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How can HOAs resolve disputes?

If you run an HOA, you likely put in a diligent effort to minimize and avoid disputes with the homeowners living in your community. However, disputes still arise, and there are many different ways to resolve these issues when they come up.

According to the Foundation for Community Association Research, approximately 29% of those living in the U.S. live in a community run by an association. If your association has a dispute to resolve with a homeowner or another party, the following methods of dispute resolution could be beneficial.


During the mediation process, a trained, neutral mediator oversees the conflict resolution process. If you go with the mediation process, the homeowner and HOA board will participate in this collaborative process to come to a settlement agreement.


The arbitration process allows homeowners and HOAs to resolve disputes before they become a lawsuit. As part of this process, an arbitrator will make a final decision on the case based on testimony and provided evidence.


If you and a homeowner decide to negotiate on an issue, both parties will present their needs and interests and then propose settlement options. Negotiation is a cooperative, informal process. Due to this, the negotiation process requires the least amount of expense and time when compared with mediation or arbitration.

Any of these dispute resolution options could help your HOA come to an agreement with a homeowner after an issue arises. When considering which dispute resolution method to use, consider how legally involved you want the process to become and the severity of the issue at hand.