So Many Problems an HOA or Condo Association – Where to Start?


Here is a recent question from a lost soul, not that unusual:

“We live in a 4 unit building in San Francisco. Due to many disputes and bad blood (even before we purchased the unit) there is a not a functioning HOA bored. Nobody is speaking with each other.
Last year we had an attorney ask for mediation. However there was no response.”

This homeowners association needs serious help, but if no one takes the reins, nothing will happen but “bad stuff”. I know this sounds pretty general. But a homeowners association, whether a condominium or planned development where owners own the “lot” upon which their building sits, cannot function with no one in charge. Who will properly and legally collect assessments? Who will establish accounts, pay bills, resolve issues? Address complaints?

For this owner, the place to start may be to read “The Condo Owners Answer Book” available on my website at For the board (or an owner who wants to be proactive), check out two free articles on the site relating to Small Association Compliance Requirements in California. And there is hope. I am working on a small association compliance manual and hope to do some webinars this year on the topic to help California small homeowner associations.

And it sounds like this reader and/or the board could use some good legal advice before they all end up in litigation.

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