Here's some rule-of-thumb guidance from a non-attorney conflict specialist: bring the association attorney in--if you can afford to have one--to ensure the association is safe; or if you're concerned about protecting the board.
Not only that, in the most common condo conflict of all, non-payment of the monthly assessments,--your association must take legal action if it is to recover any of the back payments when the unit is sold in a foreclosure proceeding, according to attorney Denise DeBelle of the Law Office of Denise M. DeBelle in Chicago.
And of course mediation is an option that is frequently used in litigated disputes. After lengthy court battles and thousands of dollars in attorney fees, the attorneys call in a judicial mediator to try to settle the case.
So the "why don't we just talk to them" approach and the "let's compel them to do the right thing" approach are not mutually exclusive. Not in the end.
And sometimes a letter from the attorney shows the other side how serious you are about getting this resolved. It can thus facilitate getting them to sit down and talk if they've just been avoiding. Maybe.
The risk is how the other side will respond to a letter from the attorney. Will they feel threatened? Will they hire an attorney themselves?
And then, once you are "represented", legally, will your attorney and their attorney even allow you and them to talk? Will the "we can work it out" option turn into "talk to my attorney"?
All the same, it's never, ever, too late to talk. Why not start right away?