Not Just Elections: The New DCA “RADBURN” Regulations Also Require Changes To Community Association Board Meetings

Posted by on Jun 9, 2020 in Board Meetings, DCA, Elections/Voting

Written by: Jonathan H. Katz, Esq.

As we advised in our previous alert, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (the “DCA”) published formal regulations governing elections held in community associations, which were made effective as of the day they were made public (May 18, 2020). In addition to the election regulations, the DCA also included new requirements related to community association board meetings. Those new requirements include the following:

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Election Guidelines for Community Associations under New DCA Regulations

Posted by on Jun 5, 2020 in DCA, Elections/Voting

Written by: Ronald L. Perl, Esq.

Effective as of May 18, 2020, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs has issued formal regulations governing elections held in community associations. The regulations were made effective as of the date they were made public, so associations have had very little time to adapt to them. These guidelines are intended to provide a quick reference to the highlights of the regulations.

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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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Protecting Maintenance Staff

Posted by on Apr 28, 2020 in COVID-19, Uncategorized

In dealing with an ill resident, maintenance and repairs within homes also need to be taken into consideration. Non-essential maintenance or service within a home should be avoided to prevent inadvertent spread of infection.

The HUD guidelines indicate that where immediate maintenance or repair is required within a home, maintenance staff or contractors may ask whether any resident in the home has contracted the disease. Persons who do not feel safe entering a home cannot be required to do so. However, if maintenance or repair is necessary to protect health or safety, the staff or contractor should take appropriate protective measures when entering the home, including utilizing personal protection equipment and following public health and CDC recommendations.

We do not believe that any special notice besides warning the virus has been reported is required in the unfortunate case of a death. It is important to notify residents of an occurrence of the illness so that they may take recommended precautions, but the precautions to be taken by other residents do not change because an ill person has died. Where an association routinely announces resident deaths in order to share its condolences, we suggest that the association suspend that practice to avoid giving an impression, possibly incorrect, that all recent deaths are due to the virus and thereby spread further anxiety.

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