The Role of Management Companies During Michigan’s COVID-19 Shutdown

Written by Stacia A. Miller, Esq.

As everyone is likely aware, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed EO2020-21. EO2020-21 which prohibits in person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life or conduct minimum basic operations of your business. The violation of this Order constitutes a misdemeanor. That’s great, but what does that actually mean?

In the property management industry those minimum operations could include things like the processing of accounts payable and receivable, responding to incoming telephone calls (especially maintenance calls) and other functions deemed necessary to assist individual managers working from home. The key to minimum operations according to EO2020-21 is “minimum”. The fewest number of people required to maintain the necessary tasks and those people observing the tenets of social distancing.

Property Managers should be working from home. No site visits, no in-person Board meetings, and no annual meetings should be taking place. No projects (i.e. roads, roofs, etc.) should be underway, nor should any contractors be visiting sites to produce bids (if they are, Property Managers should not be supervising or accompanying the contractors and/or workers).

With that said, for every rule there are exceptions. The Governor has deemed certain service providers, such as plumbers, and, of course, emergency personnel, exempt from the “shutdown” aspect of this Order. In other words, if you encounter an emergent situation such as a flood or fire, you should be taking normal measures to handle the emergency and mitigate possible damages.

If you have urgent matters requiring discussion with your Boards, consider using conference call or virtual meeting technology. If there are exigent circumstances leading you to not want to delay a co-owner vote, consider electronic voting measures (as long as they are permitted within the documents). If you need help interpreting the EO2020-21 relating to your concerns or needs, contact us. We will be happy to provide additional guidance.

This is unchartered territory for all of us but we will get through it together. Please stay safe and know that all of us at Zelmanski, Danner and Fioritto, PLLC are here to help you in any way we can.

 

Stacia A. Miller is an associate attorney and joined the Firm in 2017. Prior to her legal career, Ms. Miller served in the United States Navy on active duty from 1994 to 1997 and achieved the rank of Petty Officer Third Class.  From 1997 to 1999, she served in the Naval Reserve as an Aviation Warfare specialized Yeoman.  During her active duty service, Ms. Miller earned a Bachelor Degree from Troy State University in Criminology.  After leaving the Navy, she earned a Master’s Degree in Paralegal Studies/Business Law from Kaplan University (Purdue), followed by a Juris Doctorate degree from Wayne State University in 2015.

Ms. Miller brings a unique perspective to her role as a community association attorney, having previously worked in the field of property management for associations.  She worked in on-site property management for a small company, as well as in an accounting and customer service capacity for one of the largest management companies in Michigan. In her later experience working as a paralegal/law

clerk, Ms. Miller gained significant experience with collections matters, bylaws enforcement, FHA and VA certification, and document amendments.

Ms. Miller is also the director of a veteran-centric non-profit organization, and a published author.  She spends her free time on Lake St. Clair with her husband, five children (including two adoptees), three step-children, and their many friends.  She is an avid Cowboys fan, originally hailing from Dallas, but has joyfully adopted the Lions and Red Wings as her home teams.

Please visit www.zdfattorneys.com for additional information about all of our Firm’s attorneys.

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