are, to a certain extent, responsible for the general well-being of the community they serve. That said, they have to ensure that every household within their jurisdiction is well-informed about COVID-19, specifically, health and safety protocols mandated by their state or region. So for instance, HOAs in California should have informed their respective communities about the Stay at Home Order signed into effect last December 5, 2020. Such regulations are important to know because related violations could mean penalties for the HOA and the member in question.
What other things should HOAs do to help their community cope during the pandemic? Here are some of them:
1. Financial relief
The pandemic has negatively impacted everyone’s finances and homeowners associations understand this. That’s why many of them have provided and still are providing some form of financial relief to their homeowners. These could include non-eviction of delinquent tenants, relaxed payment terms for delinquent members, and temporary reduction of HOA fees.
2. Keeping members updated on COVID-19-related news and information
It’s important for everyone in the community to be well-informed about COVID-19, particularly, facts and data about community transmissions, new and/or mutated coronavirus variants, regional and state-wide regulations, and other such important information. By keeping members informed, everyone will be made aware of new threats or risks, or regulations that should be followed, so they can act and take steps accordingly.
3. Staying on top of HOA-related laws
There are certain HOA laws that will take effect in 2021 to protect both the homeowners and the association. Some of these include rental restrictions, which prohibit HOAs from turning down renters (“unreasonably restrict”), except short-term renters, and limiting the number of rentals in their community. For rental restrictions, HOAs are given until the end of December 2021 to draw-up new governing documents to incorporate these changes.
4. Regular site inspections for cleaning and disinfecting
It is the HOA’s responsibility to keep all common or public areas in their community safe for all homeowners, especially during the pandemic. Safety measures at this time focus on ensuring all surfaces and “touchpoints” are regularly cleaned and disinfected, which include door handles, elevator buttons, and handrails.
5. Health and safety reminders posted in high-visibility areas
Printed health and safety reminders are posted in public and high-visibility areas. Some HOAs use graphics and images to make these reminders easier to understand and remember even for kids. These health and safety reminders are also evaluated from time to time to see if additional tips should be included or some items changed.