Events and information surrounding the Coronavirus continues to change and evolve. While we’re all experiencing challenges to both daily life and business-as-usual, it’s important to take a moment and assess the precautions you can take for your homeowner’s association.
The recommendations below about what actions HOA boards can be taking come from the Adams|Stirling Newsletter:
1. Social Distancing
The news media has wall-to-wall coverage about the virus and everyone is being encouraged to stay home. Events everywhere are being canceled. For now, all communications with clients should be done via email and phone calls.
2. Board Meeting Protocol
Boards should not encourage members to gather together. For now, boards should hold meetings via email and conference calls without member observation. Meeting minutes still need to be taken and published.
The situation is temporary and should not be abused. Where possible, boards should utilize conference call services and live stream the meetings, where members can attend meetings by calling into a conference number without leaving their units.
Some free conference call services to utilize are:
One HOA reported doing the following:
“We held an open meeting via teleconference: (1) We advertised the meeting 4 days in advance. (2) We sent out the teleconference number so all members could attend from home. (3) We allowed an "Open Forum" for owners to speak and be heard by everyone. (4) One Board member went to the normal meeting place and was the "Leader" of the call via a speaker/spider phone. (5) Minutes of the meeting were created. All went well. (We have 261 units.)” -Ray O.
3. Common Areas
The recommendation by both President Trump and the CDC to limit public gatherings to 10 people should also be implemented at your HOA. In addition to taking board meeting online, this may require closing the clubhouse, fitness center, pool and spa, and postponing any association events.
If your HOA chooses not to close the common areas, ramp up cleaning measures by increasing the frequency of cleaning, setting up sanitizing stations, and maintaining social distancing of 6 feet or more. Also, encourage residents to stay active by going outside and taking walks or visiting a nearby park.
The most important thing you can do for your association is keep the communication lines open. After all this is over, no one is going to come back and say, “the Association sent me too many informative emails.” Over communication and open communication between the HOA board and members of the Association is crucial and encouraged.