The role of a Community Association Manager is both innately complex in how it gets done, but also quite pointed when it comes to the main objective: to ensure increasing connectivity and value within the community. Attorneys can play a big role in how they help. There are many legal crossroads that can make navigation complex, and that is where a great lawyer can help you through the process. As one might imagine, COVID-19 has placed upon us new challenges to overcome. In this article, The Orlando Law Group is here to help Community Associations navigate COVID-19 and any hurdles they may be facing.
We are always striving to become your source for information that can help you navigate these crossroads, and below, you will find some questions and answers to help during this time. If there is something specific that your community is undergoing, do not hesitate to reach out to us. So many times, people have niche problems that require specific answers. What if someone tests positive within the community?
What if someone tests positive for Covid-19 within the community?
There are really two perspectives of thought if someone tests positive for Coronavirus. On one hand, you must have the community’s best interests in mind, but you must also protect the privacy of the individual. If the individual gives permission, you can disclose their name. This can be specifically helpful because it will allow anyone who believes they have met that individual to get tested as well.
What if the person wants their identity kept from the community?
If that person wants to be kept anonymous, you still may want to let the community know that an individual has tested positive. This will allow them to take more precautions and at the very least be aware. You want to avoid potential liability if a board becomes aware of a concern and simply fails to notify the community in any way. Silence simply could result in damages and liability, which we want to stave off at all costs.
How should Community associations navigate shared facilities during this time?
You might be asking yourself, what about our gym? What about the common areas? It all depends on whether the board feels that closing those facilities down will preserve the health of the community. No matter what the action, it should always be done because it is in the best interest for the owners and people that live there. If such actions are executed, clearly written notifications should be produced.
Should this affect the Association’s collections?
One of the complications that COVID-19 has placed upon us is the fact that many are out of work and are struggling financially. As Community Associations navigate COVID-19, they must stay sympathetic yet strong. The hard truth is that because collections are a part of the annual budget, they cannot be waived. We recommend carrying on with collections as usual, and if special circumstances are needed, apply them as temporary assistance only. The money owed cannot and should not be waived no matter how hard the struggle may be, only to preserve the fairness of what is written in the agreements that have been signed by the owners.
How Should community Associations navigate potential renovations?
For the time being, having contractors enter the community may be on an emergency basis. Although it may be a complicated issue to navigate, the risk of having COVID-19 spread could be very dangerous indeed. Activities such as open houses and showings should be avoided, and work on the property should only be accomplished if it is necessary.
Although we are beginning to enter Phase Two of getting back to business, we want to remain cautionary with our approach. It is very important that you remain in good communication and dialed in to what your community needs during this time. If complications arise, you can be ahead of the game if you are clued into what is on their minds.
As lawyers, it is our intent to help clients navigate complicated issues, and many times that involves being caught between two objectives. With COVID-19, keeping the community thriving as well as safe and healthy are very important aspects of what Community Associations aim to achieve. We want you to stay encourages as your Community Association navigates COVID-19 during this time. How are they accomplishing their goals?
The points above are just the beginning of our journey back to normalcy. It will take time, and there will be hurdles that we face along the way. It is important to remember that, with a moratorium placed on foreclosures and evictions, we could be facing all kinds of complications in time. Having processes and procedures in place to be ready for all possible outcomes will benefit us in the future. As Community Associations navigate COVID-19, The Orlando Law Group is always here to listen, to care, and to help you solve any problems you may be facing. Give our HOA Page a look for more information regarding Homeowners Associations for examples of services we provide.