COVID-19 and Community Association Duties and Responsibilities – A Guidebook for California Community Associations Updated as of March 27, 2020 – By the Community Association Attorneys at SwedelsonGottlieb

CoronavirusSwedelsonGottlieb updated its COVID-19 Community Association Guidebook on March 27, 2020. We put this Guidebook together to address our new reality and how California community associations should be dealing with the pandemic. We are all staying at home unless our jobs are essential and we are socially distancing ourselves from one another. The reality is that community associations cannot close down. Associations must continue to operate as they control the common areas where people live, and so much more. And the COVID-19 pandemic has created issues that we have never had to deal with in the past.

SwedelsonGottlieb is open for business; most of us are working remotely. And, we continue to receive inquiries from board members and managers concerning what community associations should be doing to address the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on their communities. As we explain in the Guidebook, we do not believe that community associations have any direct or legal responsibility to deal with the coronavirus itself as it is each resident’s responsibility to protect themselves from contracting COVID-19. That said, some commonsense things should be kept in mind and we address those things in the Guidebook.

To be clear, this does not mean that associations should not be implementing policies to address the coronavirus, such as taking steps to clean and sanitize to the extent possible the common area, close common area amenities such as pools, gyms and recreation centers or clubhouses. But there is only so much that associations can do. As we explain in the Guidebook, there are things that each California community association can and should be doing, especially when an association learns that a resident has contracted or been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, to limit liability exposure.

In the Guidebook, we refer to COVID-19 which is the name given to the coronavirus that is causing us all so much angst (or worse). Here is a short list of what the current edition of the Guidebook covers:

Association Liability
Social Distancing and the Open Meeting Act
Dealing with Sick Residents or Guests
Delinquent Assessments and the Impact on Association Finances
Employees and the Coronavirus
What Boards of Directors Need to Deal with Now

Follow this link to download your copy of SwedelsonGottlieb’s COVID-19 Community Association Guidebook. SwedelsonGottlieb is committed to updating the Guidebook as we learn new information or have to deal with new issues.

And if your board has COVID-19 questions, contact us at or 800-372-2207

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