How to Handle Issues with Next Door Neighbor and HOA

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“I am a condo owner in San Diego, CA. I am having an issue with my next door neighbor that has been ongoing for two years. I have tried to talk to the management company, but they have not been helpful. I sent out a letter to both the management company and the HOA last week (two separate addresses). I sent the letters out certified mail and have received the return signature cards. To my surprise, both cards were signed by the property manager. This means that the HOA mail is being picked up by him, so if I were to send a complaining letter about the property manager, he would get the letter himself. He could potentially keep the letter from the HOA. I find this to be a large conflict of interest! I’ve already noticed that at meetings, the HOA board lets him do most of the talking and direct questions to him. I thought the HOA was in charge of him, not the other way around…? Is this a legal issue?”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

I’m not sure what your question is, here. Is it a legal issue that the HOA has someone who opens their mail? No; lots of people have someone that opens their mail.

Is it an issue that a written complaint could get hidden by the manager? Of course it would be, if he did that, but you could easily determine whether your complaint is brought to the Board’s attention by attending the Board meeting.

Is it an issue that the Board defers to the manager in most matters? Well, it’s certainly a problem, though I wouldn’t say that it’s a legal issue in the sense of being something you could sue over. Rather, it’s something that would need to be addressed by getting some board members who have a spine. Unfortunately, being an HOA board member is pretty much the definition of a thankless job, so it is often difficult achieving that.



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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.