A successful homeowners association must provide an equal balance of benefit and responsibility. California homeowners who choose to live in HOA communities must understand that they will be making certain sacrifices to comply with the covenants they sign. In exchange, they expect their board members to maintain an aesthetically pleasing and tranquil environment. Nevertheless, HOA boards regularly deal with complaints about a variety of issues.
An HOA board is comprised of residents elected by their neighbors to serve. It is a difficult office, and HOA meetings can become chaotic when tempers flare and residents feel the board is not adequately addressing their concerns. In fact, one recent study shows that those living in certain communities may be more aggressive in their meetings than others. For example, residents of a townhome community seem more prone to physical altercations at HOA meetings than those living in condos.
The most common complaints HOA boards receive involve noise, lawn care and animal waste. Senior residents seem to be the most likely to complain if neighbors do not clean up after their dogs. Those in their 40s and 50s are reportedly more interested in whether the lawns in the neighborhood are well-maintained. Millennials, those in their 20s and 30s, complain to HOA boards most often, especially regarding noisy neighbors.
While a California HOA board's job is to handle complaints and enforce the legally binding rules of the community, some residents may feel the board is treating them unfairly. Additionally, board members often face false accusations of illegal conduct or discriminatory practices. The advice of a skilled attorney can help resolve many disputes related to HOAs and their covenants.