The vast majority of community association residents are normal folks who wouldn't dream of disrupting life in their building by being verbally abusive to neighbors, blowing up board members' phones and e-mail inboxes with endless complaints and threats, or filing lawsuits at the drop of a hat for every slight (real or perceived) they suffer.
Unfortunately, there are exceptions: people who seem to thrive on these very things—and can make life miserable for neighbors, board members, and managers alike. Dealing with them is both a challenge and an art form for boards, managers, and neighbors alike.
A Matter of Degree
As property managers know, in the context of a building community, “disruptive” is a broad term that can describe quite a range of hassle. So what constitutes “disruptive”?
In a nutshell, a disruptive resident is someone whose behavior causes a situation in which the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of other residents’ homes is disturbed on such a frequent or regular basis, or to such an extent, that quality of life in the community is negatively impacted.
Disruptive residents fall into four general categories. First are what might be called the “mundane,” the noisemakers and smelly-food-cookers, the constant gardener or the dog lover who owns 10 yapping terriers. They're the typical noisy neighbor who leaves the TV blaring at all hours, plays music you hate at high volume, or lets their kids run amuck throughout the premises.