While it is difficult to predict 2021 with 100% accuracy (hello…2020 COVID-19 pandemic!), here are our law firm’s 10 predictions for HOA and condo boards/managers in 2021. 

    1. Continued Use of Virtual Meetings:  Boards will continue to conduct virtual board/annual meetings until there is widespread vaccination available (and maybe even beyond!).  I encourage boards and managers to check out our Cheat Sheet on virtual meetings to learn how to have a successful virtual meeting.  Cheat Sheet on Tips for Conducting Virtual Board Meetings in COVID-19 Pandemic
    2. COVID-19 Residents:  Unfortunately, COVID-19 will continue to spread in Arizona HOA and condo communities until there is widespread vaccination available.  The Arizona Department of Health Services data dashboard regarding COVID-19 is tracking increases in the number of COVID-19 positive cases. When an association has verified that a resident tested positive for COVID-19, your association should notify all residents of this news.  Associations should continue to give reminders about being safe pursuant to CDC recommendations.  And, associations should have a plan for sanitization for your common areas pursuant to CDC recommendations.   Cheat Sheet on Associations and COVID-19: A Plan for Reopening of HOA and Condo Common Areas
    3. Boards Will Need Resources:  Boards will still need to “scramble” to respond to Arizona and national directives re: COVID-19.   Mulcahy Law Firm, P.C.’s Facebook page and our website are great resources to check frequently to make sure that your association is in compliance with these directives.
    4. Signs and Flags: Displaying political signs and flags will continue to be “hot topics” in associations:   Be sure to check out these resources to find out more information on Arizona law regarding these topics:  Cheat Sheet on The Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Community Association Law /Blog: Quick 4-1-1 on Political Signs /Blog: Political Signage/Activities
    5. Difficult residents/owners will continue to be “difficult” in 2021:  Many owners/residents are home during the pandemic due to distance learning and virtual jobs.  When owners/residents are stuck at home for a long period of time, we’ve noticed that there is more fighting and more complaining.  Here’s a link to our law firm’s cheat sheet on Dealing with Difficult People to assist your Association as you navigate 2021.  Cheat Sheet on Dealing With Difficult People & Harassment
    6. Rentals: Pre-pandemic, short term rentals and rentals in general were the hottest topic in our HOA/condo industry and this will continue to be on the “hot” burner in 2021.  Review our Cheat Sheet entitled, Amending Association Documents & Implementing Rental Restrictions, for more on this topic.
    7. Good Time to Amend Docs:  Many associations will use the pandemic downtime to amend their outdated CC&Rs, Bylaws and Rules.   For a foolproof strategy on how to successfully amend your association’s documents, click on our cheat sheet entitled, Amending Association Documents & Implementing Rental Restrictions.
    8. Prop 207 – Use of Recreational Marijuana within Associations will be an Issue:  During the 2020 General Election, Arizona voters approved Proposition 207.  Proposition 207 legalizes and governs the adult use, regulation and taxation of recreational marijuana.  County, City and/or Town ordinances may enact further restrictions/regulations on recreational marijuana. The primary concern for HOA and condo boards is whether it will result in increased recreational marijuana use on the common areas and/or individual lot/units (specifically within condominiums with shared walls, ventilation, etc.), and, if so, how community associations may regulate/govern such use.  For a deep dive on this topic, please read our recent blog article Legalized Marijuana & Community Associations.
    9. New Legislation:  In 2020, no new HOA/condo bills were passed into law due to the short legislative session due to COVID-19.  Because of that, we expect 2021 to be a big legislative year for HOAs and condos.  Each week while the legislature is in session, our firm will post an update and summary on the current status of all HOA/condo bills: 2021 Summary of Pending Arizona Legislation Regarding Community Associations. To obtain a copy of this update/summary throughout this legislative session, please visit our website under the Cheat Sheet Tab (type “2021 Summary” in the  Search Our Publications area for the most recent update).
    10. Communication is Key:  Associations that communicate the best will have the fewest problems in 2021.  Board members and managers need to communicate with their owners as often as possible.  Cheat Sheet on: Secrets of Successful Associations.

What will 2021 look like for HOA and Condo Boards?