeowner association may be required to follow in order to receive, review, and inspect the records of the association. If this measure is employed as a part of the communications policy, be sure to exercise this policy equally for all members.

3. Reasonably Enforce the Governing Documents. What should you do when a homeowner or Board member is acting in an unruly manner at a meeting of the Board or the membership? The presiding officer has a responsibility to employ the designated parliamentary procedure to address the matter. After a warning, the person may be asked to leave the meeting. If they refuse, adjourn the meeting to another time and/or call the police. Safety and security should always be first precautions to protect persons and property. What if there is an unruly person acting out in the community? In such cases, do not confront the person. It always best to contact the police to handle the matter.

Historically, these suggestions have been used very effectively in addressing unruly homeowners. They do help the Board of Directors and management personnel address such problems in a manner conducive to providing information promptly and appeasing all parties. They are not a guarantee in every situation. All forms of governance do require a measure of self-governance, while encouraging good manners, and civility.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained herein is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as offering legal advice. For legal advice, seek the counsel of a competent attorney specializing in Community Association Law on matters pertaining to your state and community.

For more information visit our web page at or contact us at: Support@CambridgeHOAPropertyManagement or by calling us at 704-874-1820 or 844.612.1515.

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