Associations Should Have a Neighbor-to-Neighbor Dispute Policy

Inherent in the operations of homeowners, condominium, and property owners’ associations are issues relating to “neighbor-to-neighbor” disputes. “Neighbor-to-neighbor” disputes are disputes that are lodged by one owner of a separate interest within the community against another owner of a separate interest. Such disputes typically involve issues that do not pertain to all the members of the association, such as: (i) noise-playing loud music or televisions, yelling, musical instruments, walking on hard surface flooring; (ii) pets- barking; (iii) odors from smoking and cooking; (iv) parking issues; (v) overhanging trees; and (vi) property maintenance issues.

The extent to which an association becomes involved in neighbor-to-neighbor disputes is an ongoing dilemma for associations. While many court decisions have left the decision as to whether, or not, to become involved in a neighbor-to-neighbor dispute up to the association’s board of directors based on their sound business judgment, there are many instances where:

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