HOA disputes can get bitter and end up in court. This is the last thing that anyone wants, given the expense and the hostility involved. The parties could consider alternative dispute resolution (ADR) as a faster and less contentious way to settle issues.
The benefit of ADR is that it is not a court. This automatically lowers your costs involved. You would keep talking with the other side, and you may even be able to receive a decision in your dispute with a fraction of the cost and bitterness.
Three Types of ADR for Your HOA Dispute
Here are the types of ADR that could be used:
- Negotiation – Even talking to each other verbally or through letter could be considered a form of ADR
- Mediation – This involves negotiation with an objective third party acting as a facilitator
- Arbitration – This is when you submit your case to a third-party neutral for a decision (which could be binding or non-binding)
Your attorney may advise you to try to pursue alternatives to litigation if you have the time. Of course, some disputes must be litigated immediately. Nonetheless, finding different ways to talk could help, especially when the HOA and homeowner must continue to deal with each other on a continuing basis.
As an HOA, you should consider having clauses in your bylaws that require arbitration or mediation. This could protect you from litigious homeowners who could tie you up in court and drain your budget. California courts have upheld these clauses when they have been challenged.
California HOA Lawyers Ready to Help
Contact the HOA attorneys at Pratt & Associates online or call us at 408.369.0800 to discuss your HOA matter. We have offices in San Jose, CA, Campbel, CA, Mountain View, CA, Sunnyvale, CA, Santa Clara, CA, and Cupertino, CA.