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COVID-19 Emergency Rules

Why, How and What?

Published: April, 2020

COVID-19 and shelter-in-place orders have had a huge impact on association and management company operations. Boards should promptly enact Emergency Rules to deal with some of those impacts.

What Are Emergency Rules?

Emergency Rules are those adopted by the board without the normally required 28-day member comment period. They are permitted to address an imminent safety threat or substantial economic loss. They can last up to 120 days. If renewed, the 28-day member comment requirement applies. Emergency Rules can be adopted at any open board meeting or, as may be necessary and appropriate, by emergency meeting conducted by email.

Why Should a Board Adopt Rules Instead of Board Resolutions to Deal with the Virus?

  • The Civil Code specifically authorizes Rules but not resolutions.
  • The Civil Code specifically permits enforcement of Rules but not resolutions.
  • Fines must be based on Rules, not resolutions.
  • Rules minimize “negative precedents” to temporary changes to enforcement, architectural control, and assessment collection procedures.
  • Rules create a stronger and easier to defend record of board action.
  • The formality of Rules provides greater clarity and respect.

In Other Words, Emergency Rules Have More Weight and Authority Than Resolutions!

What Should Be in the Emergency Rules?

  • Cite to statutory authority, state and local shelter-in-place orders and governing document authority.
  • Address access to buildings, gated/ungated communities, common areas.
  • Dealing with “essential” and “non-essential” access requests/demands.
  • Owner and association construction projects; contract implications.
  • Enforcement of emergency rules while the courts are partially closed.
  • Hearings, internal and alternative dispute resolution procedures.
  • Assessments, interest charges, late fees, and collections policy implications.
  • Open, executive session, special board meetings; member participation in meetings.

Let Us Know How We Can Help!

The cost of the Rules is reasonable and the turn-around fast. Let us know if we can help.

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