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Frequently Asked Questions about Community Associations and COVID-19

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ COVID19FAQPg800pxW.jpg ON-DEMAND RECORDINGS AND CAI COVID-19 VIDEO SERIES

Watch pre-recorded Q&A presentations and CAI's video series about the issues facing community associations due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Q&A presentations presented by CAI and fellows of the College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL).

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Click on the topics below to download and print the full list of Q&As.

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Answer
expand Question : a. Should board meetings be held during this time? ‎(1)
expand Question : b. Should communities consider adopting emergency powers for future issues? ‎(1)
expand Question : c. Would associations be justified in holding their board meetings via conference calls as “emergency meetings” due to the declared pandemic, and then ratifying those actions after the health issues are over? ‎(1)
expand Question : d. Our HOA is in the midst of an election. The election results are to be tallied and new board members announced. Our recent board meeting was canceled because of the COVID-19 Virus. What do you recommend we do in order to complete the election? ‎(1)
Answer
expand Question : a. Are community managers and board members encouraging residents to wear cloth face coverings in common areas of associations based on the new CDC recommendation? And if so, how are they advising these individuals? ‎(1)
expand Question : b. Can we close our gym, business center or other shared facility because of COVID-19? ‎(1)
expand Question : c. How should an association regulate a communal laundry room? ‎(1)
expand Question : d. If a resident has a reasonable accommodation to use the community swimming pool, is it reasonable to open up a closed pool for this individual or will this create a discrimination claim? ‎(1)
expand Question : e. Should associations begin to create a plan for reopening common areas? ‎(1)
expand Question : f. Should associations carry out enhanced cleaning of the common areas? ‎(1)
expand Question : g. Should associations consider adjusting their 2021 budget to include additional cleanings? ‎(1)
expand Question : h. What is the Board’s duty to act to reduce contamination in the community? ‎(1)
Answer
expand Question : a. Are community managers and board members encouraging residents to wear cloth face coverings in common areas of associations based on the new CDC recommendation? And if so, how are they advising these individuals? ‎(1)
expand Question : b. How should associations handle deliveries and packages? ‎(1)
expand Question : c. Should lifestyle events continued to be held? How can these events be replaced during a time where there are strict restrictions on gatherings and social distancing? ‎(1)
expand Question : d. How should a manager and a board handle move-in and move-out procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic? ‎(1)
expand Question : e. Can we ask potential purchasers and potential renters if they have traveled to any high-risk areas? ‎(1)
expand Question : f. Can we prevent residents we know have traveled to any high-risk areas (China, South Korea, Iran and Italy) from returning to their units? ‎(1)
Answer
expand Question : a. Can we expect this pandemic crisis to affect the association’s ability to collect assessments? ‎(1)
expand Question : b. How should an association handle residents who are late or delinquent on assessments? ‎(1)
expand Question : c. Should associations be charging late fees for late paid assessments? ‎(1)
expand Question : d. Should associations be considering payment plans with residents who have requested leniency on their assessments? ‎(1)
expand Question : e. How should an association respond to a resident’s request for an assessment reduction if they have closed common areas/facilities? ‎(1)
expand Question : f. Should a community send out notifications to all residents asking if there are financial hardships and if individual residents can pay their assessments? ‎(1)
expand Question : g. What documentation should associations ask for from residents who cannot pay their assessments in a timely manner? ‎(1)
expand Question : h. Should associations continue to file liens on unpaid assessments? ‎(1)
expand Question : i. Now that we are crisis mode, how do we handle owners who are losing their jobs/income? Don't really want to see people losing their homes due to this crisis. What if the HOA can't pay its bills? ‎(1)
Answer
expand Question : a. What are a community association’s contractual and essential services? ‎(1)
expand Question : b. Do essential association employees, like community managers, need to carry proof of being an ‘essential employee’ during the COVID-19 pandemic? ‎(1)
expand Question : c. Should standard association rules be enforced during this time – i.e. a resident has not cut their grass in weeks? ‎(1)
Answer
expand Question : a. Can community associations legally prohibit guests from entering the community during this time? ‎(1)
expand Question : b. What restrictions have HOAs placed on short-term rentals because of the pandemic? ‎(1)
Answer
