In most communities, it’s a fairly standard assumption that the board of directors cannot please all the residents all of the time, and will upset an owner or resident at some point in time.  It is also fairly normal for these types of disputes to grow into shouting matches at meetings, outrageous accusations by both sides, and even a board recall.  On some level this is almost expected.  What is not expected or acceptable, however, is for such disputes to turn into violent altercations or death threats.

In Houston, recently, a man was arrested who was accused of menacing the community manager for five months.  In this case, the arrested individual had been regularly emailing the manager using messages containing foul language and death threats.  After obtaining a restraining order against this owner, the owner continued walking by the manager’s window regularly and making “mean” faces.  After the owner sold his unit and moved out, things got even worse.  The former owner continued sending threatening emails not only to the manager, but also the manager’s attorney (i.e. 65 emails to be exact), after which he was finally arrested

The world has become a crazy place.  Last year, a gunman in Kentucky shot and killed one person and critically wounded a second in his association’s meeting.  What type of precautions does your community have in place to protect the board members and residents from this type of violent behavior?

Even in situations where disgruntled owners are not physically violent, but continually harass board members and managers, it is imperative for associations to still have a plan in place to address such unacceptable behavior.

What does your community currently have in place and is it working for you?  If not, you may want to try some of the options recommended in the referenced articles.

Elina B. Gilbert
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