HOA Management Challenges During the Covid-19 Pandemic
If you’re trying to run a homeowner’s association, there are always challenges. However, during the pandemic, they’ve multiplied. That’s hardly unique to HOAs. Virtually every part of modern life has had to endure alterations, some more dramatic than others.
If you’re the head of a homeowner’s association, you’re going to have to get a bit creative to keep all your members happy and safe. We’ll examine some of the techniques you can use.
Going virtual is one of the most critical things that HOAs can do until we get the pandemic sorted out. Vaccines are coming, but until everyone gets one, social distancing with community residents is one of the moves that make the most sense.
The CDC wants everyone to move away from in-person social interactions as much as possible. Maybe in the past, your HOA board met every week, or even more frequently.
Many companies and industries have transitioned to remote work, and they have shown HOAs a blueprint as to how they can conduct themselves. Perhaps virtual meetings will continue in the future, in this area as well as in many others.
What Are Some Concerns Residents May Have?
HOAs should represent members of a particular subdivision, condo owners, or something along those lines. The residents might bring HOA board members their concerns, and the members discuss possible fixes.
When HOA members meet virtually during the pandemic, they may need to discuss several things. They might need to talk about how they can best share community announcements. They’ll also need to tell homeowners when they violate any of the established rules.
They might need a way to announce one-time assessments or increased dues. They may report grievances or violations or coordinate clean-up and repairs.
Regular meetings still need to happen to talk about these things and come up with solutions, and virtual HOA board sessions are how that occurs.
What About if You Hired an HOA Management Company?
Of course, some communities that have HOAs choose not to involve themselves with them very much. They would prefer to pay more and have a company handle all of that for them.
This is more costly, but it’s convenient. If you don’t have enough people who want to be part of an HOA, you can reach out to one of the HOA management entities, and they can handle things like repairs, trash pickup, noise complaints, etc.
However, these HOA management companies have had to go to a virtual format as well. Most of them have not found that to be too obtrusive. They can continue doing all the same things for you that they did before, just virtually instead of through in-person meetings.
What if the HOA Management Company Still Wants In-Person Meetings?
If you have an HOA management company that wants to keep meeting in person to work out any issues that come up, they can do that. They’ll need to follow cleanliness and social distancing guidelines the CDC lays out.
If they use office space, they can have a cleaning company come in and deep clean it every few days. They can wear masks and install glass or plastic shields between the workspaces. They might even bring in an interior design company to rearrange the workspaces, so they’re far enough away from one another to keep everyone out of danger.
The HOA Management Company Can Use Both Remote and In-Person Work
One more thing your HOA management company can do is to allow people to work from home if they are too fearful about the pandemic. Maybe some of them have an immunocompromised condition, and they should stay home till they get the vaccine.
The workers who aren’t as worried can still come in. However, they do so understanding the risks. Some companies won’t even allow workers to come in right now, even if they want to. They’re too worried about possible lawsuits if someone does become ill.
What you should take from all this is that it’s still possible to manage your HOA duties, whether you’re doing it or whether you’ve hired a company. The pandemic makes things challenging, but by means impossible.
There are few Covid-19 solutions right now that have unanimous support. Every business entity, and indeed every individual, must decide how they want to proceed.
Perhaps, even after the pandemic, many HOA board members and management companies will want to keep to a mostly virtual meeting schedule. We’ll have to wait and see.
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