Q: We need advice on how to handle a homeowner that is creating controversy and making racially inappropriate remarks to vendors. Recently he stopped a vendor from working, demanded to see permits and contracts and then told the workers he was going to call people at immigration to do an audit of the company. (I am paraphrasing). The vendor contacted the management company and left the property without starting the work.
As a board member I have to be concerned about losing a good vendor and we still need to get the work done in front of the homeowner’s residence.
Is it over reaching to get the attorney involved? How do we communicate with the other homeowners that may be affected by the events? When we do the work in the future should we have security present just to be safe?
We’ve had difficult people in the community before but I’ve never had someone interfere with a vendor and make threats this way.
I’m also worried about the safety of our vendor and of our board. This homeowner hasn’t made any physical threats of violence but anything could happen.
A: There is no excuse for racially, inappropriate comments by anyone, be it directors, residents, vendors or managers. In your case, the association’s legal counsel should be contacted. Besides the inappropriate comments, this homeowner should not be interfering with the association’s contractors.
The best way to offset the rumor mill is for the association to provide good information to its homeowners about the project(s) through, email, website, flyers and presentations at the board meetings.
You may be over reaching to have security at the community. Again, legal counsel as well as thoughts from the board would be prudent.
Barbara Holland is a certified property manager, broker and supervisory certified association manager. Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.