Neighbor-to-Neighbor Disputes: They Are Such a Nuisance

By David C. Swedelson, Esq., Senior Partner at SwedelsonGottlieb; Condo Lawyer and HOA Attorney

Not a week goes by that we do not hear from a manager or member of a board of directors inquiring as to whether or not the association has to enforce the governing documents. Often, the enforcement “issue” has to do with an alleged nuisance that may be impacting only one owner such as cigarette or marijuana smoke, noises from hard surface flooring in the unit above, or an odor. This question often leads to debate between board members, as to whether the association is absolutely obligated to enforce the restrictions and the CC&Rs.

Attorneys have for years generally followed the concept that community associations should not likely bring legal action in neighbor-to-neighbor disputes, even if the dispute involves a violation of the CC&Rs. But does this mean that the association should not get involved at all? Probably not.

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