Due to the nature of the Coronavirus quickly changing the world we live in, the way our residential communities are managed has changed drastically. These days, community managers must determine if a service is essential before they can decide whether they and the board want to move forward with it or not. While determining the nature of needed services as either essential or non-essential is not easy, it is important that these decisions be based on official stay-at-home orders and COVID 19 construction guidelines.
At the time of this writing, residential construction is still considered essential. This means that repairs that need to be made to homes, whether they be single or multi-family, can still be scheduled if certain social distancing and PPE protocols are followed. While this process sounds simple enough – keep 6 feet apart, wear face coverings, gloves, etc – it is easier said than done. Some smaller construction companies might not be able to acquire the gear necessary to perform the work according to these guidelines as the demand for these supplies steadily increases. Or on the other hand, some homeowners might not feel comfortable letting workers into their home without being able to supervise from a close distance.
Again, once the board has decided to move forward with a construction project, you might run into issues with scheduling. Many homeowners might be working from home and do not want to be disturbed by the noise construction crews often make while working. Others might be at high risk of contracting the Coronavirus and therefore not give workers consent to enter their home. In either of these circumstances, the board then has to decide if the construction project is urgent or serious enough to override the desires of the homeowner, if this is even within the board’s power to do so.
All in all, scheduling and performing construction projects is no easy feat in these trying times. Some tips to help you determine whether you and your HOA board should press forward are:
- Look to your bylaws and guidelines
If your bylaws state that certain projects must be done yearly, monthly, etc, then it’s probably best that you look into whether you can schedule these services or not. In this event, you should just follow the next tip which is to…
- Make sure you comply with CDC guidelines and local ordinances
If you or your board believes that a project must get done, then make sure it gets done in accordance with the law. Just be sure your construction workers understand and follow these instructions as well.
- Work with your residents
If you have set forth community guidelines and protection protocols for the safety of your residents, then they will better be able to trust that you are doing all you can to protect them while maintaining their home and community. If you find yourself dealing with a particularly difficult homeowner, try gently explaining to the importance of completing the project and the measures you are taking to ensure their safety. If this fails, you might have to start back at tip number one and determine if this really is an essential job or not.