Cause & Effect: How New Georgia HOA Laws Impact the Holidays

As we look optimistically towards 2021, we remain in awe of the volunteers and professionals who kept community associations functioning through unprecedented times.  

Community associations and the professionals that they partner with faced more than 16 Executive Orders impacting HOA and condominium association operations and three new Georgia laws passed by the Georgia Legislature during the pandemic. Now more than ever, it’s paramount to understand how the latest Georgia HOA laws might impact your holiday plans.  

Many Georgia HOAs and condominium associations have been faced with requests for use of amenities for holiday parties and gatherings. Georgia remains under a Public Health State of Emergency, as Governor Kemp continues to proceed with caution.

Most recently, on December 8, 2020, Governor Kemp renewed his ongoing mandates for association operations requiring enhanced sanitation, regular disinfection, prohibition of gatherings of more than 50 people, among a number of other requirements.  

These new Georgia restrictions could alter your holiday plans. Here is a brief synopsis of Governor Kemp’s most recent Executive Orders and state guidelines that impact HOA operations:  

Recent Timeline of Governor Kemp’s Executive Orders  

On November 30, 2020, Governor Kemp entered another Executive Order entitled “Renewal of Public Health State of Emergency,” again extending through January 8, 2021 the Public Health State of Emergency initially declared on March 14, 2020.  

On December 8, 2020, Governor Kemp also entered another Executive Order entitled “Empowering a Healthy Georgia”. The December 8th version of this Executive Order extends the mandates effective as of July 15, 2020 for in-person operations of condominiums, HOAs and other organizations that are not Critical Infrastructure. The December 8, 2020 mandates applicable to condominiums and HOAs extend until 11:59 pm on December 31, 2020. For a more in-depth analysis of the July 15 Order, be sure to visit our blog section, which is filled with extensive resources on Georgia HOA laws and guidelines.

The Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act, became effective August 7, 2020. This Act affords immunity from liability for damages in a lawsuit involving exposure to, transmission of, and infection with COVID-19 to community associations and other entities, individuals, and healthcare facilities and providers.  See how the Pandemic Business Safety Act benefits community associations.

We recommend, among other actions, that each association place a sign meeting the Act’s criteria at each point of entry to each pool, tennis court and all other community association amenities open for use.       

Other New Laws Also Impacting Georgia Community Associations Effective January 1, 2021

Change to Condominium Act:  Governor Kemp signed House Bill 1070 on July 29, 2020.  This bill will become effective January 1, 2021 and provide new insurance policy disclosure requirements for condominium associations and unit owners in the event of potential or actual claims for water damage or water peril and clarifies that condominium associations are not obligated to obtain insurance for water damage or water perils in condominiums.  

Change to Property Owners’ Association Act:  Senate Bill 442 will also become effective January 1, 2021.  This new law prohibits any amendment to recorded governing documents that prohibit or restrict a nonowner occupied lot from continuing to be leased or rented for an initial term of six months or longer until conveyance of the lot for value.  

Stay Informed on the Latest Georgia HOA Laws with NowackHoward

For more information surrounding the latest Georgia HOA laws or condominium laws, please consult with one of our professional HOA lawyers. Our HOA lawyers can offer guidance to help your association’s Board of Directors remain compliant with changing laws and mandates. You can reach us at  (770) 863-8900 or email info@nowackhoward.com to learn more about how our  HOA lawyers can help your community.

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