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COVID-19 and HOAs: Financial Questions with Phaedra Howard

Hellmuth & Johnson partner, Phaedra Howard, discusses financial questions regarding COVID-19 and HOAs with

“Before the Minnesota stay-at-home order took place, courts suspended all evictions except those for criminal activity or health and safety issues, such as a tenant who’s a danger to the community,” explains Phaedra J. Howard, a partner specializing in community association law at Hellmuth & Johnson PLLC in Edina, Minn. “So even for regular nonpayment of rent or a breach of a lease, there can be no evictions now.

“I recently talked to a co-op board that was getting ready to start a collection action on owners already not paying,” she adds. “The regular procedure is to provide notice of a delinquency and follow other steps, then ultimately to evict. Now we can’t evict.

“And as soon as owners started hearing there could be no evictions, they started saying: ‘We don’t have pay dues, right?’” notes Howard. “We’re telling them they still have to pay. There are people who can pay and should. Not everybody’s been impacted financially by COVID-19, and those who haven’t shouldn’t get a break.

“I’m advising my clients to deal with collections on a case by case,” she says. “If someone is legitimately past due because of this COVID-19 situation, work with them to get them on a reasonable payment plan. And what’s reasonable today is different from what was reasonable three months ago.”

Read the full “COVID-19: How Condos/HOAs are Handling Dues and Collections” article here.

Read the full “COVID-19: Advice on the Challenging Financial Questions Condo/HOA Boards are Facing” article here.

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