K.R. from Orange County, California writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I am a homeowner in a condo development. I recently had an IDR meeting with my BOD to resolve 2 issues: #1 granting common area to select members, #2 allowing a homeowner to enclose a balcony (homeowner completed HMA but request was denied, against CC&R’s and board has not taken any enforcement action). IDR was unsuccessful, I submitted ADR request for binding arbitration. BOD sent me a letter stating that they are willing to do mediation ADR. Would this be considered that the BOD rejected the ADR request? I don’t feel these 2 issues would be resolved through mediation, that is why I stipulated binding arbitration so it would be enforceable.
Mister Condo replies:
K.R., I am sorry you find yourself at odds with your Board of Directors. In California, you need to look at the Sterling-Davis Act and your association’s own governance documents for remedies that require Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). The Act really tries to keep such disputes out of the Courts and requires that the disputing parties work diligently towards a compromise or solution. There are some excellent mediators in your neck of the woods and I would certainly recommend that you at least try to work this out using the suggested ADR. You may be fully correct that mediation will not resolve the issue to your satisfaction. However, you (and the Board) are also limited to what remedy is available to solve this dispute. If it were me, I would give the mediation a shot. All the best!