Community Association & Condominium Boards
Coronavirus Response: 5 Actions HOAs Should Take Now
by Amy Repke
@HOA Resources March 18, 2020
HOA boards: Know how respond to disruption in association business due to the coronavirus outbreak. Be prepared. Have a plan. Protect your community with these five steps:
Establish a community-wide emergency plan
Consult legal counsel to review association policies
Review insurance policies and risk mitigation
Ensure compliance with anti-discrimination statues in the event of quarantine situation
Review wage and hour laws in the event of interruption in normal business operations
In the event of a widespread outbreak in the U.S., community associations may wish to review state statutes and governing documents to determine whether it’s possible to conduct association business remotely.
Associations also may want to consider how to handle common areas and amenities.
Meetings. Generally, there are several methods by which association members or association boards transact business in the absence of everyone gathering at the same time and location—some form of written consent, electronic meetings, or a vote outside a physical meeting.
In-person meetings are almost always preferred because of the ability to discuss proposals, deliberate, and change minds. Most online and electronic voting simply permits an up or down vote on a proposal.
There are circumstances in which a meeting is simply not possible, so it is worth considering what other options exist to transact business. Community associations should contact their attorney.
Common areas and amenities. Community associations control the common areas, and owners are responsible for their private property. If the virus becomes widespread, communities may want to consider:
Extensive cleaning, disinfecting, or wiping down of common areas and common area surfaces
Postponing or cancelling community events and meetings
Closing common areas amenities, such as gyms, clubhouses, and pools
Installing hand sanitizer dispensers or wipes on common areas for owner and guest use
Community association board members should consult with their professional partners, including community manager and attorney, on how best to handle within their community.
Community associations are welcome to download and adapt a sample letter developed by CAI that covers some of the steps your community may take or has taken to address the COVID-19 outbreak. It has sections on association operations—cleaning, common areas and amenities, meetings and events, social distancing, and staffing—and what the association may do if residents contract COVID-19. You are encouraged to fit the letter to your needs, filling in the appropriate details (see bracketed and highlighted areas) or picking and choosing certain sections that apply in your community.
Webinars & Videos
CAI/CCAL Presents: Coronavirus and Community Associations Q&A
Presenters: David Graf, Esq. CCAL and
Matt Ober, Esq., CCAL
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