With all the changes and confusion caused by COVID-19, construction projects can often fall under the radar. But If you are in great need of a fix—be it plumbing, roof, mold issues, you name it—you know that your needs are far from a low priority. So what will happen with current projects? Can the contractor or association delay the project? And are there legal ramifications?
All of these questions and more will be addressed. But the first thing to note is that in most contracts there is an “Acts of God” clause. These clauses are in place for situations such as this where causes beyond the control of either party have affected the terms of the contract. The first thing you can do is examine your contract or have an attorney look it over to determine your best course of action. The contract will also determine if there are any legal ramifications to delaying or canceling construction or other contractually bound projects. For the most part, everyone should be on the same page here. No one wants to contract the virus and so all parties should play it safe. In the end, however, the government and the CDC are the final word on current guidelines, so monitor these closely.
What to do with current or pending construction
Where it is possible, non-essential contracts should be deferred. If it is an essential project, you must speak with the vendor about complying with current CDC guidelines. Make sure that any kind of contract modification is in writing and approved by the board. And where health and safety is a concern, a protocol needs to be established for what to do in these scenarios.
Again, monitor your local regulations and CDC guidelines closely during this time. For the most part, all non-essential projects have been cancelled and where the work is emergency or essential, both parties must comply with current pandemic guidelines.
Another question can arise in dealing with tenants or homeowners who are undertaking renovation projects. If the project is non-essential, that is it does not have an immediate health and safety concern or it’s not an emergency project, this project must be delayed. Contractors can be prohibited from entering undercurrent CDC guidelines unless it is an emergency repair. Only those with the legal right to enter the premises may be in your community.
We hope that this has answered your questions regarding construction during COVID-19. We know that these are difficult times for community associations but we are here for you in this time of need. Contact us if you have any questions regarding construction or anything else about the pandemic and how it affects your community.
Stay safe and healthy!
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