Association boards should be vigilant when dealing with illnesses like the coronavirus. It’s important that HOAs create an action plan in case there is a disruption in association business.
- 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
What community associations can do
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.
Coronavirus: What to Know – CDC
Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Your Community – CDC
Coronavirus Global Outbreak – World Health Organization
HOAresources.com explores questions and comments from community association members living in condominiums, homeowners associations, and housing cooperatives. We then assemble trusted experts to provide practical solutions to your most commonly asked, timely questions. We never use real names, but we always tackle real issues. Have a question or comment about your community association? Submit here for consideration:
Join CAI’s online community for access to the industry’s most in-demand community association resources.
Thousands of your peers are sharing advice.
Amy Repke, Vice President, Communications & Marketing. Amy brings more than 20 years of experience to CAI. Her communications career began in television news where she worked as a producer, writer, and assignment manager for local and network news channels. Amy has been nominated for four Washington Regional Emmy awards for writing and producing. Amy is a graduate of Old Dominion University and received a master's degree in Strategic Public Communications from American University.