Associations and Our Pools – What should we do?
In this unusual and unprecedented time, many Associations are wondering how this pandemic will affect their existing contracts, such as pool contracts. Many are contemplating whether they should even open their pools at all this season. These are all great questions and because some contracts are already executed and in place, it is important to thoroughly review your contract to see what the fine print says. Most contracts will not include spot-on provisions that apply to our current unusual situation. However, a lot of contractors may have policies set into place about how they will operate for the upcoming season.
It is important for you to reach out to your contractor as soon as possible to determine how they will be treating their existing contracts. Some important things to think about and discuss with your Boards include what the termination provision in your contract says, if the termination provision requires notice, and if so, how many days, and if the contract requires compliance with federal, state, and municipal laws and regulations.
While we do all hope this situation diffuses and improves sooner rather than later, in which case termination of contracts might not be necessary, there is no guarantee that things will improve prior to the beginning of the pool season, which is Memorial Day Weekend for most community associations. It is important to ensure the Association will be protected during this fluid situation, and preventative measures could include having an addendum drafted to your existing contract to account for the evolving changes.
It is also important to keep the Unit Owners informed as to how the Association is dealing with these matters.
If you do not currently have a pool contract in place, we advise Boards to hold off on signing any new contracts, until they are reviewed by your community association attorney. There should be discussion about a credit for periods during which the pool is closed based on the pandemic.
For communities with existing contracts, we recommend contacting the pool company and asking for an addendum stating that the pool contract shall not commence until notice from proper authorities is received. This addendum should have a provision which states the Association is to receive a credit against the existing price structure, which will be issued accordingly, for any weeks during which the pool remains closed based on the pandemic. If the contract contains an ability to cancel the contract without cause on, for example, thirty-days’ notice, you have some bargaining power, but you have to have to act quickly and you are playing a game of “chicken” in that you may not be able to get another pool company if you terminate the one you have.
The information in this Client Alert is provided solely for information purposes. It should not be construed as legal advice on any specific matter and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based upon particular circumstances. Each legal matter is unique, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
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For any questions about this blog, or to schedule a consultation with an attorney, contact Griffin Alexander, P.C. at 973-366-1188 or through our website here!