It depends. Some communities’ governing documents may ensure residents enjoy their property while the compositions of other communities (i.e. those with higher concentrations of senior citizens) necessitate restrictions. Each community is different. An association should balance residents’ enjoyment of their property with the safety needs of vulnerable populations and the population as a whole.
How do we manage determining essential employees and services?
Boards and management should work together with legal counsel to distinguish essential services from nonessential services. This is a delicate task that requires consulting multiple resources, including the association’s governing documents and relevant state and local stay-at-home orders. Individual determinations of essential and non-essential operations will vary between different communities.
Should essential employees, like community managers, carry proof of being an essential employee?
It depends on the jurisdiction your community is in and in which jurisdiction your employees/contractors live and work. To minimize any potential service interruptions or legal issues, associations and property management companies may want to consider requiring employees and contractors to carry proof of their status as an essential employee. Because states have taken different actions in response to COVID-19, this is a highly individualized decision for which legal counsel is likely required to provide a definitive answer.
Should we enforce standard community rules during this time?
It depends in part on what is considered an essential service. For example, if landscaping is considered essential, associations may be required to continue enforcing lawn care rules. However, each association is unique and operates under different sets of requirements. Generally speaking, however, if you receive complaints from residents regarding rules infractions, be considerate when approaching residents who are the subject of complaints. These are unusual times.
« Back to news