There will come a time when a dispute will arise between a homeowner’s association (HOA) and one or more homeowners. These disputes can be costly, especially if one party decides to file a lawsuit and take the matter to court. One way to try to keep a dispute out of court is to participate in mediation.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), which means it is an alternative to litigation. Mediation involves the parties in a dispute attending sessions with a third-party mediator. The mediator should be neutral and have no stake in the matter, and does not represent either party. Instead, a mediator’s role is to facilitate conversation and compromise between the parties.
If you reach a resolution through mediation that works for all parties, you can enter into a mediation agreement. This is a legally binding contract that sets out the terms of the settlement, as well as remedies in the event a party breaches the agreement. With a mediation agreement in place, your HOA can often prevent the time, money, and stress involved in litigation.
Do You Need a Lawyer for Mediation?
Having legal representation during mediation is important to protect the rights and interests of your HOA. If a homeowner proposes an agreement in mediation sessions, you want to ensure that the agreement is in line with the HOA’s rights under the law. A lawyer can advise you whether a specific agreement is in the best interests of the HOA. It is also wise to have a lawyer draft (or review) a mediation agreement.
Contact Our HOA Lawyers in Los Gatos for Assistance
Pratt & Associates represents HOAs in a wide variety of legal disputes, and we seek to resolve matters as efficiently as possible for our clients. Call 408.369.0800 or contact us online to learn how a Los Gatos HOA dispute attorney can help.