Stay-at-home orders, social distancing and other preventative measures have made communication with homeowners during the global pandemic especially challenging. Covid-19 has given rise to disputes and unprecedented situations within HOAs that must be addressed.
Not sure where to start? Here are 5 documents to consider mailing homeowners in response to the coronavirus.
1. Amenities Closure/Reopening Notice
To prevent the spread of the virus, highly trafficked areas within communities have been forced to close. In response, HOAs should send regular notices to update homeowners on the status of community amenities – whether they are open, closed, or limited operation. Common areas to cover are: pools, playgrounds, gyms, clubhouses, lobbies and administrative offices.
It’s also imperative to address any new sanitation measures that were enacted to keep residents safe. This includes any sanitizer dispenser installations, hiring disinfection services, and other general cleaning changes. An amenity closure or reopening notice should include pertinent information that covers the following:
- Which amenities are closed, reopening, or under limited operation
- Social distancing guidelines for open facilities
- Predictions of reopening
- HOA board contact information
- Expressions of gratitude for homeowners
- Reminders that the situation is temporary and evolving
2. HOA Remote Meetings Invitation
Meetings are another area affected by social-distancing guidelines. While remote meetings are quickly becoming standard, it’s crucial to send out meeting invitations with all necessary information. Here’s a breakdown of how to handle correspondence regarding meetings with homeowners.
With the prevalence of video conferencing software and apps, it’s possible to conduct scheduled virtual meetings, remotely. Unfortunately, poor communication can hinder attendance. To avoid this problem, consider mailing out invitations to the community. Invites should include the time, date, link to the meeting, meeting password, and the platform where it will be conducted.
For Association’s Restricting Remote Meetings
There are some associations that restrict remote meetings in the bylaws. If this is the case, it’s necessary to send out a notice to all your homeowners. The notice should highlight and explain the bylaw, give community updates, and provide details regarding the meeting’s rescheduling. Additionally, contact information should be noted, so homeowners can express concerns or ask questions.
3. Formal Update on HOA Dues Payment
With grim unemployment reports and a slowing of the economy, some homeowners may find it difficult to keep up with their HOA payments. In this case, consider creating options for homeowners that work with their current financial situation, including:
- Payments as usual: Homeowners pay as they usually do.
- Payment plan option: Homeowners can keep up with their payments via a payment plan that enables them to make more affordable monthly payments over time.
- Payment postponement: Homeowners can opt to stop paying completely for a period, but will owe a lump sum down the road.
Once you and your board have arrived at a satisfactory payment framework, mail a document to homeowners outlining their options on how to pay dues at this time. Don’t forget to include necessary due dates and links to payment portals.
4. HOA Regulations on Stay-At-Home Orders
As the situation evolves, the government has to adapt. Stay-at-home orders will likely be altered, meaning HOA regulations should be adjusted as well. Some HOAs may adopt their own iteration of social distancing guidelines and need to inform homeowners.
Sending out correspondence regarding these changes is an opportunity to connect with homeowners and offer resources to help them navigate a new normal. A notice should address the following questions:
- If at all, how do the HOA’s regulations differ or add to the government regulations?
- Are there fines for violating the order?
- Can people jog or walk their dogs?
- Will the community extend the order’s timeframe beyond state regulations?
- Is the community required to wear masks when out?
5. Dispute Correspondence
From those who refuse to follow guidelines to those who don’t agree with the HOAs handling of the situation, be prepared to face some disputes and violations of the bylaws and CC&Rs. That’s why it’s essential to have dispute correspondence ready to use when needed. Dispute correspondence examples include:
- Violation Notice
- Notice of Fines (or other consequences)
- Receipt of Complaint
Showing Understanding and Easing Restrictions
While it’s important to maintain normalcy within your HOA, it’s also important to remember that the current situation is unprecedented and hopefully temporary. In the meantime, homeowners are looking for ways to cope with the new changes and adjust to the new normal. Sometimes these actions go against HOA bylaws, but do no harm to the community and may require some discernment.
For example, say your HOA restricts large vehicles, such as RVs and boats, from parking in driveways. A medical worker may be temporarily living in one rather than their home, to protect their family from exposure. Forcing the family to move it not only puts them at risk, but also brings down the morale of the community as a whole. It’s important to take care and have compassion when dealing with delicate circumstances.
The Importance of Maintaining Communication
Keeping lines of communication open in times when people feel cut off from one another is of the utmost importance. Not only does it keep homeowners informed, but it also makes the process of maintaining the functions of the HOA easier.
That’s where Page Per Page comes in.
Page Per Page makes it easy to keep communities informed. The team specializes in the delivery of high-quality mailing solutions for HOAs, including: newsletters, updates, notices, ballots, reminders, and more. Their expertise in community associations can make navigating the impacts of Covid-19 easier for everyone.
With Page Per Page, you can quickly deliver expertly designed correspondence leaving you to focus on other important duties that come with managing an HOA.
Give homeowners the information they need with the expertise you want.