Lawn Care: Not Worth A Criminal Assault Charge
Believe it or not, there is good information to support that the recent attack of Rand Paul by his neighbor was not actually based on their differing politics, but was rather based on their disagreement regarding the rules of their community association regarding lawn care.
For folks who have never had a disagreement with a neighbor (or who have never served on the board of their condo or HOA), this probably seems to border on the ridiculous. Who could possibly care that much about grass? I am here to tell you, people care. People care deeply about their neighborhood and their community association’s rules and regulations, and people are willing to become deeply invested in the future of their condo or HOA. And for good reason: HOAs and condo associations exist to preserve property values, so when an owner is shirking his responsibilities under the terms of the associations governing documents, it can greatly affect the surrounding neighbors.
This is not to suggest that Rand Paul was shirking his responsibilities, nor is it to suggest that the neighbor was right to assault him. On the contrary, no owner should ever take matters into his own hands or assault a neighbor in his community. And that includes not taking actions to purposely damage or frustrate your neighbors as well.
Instead, the proper method of recourse is to contact your association’s board and ask them to take action against the owner to resolve the problem. If the board chooses not to take action, the disgruntled member of the association has three options: (1) run for a position on the board and seek to change the board’s policies for handling the issue (but an owner should never run for office solely on a vendetta!), (2) sue the neighbor directly for his actions (which can get expensive), or (3) get over it and figure out how to live peaceably with your neighbor.
If your association needs help with neighbor disputes, or you want more information on how to handle these types of situations in your community, contact Compton & Duling’s Heather Steele at 703-565-5151 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation.