Open Your Doors Carefully, Re-Opening The Clubhouse and Holding Indoor Events

Posted by on Jun 18, 2020 in COVID-19

 

Written by: Terry A. Kessler, Esq.

With Executive Order 152, issued on June 9, Governor Murphy has authorized larger numbers of people to congregate in certain areas and under specified conditions and so enables community associations to open their clubhouses and facilities and to hold both indoor and outdoor events. However, the order restricts the sizes of such gatherings and the proximity of attendees because congregating in large groups and remaining in close proximity increases the risk of transmitting COVID-19. These new regulations can be found here. While outdoor events also are permitted, this article addresses only indoor use/events. An association is not required to open the clubhouse but if it does, it must consider the following:

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Testing The Waters: Opening Pools In Community Associations

Posted by on Jun 11, 2020 in COVID-19

Written by: Caroline Record, Esq.

On June 8, 2020, Governor Murphy announced that all municipal and private club pools, including pools in community associations, would be permitted to open on June 22, 2020 in accordance with specific regulations to be published by the New Jersey Department of Health. Those regulations were published in the wee hours of June 10, 2020 and can be found here. If a community association board decides to open the pool in the community this summer, below are some of the requirements that must be observed and enforced:

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Sample Notice to Residents

Posted by on May 15, 2020 in COVID-19

Following is a sample letter to residents, where disclosure of identity has not been authorized. It should be modified appropriately if the ill person is a vendor or a member of the staff.

Dear Residents:

The Board of Trustees/Directors of ____________ Association has been notified that a resident or vendor of the community has tested positive for the coronavirus, COVID-19.

The resident is quarantined in the resident’s home.

All efforts have been and will continue to be made to maximize the safety of our residents, visitors and staff.

To comply with relevant privacy concerns, we are not permitted to disclose the identity of the resident. We also ask that you not distribute any rumors or guesses regarding any ill resident on social media.

This notice serves as an official notification of this occurrence. We urge all residents to follow the recommendations of the public health authorities such as the CDC, available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/

On behalf of the Board and Management, we send wishes of a speedy recovery to our neighbors who are ill and appreciate their notifying us of their situations. We also appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding during this difficult time.

Please let Management know if you have questions or concerns.

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Elections

Posted by on May 7, 2020 in COVID-19, Elections/Voting

If your association’s annual election is approaching, you likely have questions about how the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting governmental restrictions will affect your ability to hold your election. Should we reschedule the election? What if we have already sent out the request for nominations? What if there are no more candidates than there are open seats? What if we’ve already sent out the ballots? The answer is…it depends.

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Board Meetings

Posted by on May 5, 2020 in Board Meetings, COVID-19

Even during times of a state and/or federal emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for a common interest community association to keep functioning in order to promote and protect the health and safety of its residents and their financial interest in their homes. Some would argue that this is especially important during such times.

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Pool Contracts

Posted by on Apr 30, 2020 in COVID-19, Uncategorized

One of the big questions facing associations at this moment is whether to go through the process of opening the pool. Should we do it now, as most pool companies are pushing—or should we wait and see what happens in a month? What if we haven’t even signed our pool contract? Should we sign it or just forget this season?

The decision is largely a business one, as the particular facts and circumstances of associations vary greatly. There are, however, a few key concerns that face all associations:

  • Will the pool be damaged if we don’t open it and run the filtration system?
  • If we have a signed contract, will we be liable to the contractor for the entire amount?
  • If the “social distancing” requirements are lifted, do we want to be ready or risk facing an angry reaction from the owners? Or if this continues, will we be criticized for wasting our members’ money?

First, our research indicates that even if pools are not going to be open for swimming this season, it is necessary to open, chemically treat and run the filtration system from a pool health standpoint. There is a real possibility that if you don’t open the pool, the pool surface may become irretrievably stained and there might be permanent damage to the filtration system. Remember that if it’s opened but not used, you need to keep it running and maintained but at a reduced level (sufficient to protect the pool but not suitable for swimming).

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