Be Careful Not To Overstep When Trying To Keep COVID Out

A Los Angeles condo association received bad news when it recently landed in court after prohibiting a disabled octogenarian owner and her two caregivers who had tested positive for COVID-19 from its high-rise building.

Not only did the trial judge grant the owner a preliminary injunction preventing the association from blocking entry, he also found that the owner was likely to succeed on her claim that the association — and its president — violated the state’s fair housing law by refusing to provide her the reasonable accommodation of allowing her caregivers to live in her unit.

The case reflects the tough position many boards find themselves in as a result of the pandemic. “It’s a perfect example of the balancing act for boards,” says Kelly Richardson, a partner in the law firm Richardson Ober De Nichilo in Pasadena, Calif.

“How do you reconcile in the same community the people who are fearful for their lives with others whose health may be hampered by not having activity? You have these volunteers trying to make decisions and trying to figure out if they’re going to be criticized or sued no matter what they do.”

Get the facts of the case and some suggestions for handling a similarly tricky situation at your association:

Tread Carefully When Barring COVID-Positive Owners or Their Caregivers

Best regards,
Matt Humphrey

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