I’ve often wondered why so many are turning to arbitration as a means of settling HOA disputes, and to avoid court costs. The persons in the know say arbitration is generally cheaper, but an arbitrator can cost $1,000 -$4,000 per day, plus an initial filing fee around $750 with additional administrative costs.
Arbitration relies on one very important factor as applied to rogue HOA boards: both parties must be open to working together for a resolution to the problem. That’s a contradiction from the start: “rogue” and “working together.”
If minimal costs are acceptable and you have a truly workable Board, then this is a possibility. However, understand that there are conditions that can leave you without recourse to an appeal, not only to the decision but to the costs being charged.
As for those outlandish court costs in the tens of thousands or more, it goes without saying you are dealing with a hostile Board and arbitration will get you nowhere. In the arbitration process, your HOA can still hire attorneys to represent them, and guess who pays for them? Not according to the arbitration process, but because of your CC&Rs make it clear that your HOA costs are paid by homeowner.
Find out more about how to make arbitration work for you. Read articles in the Notes 1 and 2 below.
 “Arbitration Pros and Cons”, Nolo.com.
 How much does arbitration cost, and who pays?, Legal Nature.