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HOA Questions: What can we do about the owner always calling the police?

With the holidays approaching, house parties and large gatherings will be happening all through the neighborhood. This is the time when homes will be open to a bevy of family and friends in celebration of the season. This is also the time when the needs increase for HOA management teams.

During the holidays, the board will be called upon to deal with a number of unique situations. This can sometimes include dealing with a difficult owner who seems to always call the police. So what can you do?

Most experts will agree that it is never a good idea for the HOA board to place restrictions on when owners can call the police. HOA regulations should be within reason, and this strategy just isn't going to get you anywhere. This tactic can also leave the board and management open to liability.

So what are some other options for HOA property management? Here are some basic tips and advice to help you manage this challenging situation.

Take Pre-emptive Measures

The key is effective and compassionate communication. A conversation with the troublesome owner is a great place to start. Really listen to their frustrations. Just knowing someone is truly listening can help defuse the tension. Effective communication skills offer a great first line of defense when dealing with troublesome owners.

This is a great opportunity to determine what the root of the problem may be. It's important to clearly understand the issue from the complaining owner's point of view. Determine if these calls are directed at another specific owner, or are calls made on numerous owners? This can help you to determine if mediation would be useful in the situation.

 

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Sharing for the Season

Another great way for HOA property management to diffuse the situation is to release a newsletter. Take this opportunity to point out and emphasize the importance of extra patience and understanding during the holiday season. Many HOA residents will be gathering with family and friends during this time, so here are a few tips you can offer as HOA property management to avoid potentially tense situations between owners.

with neighbors and let them know of holiday parties ahead of time. This will give other owners a feeling of inclusion. This is a great opportunity to offer an alternative to those neighbors who always seem to call the police. Owners can offer their phone number to these neighbors and ask for a personal call if the noise of their guests are bothersome. Alerting the neighbors to upcoming gatherings is a great way to avoid problems.

The Big Picture

While HOA board members tend to steer clear of disputes between owners, it can be necessary for the HOA management company to step in to help keep the peace in the neighborhood. While you shouldn't put any restrictions on when and how often owners call local police, there should be some type of intervention if there are clear violations of the governing bylaws.

If there aren't any clear violations, the task of dealing with owners who always calls the police can prove more difficult. At some point, if the calls are unnecessary, law enforcement should set the record straight. Unfortunately, there are some neighbors who simply can't be pleased by any measures. With techniques including effective communication, mediation, and more, HOA property management can help to ease the tensions between owners during the holiday season. By taking advantage of these easy tips to avoid unnecessary calls to local law enforcement, owners can make the most of the holiday season.

Topics: HOA

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