Client Alert: Leniency for RVs in Community Associations During COVID-19?

Date: May 22, 2020
Many homeowners associations have governing documents that prohibit members from parking RVs in the community.  One of the questions that many of our communities have been receiving is whether the association will allow an RV to be parked on the property so that at risk or infected residents can reside therein to avoid exposing their families and roommates.  So what should a Board of Directors do when enforcing its governing documents requires it to demand that an essential worker and members of its association remove an RV from the community?

Ultimately, this is a decision for the Board of Directors to make.  However, the Community Associations Institute’s (CAI) Board of Trustees recently adopted a Statement of Lenience for RVs in community associations.  As a firm, we recommend community associations review and adopt the principles set forth in CAI’s statement of leniency, which are listed below:
  1. Community association residents seeking temporary exceptions from otherwise applicable covenants, conditions, and restrictions limiting their ability to park an RV/trailer on their property must get board approval.  Homeowners shall comply with reasonable parameters, including quiet hours.
  2. Community associations should be open to granting exceptions to restrictive covenants limiting the right of an owner who has a compelling pandemic-related circumstance to park an RV/trailer on their property during their respective state’s emergency declaration, and any additional period that is reasonable under the circumstances.
  3. Community association boards would be well-advised to issue a letter to the owner and distribute a community-wide policy stating that the board is making limited temporary exceptions of certain covenants due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  4. Community associations are encouraged to grant covenant exceptions for the health and safety of the community, particularly those residents who are essential workers.
Should you have any questions regarding specific requests for leniency, we recommend that associations contact any of our community association attorneys.
The information contained here is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion and should not be acted upon without consulting an attorney. Counsel should not be selected based on advertising materials, and we recommend that you conduct further investigation when seeking legal representation.