expand Question : a. Is there any insurance coverage for opening association amenities? ‎(1)
expand Question : b. Should an association seek volunteers to enforce social distancing and ask resident to wear masks in common areas? ‎(1)
expand Question : c. Should an association hire professional services to clean common areas and amenities? ‎(1)
expand Question : d. If a unit owner or guest gets sick with COVID-19 and alleges the association negligently maintained the common elements that could not be closed, does the association have coverage against this claim? ‎(1)
expand Question : e. Does an association have to open an amenity for an owner who has made a request for a reasonable accommodation for water or exercise therapy if they have a note from the doctor? ‎(1)
expand Question : f. Is there any insurance coverage for an association that offers flexibility for collecting assessments? ‎(1)
expand Question : g. Is an association exposing themselves to liability if they offer flexibility in enforcing covenants (i.e. RV parking, twinkle lights, signage to support healthcare workers, etc.)? ‎(1)
expand Question : h. Are board members protected if they are personally sued? ‎(1)
expand Question : i. If the board notifies all members by email that unit 1 owner has COVID-19 and unit owner 1 brings a claim or civil suit, will the board be defended and or indemnified for invasion of right of privacy and or defamation? ‎(1)
expand Question : j. What, if anything, can a management company do if a community manager contracts COVID-19 on the job? ‎(1)
Answer
expand Question : a. How should community associations prepare for the lifting of state stay-at-home orders?  ‎(1)
expand Question : b. If your state and local government have different standards and requirements for reopening facilities, which order should be followed? ‎(1)
expand Question : c. What contracts should be reviewed when choosing to reopen certain facilities? ‎(1)
expand Question : d. Is an association required to reopen certain common areas or amenities once their state’s stay-at- home order is lifted? ‎(1)
expand Question : e. What should a community association management company or business partner consider when reopening their offices? ‎(1)
expand Question : f. How should board meetings proceed once stay-at-home orders are lifted? ‎(1)
expand Question : g. How should an association proceed with annual meetings when a stay-at-home order is lifted? ‎(1)
expand Question : h. What is the board’s role when a group of residents wants to open common areas and another group of residents wants to keep it closed? ‎(1)
expand Question : i. How often should an association communicate reopening updates with their residents? ‎(1)
expand Question : j. Should board members implement and enforce new regulations? ‎(1)
expand Question : k. How should association fitness centers be reopened when the stay-at-home order allow? ‎(1)
expand Question : l. Can an association take the temperature of guests entering their community? ‎(1)
Answer
expand Question : a. Can community associations prohibit owners from undertaking renovation projects so they can prevent contractors and other workers from entering the property? ‎(1)
expand Question : b. How should associations address any pending construction projects? ‎(1)
expand Question : c. Do I need to pay my contractors during this time period? ‎(1)
Answer
expand Question : a. When is it permissible to reopen a pool in a community association? ‎(1)
expand Question : b. Does a community association have to open their pool if a stay-at -home order has been eased? ‎(1)
expand Question : c. Are there distinctions in reopening certain pools? ‎(1)
expand Question : d. Are there risks in not reopening a pool for maintenance purposes? ‎(1)
expand Question : e. What contracts should be considered when reopening a community pool? ‎(1)
expand Question : f. Should an association have residents sign a waiver to use the pool when they reopen? ‎(1)
expand Question : g. What procedures should be enforced when a pool has reopened? ‎(1)
expand Question : h. Who should enforce these new procedures in a pool facility? ‎(1)
expand Question : i. How should new pool procedures be communicated to residents? ‎(1)
expand Question : j. What is the role of a lifeguard during the COVID-19 pandemic? ‎(1)
expand Question : k. What should an association do if a lifeguard or pool staff contracts COVID-19? ‎(1)
expand Question : l. How should a community’s budget be adjusted to comply with new pool procedures? ‎(1)
expand Question : m. Are residents allowed to bring guests while a pool is following state and local emergency orders? ‎(1)
expand Question : n. Are extracurricular activities allow at a reopened community pool? ‎(1)
Answer
expand Question : a. Can residents quarantine within a community association? ‎(1)
expand Question : b. What are the best methods to communicate with residents? ‎(1)
expand Question : c. How should boards respond if they learn that a resident tested positive for the coronavirus? Do they have an obligation to inform residents? Is there liability for the board if it does not? ‎(1)
expand Question : d. What if an infected resident needs an “in-unit” service? ‎(1)
expand Question : e. What if association staff reports symptoms? ‎(1)
expand Question : f. Do HIPPA laws apply to community associations? ‎(1)