Barker Martin

Condo-HOA Blog

What's the Problem?

I was recently talking with a board member who was experiencing a problem with his Association. After discussing the issue for a few minutes it became clear that he was concerned about the Association’s liability related to a rule that was seldom (or maybe never) enforced.

The initial discussion focused on how the Association could effectively enforce their rule. After just a couple of minutes, the discussion took a turn; we took a step back and asked ourselves: What’s the problem here? Do we have a problem owner that refuses to comply with Association rules? Do we have a communication problem with owners that caused them to not be aware of the rule? Do we have a resources problem? Sometimes Associations have good rules, but lack the resources to enforce them.

In this case, we determined the problem wasn’t any of the above. The problem was the rule itself. The Association had a rule that wasn’t regularly enforced because nobody cared about the prohibited behavior. In other words, the Association was creating its own problem. The solution…eliminate the rule.

The first step in solving any problem is to correctly identify the problem. Look past any symptoms to the root cause and then you will be in a far better position to developer and evaluate solutions.