The aggressive nature of COVID-19 required extraordinary measures by governing bodies – both at the national level and in every community across America – to slow and/or stop its spread. One of the more controversial actions was dictating the close of community amenities, e.g. the pool, gym, clubhouse, etc., despite the resistance of residents. Many felt that this was an overreach and, in some cases, threatened legal action against the community association responsible for enforcing the mandate. Community association leadership argued that they could also be held liable if residents or guests contracted the virus from communal areas if the mandate was not enforced. Rock, meet hard place.
New Jersey Assemblymen Mazzeo and Armato and Senator Greenstein moved to resolve the issue with legislation that would, essentially, offer community associations immunity from legal action regarding any illness, injury or death from or related to exposure to or transmission of COVID-19 on the premises of a planned real estate development. The Assemblymen introduced A4979; the Senator offered S3584, modeled after language recommended by the CAI Legislative Action Committee (LAC-NJ).
Becker’s Community Association Team is monitoring the progress of these bills and will update you as soon as information becomes available.