Canmy HOAsue me for reporting security guard not doing work correctly to his boss instead ofthe HOAdirectly?

I am a renter that has noticed the security guard doing things he shouldn’t be doing. I have been contacting the security guards boss directly about it because the security boss doesn’t want management to be aware. The HOA president told me that property management is thinking of suing me for harassment of a vendor.

Asked on October 18, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There is no such cause of action as "harassment of a vendor." IF the guard felt you were harassing him in some way--e.g. you were constantly following him to see where and what he was doing--or if the vendor felt you were harassing it or some of its employees in some fashion (e.g. repeated calls, at all hours), then it's possible they would be able to take some action. But a third party--e.g. your HOA--cannot sue  you for "harassing" one of its vendors. The closest they could come to some cause of action might be "tortious interference with economic advantage" or with a business relationship, but that generally requires that the intereference be something itself wrongful--making threats, physical interference, etc. A few phone calls should not give rise to this cause of action.

All the above aside: the guard reports to the vendor, and the vendor reports to the people that hired it (the HOA). You have no ability to make the guard or vendor do anything they don't want to. If you've brought this to everyone's attention, there is little to be gained by continued contacts or phone calls, and at some point, enough calls *could* cross the line into harassment or tortiuos interference. While, as noted, it's very unlikely there is any cause of action yet, you may wish to rethink whether you should continue with these phone calls.


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