Bill and Susan Raphan spent years in the Florida Condominium Ombudsman's Office listening to complaints from owners, offering assistance to battle-weary directors and trying to put out small brush fires before they became full blown conflagrations.
While they weren't able to cure every problem, they did find that often what was needed most was a patient set of ears and a sympathetic shoulder.
As community association lawyers we always hope that we can solve every problem that may confront a community. However, some problems do not readily lend themselves to legal resolution and, in fact, sometimes the involvement of an attorney can immediately change the dynamics of the conversation by putting one or both parties on guard.
If you have ever dealt with an association experiencing residents who hoard or harass, as well as those that believe there is manipulation of the election process or a host of other as yet unproven accusations, you know how frustrating and often ineffectual the legal process can be in those types of conflicts. Sometimes the actions fall just short of being actionable but are still troubling enough to hamper the quality of community life. Bill and Susan Raphan believe that they can help defuse these kinds of situations by being a neutral party with sufficient experience to render helpful advice.
The Raphans have long recognized this gap in servicing the needs of associations and have created a toll free hotline for board members and managers as a result.