HOA Dispute Resolution In The U.S. Per State

Homeowners can get into disagreements with HOA board members — it’s only natural. All sorts of issues can result in a dispute, from violation objections to simple instances of yard maintenance. One of the most common reasons for disputes between homeowners and board members, though, has to do with enforcement. If the HOA board is not doing its job and enforcing the community’s rules properly, homeowners can become disgruntled.

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Homeowners can get into disagreements with HOA board members — it’s only natural. All sorts of issues can result in a dispute, from violation objections to simple instances of yard maintenance. One of the most common reasons for disputes between homeowners and board members, though, has to do with enforcement. If the HOA board is not doing its job and enforcing the community’s rules properly, homeowners can become disgruntled.

Quickly jump to your state below:

 

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Understanding Dispute Resolution Per State

The first thing an association must do when it encounters such a scenario is to look to its own internal dispute resolution process. An association’s governing documents will often have language on how to deal with disputes. This may start with a formal meeting of the parties involved in the dispute, where they can attempt to resolve their disagreement through conversation. Of course, this is only as effective as the parties allow it to be. If the parties don’t cooperate and aren’t open to discussing the issue at hand, nothing productive will come out of this process.

Many states require HOAs to have a formal dispute resolution process internally. For instance, under Illinois law, it’s mandatory for associations to have a complaint policy and dispute resolution form.

 

What Is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

If the parties fail to resolve their dispute, the association can use alternative means of dispute resolution. This is also the best course of action if an HOA’s governing documents don’t provide an internal dispute resolution process.

But, what is alternative dispute resolution? Simply put, it’s a form of dispute resolution that involves the use of an objective third party but without taking the matter to court. Parties engaged in ADR can use mediation or arbitration.

Mediation | Alternative Dispute ResolutionMediation is when a neutral third party listens to accounts from all parties and helps them reach a middle ground. This form of ADR works without forcing any party to agree to the resolution. In other words, all the parties involved must reach a resolution as a group. No one can force another to agree to the solution.

On the other hand, arbitration is when an arbitrator decides the outcome of the dispute for the parties. The arbitrator listens to all arguments and reviews the evidence from all parties. Then, the arbitrator makes a decision, which the parties must follow.

Many states require homeowners associations to first go through mediation or arbitration when faced with a dispute. This is to limit the number of HOA cases presented in court, which can be very expensive. Additionally, it’s worth noting that neither mediation nor arbitration necessarily requires the help of a lawyer.

 

Alternative Dispute Resolution Per State

Homeowners who wish to find a mediator can use this website to look for one according to their location and area of practice. For arbitrators, homeowners can file a case here. Apart from mediation and arbitration, homeowners can also file a complaint with a state agency.

 

Alabama

In Alabama, homeowners and HOAs can seek help from the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution. Homeowners can also find mediators and arbitrators through the American Arbitration Association and the Alabama Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators. Consumers may also file a complaint with the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues.

 

Alaska

Homeowners in Alaska can find a mediator or arbitration through the American Arbitration Association. Alaska currently doesn’t regulate homeowners associations. Consumers may also file a complaint with the Alaska Attorney General’s Office, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues.

 

Arizona

Since 2016, the Arizona Department of Real Estate has been handling HOA disputes. Homeowners can petition the department for a hearing by filling out this form. Homeowners may also find mediators and arbitrators through the American Arbitration Association and the Arizona Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators.

 

Arkansas

Homeowners in Arkansas can find a mediator or arbitration through the American Arbitration Association and the Arkansas Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators. Consumers may also file a complaint with the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues.

 

California

Homeowners can turn to the Office of the Attorney General for select HOA-related complaints. For mediators and arbitrators, homeowners can refer to the American Arbitration Association or the California Academy of Distinguished Neutrals.

 

Colorado

In Colorado, the Department of Regulatory Agencies regulates homeowners associations. Homeowners can file a complaint through the department’s website. Alternatively, homeowners can look for mediators through the American Arbitration Association, the Mediation Association of Colorado, the Colorado Bar Association, the Colorado Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators, or the Office of Dispute Resolution.

 

Connecticut

Homeowners in Connecticut can find a mediator or arbitration through the American Arbitration Association or the Connecticut Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators. Consumers may also file a complaint with the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues.

 

Delaware

In Delaware, homeowners can turn to the Office of the Ombudsperson for the Common Interest Community for help in resolving disputes. The division works under the Department of Justice. Homeowners can also look for third-party neutrals through the American Arbitration Association or the Delaware Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators.

 

Florida

Homeowners in Florida can file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General or the Department of Business & Professional Regulation. For condominiums, you can file a complaint with the Office of the Condominium Ombudsman. Here is a copy of their comprehensive instructions for filing a complaint against condominium associations or managers. You may also call or e-mail your questions concerning your condominium to the Ombudsman at ombudsman@myfloridalicense.com.

