A Quick Look At HOA Neighborly Disputes

Although we’d love to create a community out of a neighborhood, it’s inevitable that there will eventually be some conflict among neighbors. While most resolution comes from neighbors simply talking it out, there are some extreme cases of harassment where an Association and community management team can step in and help.

Here are some ways your Association can bring some comfort to an uncomfortable situation.

When the Association Steps In

Generally speaking, Associations do not get involved with neighborly disputes.  Some disputes, like excessive noise, can be a violation of Association rules and regulations which would then fall under the Association’s enforcement actions like any other rule violation.

However, there are some instances of harassment that are protected by the FHA that could require the Association and its management to step in and potentially take legal action. Some instances where harassment crosses FHA lines include harassment based on:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Orientation
  • Family Status
  • Disabilities
  • Natural Origin

With proper documentation of the harassment, the Association can conclude that harassment took place and take action. The Association can help resolve the dispute through several routes including cease & desist notices or even fining.


If the dispute was something that started small but began to bleed into the community and create “sides” for each member of the issue, your association can encourage constructive conversation with a 3-way mediation. This is a useful way to get your legal team and association management team involved in the situation and avoiding a lawsuit from either party.

Before taking a step into mediation involving your legal counsel as the mediator, consult with your advisors to make sure this isn’t a step that could put your association at risk.

Questions About Your CC&Rs? Goodwin & Company can Help!

Sometimes the extent of how involved your Board can get in neighborhood issues can seem gray. Never enter a situation without knowing if your team is legally able to interfere. Goodwin & Company is a team of Association management professionals that can help you decide when it’s time to take legal action. Contact us today to learn more about our services.