Say the manager gets a complaint from 25C that somebody’s been smoking indoors. The smoke penetrates 25C and they feel annoyed and despairing. The manager’s response is understandable: is it against the law? Does it violate the Rules and Regulations or other governing documents in the condo? Looks like it does. Send the party in 24C a warning letter. Indicate what provision in the law of the condo 24C is violating. They’ll get fined if they continue. Of course they will have an opportunity to be heard by the Board in a “hearing”, as the law provides. But after three straight infractions, the Rules and Regs say the fines will begin to double.
Loud music, partying, strange noises, uncomfortable odors from cooking, pool scheduling, dog barking, dog waste, dogs in the elevator, dogs up and down the carpeted stairs, water damage, parking, landscape or garden encroachments, bikes and baby carriages, bed bugs, missing UPS packages—does it appear to save property managers time and effort to try to deal with all of these from the point of view of violations?
Presumably, a letter can very quickly be issued and mailed or emailed, using standard language and templates a manager has on her computer.
Perhaps managers fear conflict and fear involvement in others’ conflicts. They may have seen interpersonal conflicts that have dragged on forever. Possibly they are concerned they will not have enough time to work on the pressing needs of maintaining the building and running the association if they get involved in owners’ and renters’ interpersonal conflicts.
Do managers perceive any hidden costs in this expeditious and well-worn method of resolving condo conflicts?
If requested by an association, can a property manager enrich this system with a new component? Would some form of Alternative Dispute Resolution be helpful?
Conventional rules-and-regs Dispute Resolution is fine but when you think about it, doesn’t it rely on threatening to cause people harm if they do not change a behavior? Doesn’t it create just a little more violence on the planet?
Are there associations in which people might welcome a process for addressing conflicts that is simpler and quicker and less likely to promote resentment, alienation and defensiveness? And more likely to promote collaborative problem solving?