To find a mediator, homeowners can go to the Florida Dispute Resolution Center, the Florida Circuit-Civil Mediator Society, the American Arbitration Association, or the Florida Academy of Professional Mediators.

 

Georgia

In Georgia, homeowners can seek help from the Office of Dispute Resolution. Homeowners can also look for third-party neutrals through the American Arbitration Association or the Georgia Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators.

 

Hawaii

Homeowners in Hawaii can find a mediator or arbitration through the American Arbitration Association, the Mediation Center of the Pacific, West Hawaii Mediation Center, or the Ku’ikahi Mediation Center. For complaints, consumers can refer to the Regulated Industries Complaints Office, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues.

 

Idaho

Homeowners in Idaho can find a mediator or arbitration through the American Arbitration Association or the Idaho Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators. Consumers may also file a complaint with the Idaho Attorney General’s Office, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues.

 

Illinois

In Illinois, homeowners can seek mediation services from the Center for Conflict Resolution. Homeowners can also look for third-party neutrals through the American Arbitration Association or the Illinois Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators. They may also lodge a complaint with the Department of Financial & Professional Regulation.

 

Indiana

Consumers may also file a complaint with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, though a transaction must have taken place before the office can start investigations. It is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues. They may also look for mediators or arbitration through the Indiana Judicial Branch’s mediator search, the American Arbitration Association, or the Indiana Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators.

 

Iowa

Consumers may also file a complaint with the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues. It is a good idea to attach supporting documents to the complaint, such as correspondence, proofs of payments, etc. They may also find mediators and arbitrators through the Iowa Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators or the American Arbitration Association.

 

Kansas

Homeowners looking for a mediator can check the Kansas Judicial Branch’s website, the American Arbitration Association, or the Kansas Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators. The state government also provides a list of mediators per area. There’s also the option of filing specific types of complaints with the Attorney General’s Office.

 

Kentucky

In Kentucky, Homeowners can find mediators and arbitrators through the Kentucky Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators or the American Arbitration Association. Consumers may also file a complaint with the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues.

 

Louisiana

Homeowners in Louisiana can look for mediators and arbitrators through the Louisiana State Bar Association directory, the American Arbitration Association, or the Louisiana Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators. Additionally, consumers can also file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues.

 

Maine

Homeowners can find mediators and arbitrators through the Maine Association of Mediators, the American Arbitration Association, and the Maine Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators. The state’s Judicial Branch also maintains an Alternative Dispute Resolution program. Moreover, consumers can also file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues.

 

Maryland

Consumers can file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues. The state’s Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office also provides helpful information, including an online directory of mediators. Homeowners can also look for third-party neutrals through the American Arbitration Association or the Maryland Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators.

Maryland is special in that two counties also have their own offices regulating homeowners associations:

 

Massachusetts

Homeowners can find mediators and arbitrators through the American Arbitration Association or the Massachusetts Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts also provides information on ADR, including approved ADR programs. Additionally, consumers can file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues.

 

Michigan

Homeowners in Michigan can go through the Office of Dispute Resolution to find mediators. The American Arbitration Association and the Michigan Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators also provide a list of mediators and arbitrators in the state. In addition to this, consumers may also lodge a complaint with the Department of the Attorney General, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues.

 

Minnesota

The Minnesota Judicial Branch handles alternative dispute resolution. Apart from that, homeowners can look for mediators and arbitrators through the American Arbitration Association or the Minnesota Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators.

 

Mississippi

Homeowners can find mediators and arbitrators through the American Arbitration Association or the Mississippi Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators. The Mississippi Bar also maintains a directory of mediators.

 

Missouri

Homeowners can look for mediators and arbitrators through the American Arbitration Association, the Association of Missouri Mediators, or the Missouri Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators. Additionally, consumers can file a complaint with the Missouri Attorney General, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues.

 

Montana

Homeowners can find mediators and arbitrators through the American Arbitration Association or the Montana Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators. Moreover, homeowners can lodge a complaint with the Office of Consumer Protection, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues.

 

Nebraska

For complaints, homeowners can turn to the Attorney General’s Office, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues. Homeowners can also find approved mediators on the Nebraska Judicial Branch website, the American Arbitration Association, or the Nebraska Mediation Association.

 

Nevada

The Nevada Real Estate Division provides an alternative dispute resolution program. Homeowners can also find mediators and arbitrators through the American Arbitration Association or the Nevada Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators. Finally, homeowners can file complaints with the Office of the Ombudsman for Common-Interest Communities.

