Important Update: Essential Operations and Community Associations

March 23, 2020 11:24 AM
 
Corona

During this unprecedented time, there's been a lot of information in the public regarding the restrictions on business operations that have been put in place in various cities, counties and states in our region. CAI has been working to seek clarification of how community associations are impacted by the orders from the governors of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware that all business that are not "life sustaining" be closed.

Pennsylvania
Governor Tom Wolf issued an executive order on Thursday, March 19, 2020 ordering all businesses that are not "life sustaining" be closed. Since that time, the order has been updated several times. CAI believes that the order permits the continuation of various essential services affecting the health, safety and welfare of homeowners and residents, including Facilities Support Services, Investigation and Security Services, Services to Buildings and Dwellings, and Waste Collection.

CAI began working with several legislators as well as our lobbyist over this past weekend to seek a further waiver to permit the operation of essential administrative services within community associations. Late on Sunday evening, March 21, 2020, CAI received confirmation that this waiver has been granted by the Office of the Governor. Community associations in Pennsylvania may permit a skeletal administrative staff to process financial transactions such as the processing of assessment payments, paying the bills, and to keep the business of the association running.

New Jersey
Governor Phil Murphy’s Executive Order issued on Saturday, March 21, 2020 is not as restrictive as Pennsylvania’s Order. CAI has been advised by attorneys that New Jersey community associations can stay open for business; however, when at all possible, managers and other non-essential staff should be working  from home. Essential staff includes maintenance, security, etc., and the Order does allow for administrative staff to process financial transactions such as the processing of assessment payments, paying the bills, and to keep the business of the association running.

Delaware
Delaware Governor John Carney issued an executive order on Saturday, effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020, that orders the closure of all non-essential businesses in the state. According to advice CAI has received from the Office of the Common Interest Community Ombudsman in the State of Delaware, it appears that community association management falls under categories of businesses that are permitted to remain open, such as: Facilities Support Services, Investigation and Security Services, Services to Buildings and Dwellings, and Waste Collection.

As always, before taking any action, CAI recommends that associations review the language of the Executive Orders and consult with individual legal counsel as to what is allowable for your particular association.

Of course, CAI advises all community association staff and residents to follow social distancing guidelines and other precautions from your local, county and state health departments, as well as the Centers for Disease Control, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

CAI's Coronavirus Community Resources Page 
The officers, board leaders, and staff of the Pennsylvania & Delaware Valley Chapter of CAI are closely monitoring the ever-evolving news, information, and available resources concerning the outbreak of COVID-19, the coronavirus pandemic. The health and well-being of our members and your families are of utmost importance to us and we have prepared a special webpage to be a resource to you as we all cope with and carry on through this difficult time. CLICK HERE to visit our Coronavirus Community Resource Page

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