October 30, 2009

Mediation Can Defuse Disputes with Owners

Owners in condominium and homeowners associations that view their boards as biased or oppressive often complain that there is no way to challenge the board other than expensive litigation. The intervention of a neutral party that is not a member of the association can cause unhappy owners and boards to see each other in a different light.

Mediation may be helpful if an owner is calling the board's impartiality or honesty into question. The mediator will listen to the board and the owner and try to help them understand the other side's point of view and the strengths and weaknesses of both positions. A mediator that raises the possibility that the board is merely trying to fulfill its obligations to the best of its ability can convince the owner to grudgingly conclude that the decision at issue is within the board's authority (even if the owner would have reached a different decision). 

My office offers mediation services as well as legal services.  If you are involved in a dispute with a condominium or homeowners association or an owner in such an association, then you should consider contacting my office to discuss mediation of that dispute.