Living in a neighborhood that’s governed by a homeowner’s association is often a positive experience until there’s a dispute. Getting a dispute settled can take some work from both sides, but it’s imperative that you try to do this quickly since the situation dragging on can make things even more complicated.
There are many ways that disputes between homeowners and the HOA can be resolved. In many cases, using negotiations is the key to getting them handled quickly. While it is possible to take these matters to court, that’s usually a method of last resort.
Many cases like this are resolved through mediation or arbitration, both of which are alternative dispute resolution methods. They both use third parties to try to come to a resolution, but the manner in which this happens is a bit different in each one.
In mediation, the mediator works to help both sides stay on track with the issues and work through them. The mediator is only a guide and doesn’t make any decisions about the outcome of the cased.
In arbitration, the arbitrator listens to what both sides have to say. They consider the solutions and make a decision about the outcome. Typically, the decision of the arbitrator is binding, so both sides must comply with what’s decided.
It’s beneficial to know what options you have before you go into an alternative dispute resolution process or head to court. Working with an attorney who’s familiar with this area of real estate and contract law can help you learn your options and find ways to protect your rights.