Caution in the Face of Coronavirus: Running an Oregon HOA Without Gatherings

March 13, 2020 | By: Oregon VF Law

Whether you’re urging people to just start washing their hands or your closet is filled with toilet paper, one thing is certain: coronavirus continues to spread.  According to health professionals, one thing we can do to slow the spread is avoid group gatherings. Unfortunately, that’s not always easy to do when you are trying to maintain a functioning community association.  Regular gatherings are the norm for community associations. In some cases, such as annual meetings, gatherings are even mandated by the governing documents. So, under Oregon law, can you keep your association running, meet fiduciary duties, and comply with your governing documents without congregating?  Probably. Here is a potential suggestion depending on your documents, but as always and consult with your lawyer on your specific questions: 

Permit attendance of board meetings by telephonic or virtual means.  Oregon law allows boards to hold emergency board meetings telephonically or virtually with sound.  While an emergency is not defined in the law, there is an argument that Oregon’s Declaration of a State of Emergency and a declared Pandemic qualify as an emergency.  We still recommend giving notice of the meeting to owners of the meeting and instructions on how they can listen to the meeting as it occurs. However, if the board is taking controversial action that arguably would benefit from input by other members in the community, please consult with legal counsel.

VF lawyers are ready to help associations and other clients navigate the implications of coronavirus. Our lawyers understand electronic communications, virtual meetings and voting, and are ready to answer your specific questions.  Please contact us at (503) 684-4111 or [email protected].