In early December 2020, our law firm sent out a survey to assess the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on condominium, homeowner (HOA), and townhome community associations.


Over four hundred respondents shared the challenges they face as board members, community leaders, property managers, and owners.


Part 1 – Community Concerns


Respondents were asked to choose the main concerns for their community associations from the following list:


  • Communal area management/regulation/reopening logistics
  • Residents with unpaid assessments
  • Balancing caution with enforcement of standard association rules
  • Changes to statewide Shelter-In-Place Restrictions
  • Pending construction projects
  • Real Estate sales
  • Essential services and repairs
  • Virtual board meetings


The top three concerns were:


  1. Balancing caution with enforcement of standard association rules
  2. Virtual board meetings
  3. Residents with unpaid assessments


Part 2 – Comments


We’ve highlighted some of the survey comments below, separated into the top four areas.


Association operations

  • “Finding quality and reliable service people is becoming more difficult and especially so during the pandemic.”
  • “Residents are very concerned about cleanliness and safety levels in common areas.”
  • “Our board has not been able to get vendors to give bids on several maintenance projects.”



  • “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve noticed more owners becoming delinquent.”
  • “We are a small association and unpaid assessments put a burden on the community.”
  • “Very likely we will need to do a special assessment.”
  • “We have 50 year old buildings in need of new roofs and a limited budget to get the job done.”
  • “We are a small association and have not had issues with collecting assessments until this year. We don’t have the expertise for a path forward.”
  • “With more people at home, regular repairs and maintenance costs for common areas are going up.”
  • “Our association expenses keep going up and we’re forced to increase assessments.”


Legal issues

  • “Concern, empathy and understanding for economic and distancing issues of the owners but still needing to maintain the rules.”
  • “The board is put in negative situations while trying to enforce rules.”
  • “Board members and homeowners are divided about what is considered a safety precaution and what is a violation of their rights.”
  • “It can be awkward when it is your neighbor against whom you must enforce a rule.”
  • “We need assistance in updating the associations by laws to make sure we are up-to-date and not doing anything wrong.”
  • “To avoid costly lawsuits.”


Virtual meetings and elections

  • “We typically have no owners join the meetings other than the board. We would like better participation.”
  • “Annual virtual meetings are very difficult.”
  • “We only use the phone-in option for board meetings. But it has led to decreased participation and engagement.”
  • “We’d like to use video in our meetings. However, most of our residents are not familiar with video options like Zoom.”
  • “Our board would like to see more owner attendance. But we see too many technical issues on our calls.”
  • “Virtual elections will be difficult to complete.”
  • “We can’t be IT support for every resident who has a problem connecting.”




Our law firm has received an unprecedented number of questions regarding rules enforcement, assessment collection, and liability concerns during the current COVID-19 crisis. We certainly understand and empathize with boards, property managers, and owners alike.


While every community is unique, the survey results demonstrate that associations are being confronted by very similar concerns including finances, meetings, elections, and fiduciary duties. KSN is very aware of the board’s delicate balance between fulfilling the legal obligations to their association while assisting their fellow owners.


If KSN can answer any legal questions for or assist your Board, do not hesitate to contact our law firm. Please call 855-537-0500 or visit

Since 1983, KSN has been a legal resource for condominium, homeowner, and townhome associations. We have four office locations, serving hundreds of clients and thousands of communities throughout Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Our attorneys are also licensed in Arizona, Florida, and Missouri.


This article is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By reading this article you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the article author. This article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. © 2021 Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit, A Professional Corporation.