 

New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, consumers can lodge a complaint with the Consumer Protection Bureau, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues. Homeowners looking for alternative dispute resolution may also find mediators and arbitrators through the American Arbitration Association or the New Hampshire Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators.

 

New Jersey

In New Jersey, homeowners can look for third-party neutrals through the American Arbitration Association, the New Jersey Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators, and the District of New Jersey’s certified mediator list.

 

New Mexico

In New Mexico, homeowners can look for mediators through the American Arbitration Association and the New Mexico Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators. Consumers can also lodge a complaint with the New Mexico Attorney General, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues.

 

New York

Homeowners in New York can look for mediators through the American Arbitration Association, the New York Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators, or the New York Courts.

The New York Attorney General can also help homeowners with some problems concerning their HOAs. However, the Attorney General’s Office will not pursue an investigation into an HOA’s breaches of the law unless homeowners submit substantial evidence. Simple, baseless reports will not be accepted.

 

North Carolina

In North Carolina, consumers can file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues. Additionally, homeowners can look for third-party neutrals through the Dispute Resolution Commission, the American Arbitration Association, or the North Carolina Academy of Superior Court Mediators.

 

North Dakota

In North Dakota, homeowners can look for mediators through the American Arbitration Association. The North Dakota Courts also provide information on alternative dispute resolution, including a roster of third-party neutrals.

 

Ohio

The Supreme Court of Ohio provides information and assistance with dispute resolution. Homeowners can also look for mediators through the American Arbitration Association or the Ohio Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators.

 

Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, homeowners can lodge a complaint with the Oklahoma Attorney General, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues.. They can also find third-party neutrals through the American Arbitration Association or the Oklahoma Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators.

 

Oregon

Oregon homeowners can seek mediators and third-party neutrals through the American Arbitration Association or the Oregon Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators.

 

Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, homeowners can look for third-party neutrals through the American Arbitration Association, the Pennsylvania Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators, or the Pennsylvania Council of Mediators. Moreover, consumers may also file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues.

 

Rhode Island

Consumers in Rhode Island can file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues. In addition to this, homeowners can also search for mediators through the Rhode Island Mediators Association or the American Arbitration Association.

 

South Carolina

In South Carolina, homeowners can find mediators through the American Arbitration Association or the South Carolina Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators. Consumers can also file a complaint with the Department of Consumer Affairs, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues.

 

South Dakota

Homeowners in South Dakota can look for mediators through the American Arbitration Association. Consumers can also file complaints with the Office of the Attorney General, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues.

 

Tennessee

In Tennessee, consumers can lodge a complaint with the Attorney General & Reporter, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues. Homeowners can also find third-party neutrals through the American Arbitration Association, the Tennessee Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators, or the Tennessee State Courts directory.

 

Texas

Consumers in Texas can file a complaint with the Attorney General under the Consumer Protection Division, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues. Additionally, homeowners can look for mediators through the American Arbitration Association, the Texas Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, or the Texas Association of Mediators.

 

Utah

For those looking for mediators, the American Arbitration Association, the Utah Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators, and the Utah Courts provide a directory of third-party neutrals. Moreover, consumers can lodge a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues.

 

Vermont

In Vermont, homeowners can find mediators and arbitrators through the American Arbitration Association or the Vermont Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators. They may also file a complaint with the Office of the Vermont Attorney General, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues.

 

Virginia

In Virginia, homeowners associations are regulated by the Office of the Common Interest Community Ombudsman. Homeowners can file a complaint through this office for any concerns with their HOA. Additionally, homeowners can look for third-party neutrals through the American Arbitration Association or Virginia’s Judicial System.

 

Washington

Homeowners in Washington can find mediators and arbitrators through the American Arbitration Association, the Washington Mediation Association, or the Washington Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators. Moreover, consumers can also file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues.

 

West Virginia

In West Virginia, the American Arbitration Association, the West Virginia Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators, and the West Virginia State Bar maintain a directory of third-party neutrals. Furthermore, consumers can file a complaint with the Office of the WV Attorney General, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues.

 

Wisconsin

Homeowners in Wisconsin can look for mediators and arbitrators through the American Arbitration Association or the Wisconsin Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators. Additionally, consumers can lodge a complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Justice, though it is unclear whether the office handles HOA issues.

 

Wyoming

In Wyoming, homeowners can find third-party neutrals through the American Arbitration Association.

 

The Final Word

Homeowners should know about the possible avenues of dispute resolution per state. This way, they know where to turn to in case they have a complaint or dispute with their homeowners association, including disputes concerning rule enforcement.

Finding an HOA management company is not always easy. Start looking for the best one in your area using our comprehensive online directory!

 

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