L&J Morning Break:
Our expert attorneys give you the top tips for entering, enforcing and exiting vendor contracts.
• Get What You Pay For – Pay when they have finished!
• Indemnification and Insurance – Protection for when things go wrong.
• Time to go separate ways? – Make sure there is a clear exit path.
Key Terms and Provisions for Vendor Contracts:
Scope of Work – One of the main areas that often ends up in the center of a contract dispute is the scope of work or services covered under the contract. When it comes to defining the scope of work in a contract, less is definitely not more. It is vital to detail the exact expectations of the parties with respect to the work or the services to be provided. Avoid language that is vague or allows room for interpretation. The scope of work should be fully identified to specify expectations as to the level of service, quality of materials and quality of work. Specifications often can be obtained from product manufacturers, and, in some instances, hiring a professional to develop the scope of work is invaluable.
Payment and Payment Terms – Pay attention to payment terms. Look for hidden or additional fees. Many contracts will include provisions addressing additional fees for items that may be expected as part of the scope of work, but not
included in initial pricing.
When possible, the contract should state the total price for all the labor, materials and services expected under the agreement. When fixed pricing is not possible, try to negotiate for and specify price caps and requirements of written approval before vendors incur these unknown expenses.
If the contract calls for scheduled payments, then, other than reasonable down payments for project start-up costs, the remainder of the work performed under the contract should always be ahead of the payments. This will give the association leverage over the vendor to ensure quality and completion of the work. If a down payment is required in order to acquire materials, the contract should list, where possible, the materials that will be acquired with the down payment.
Term and Termination – When it comes to service contracts, such as pool vendors, landscape companies or cable providers, the term and termination provision can be the most important provision of the contract. In most cases, the term and termination provision is not favorable to the customer and makes it very difficult for the customer to terminate the contract and end the relationship. Contracts for the provisions of services should always be subject to termination without cause with a short notice period, such as 30 or 60 days. This allows an association to get out of a
contract for any reason, and will allow for better ease in terminating a bad relationship. Project contracts should have a detailed procedure affording a fair right to terminate if a vendor is not performing.
Insurance – Require the vendor to carry liability insurance to cover any claims against personal injury and property damage from the work or services being performed. Obtain a certificate of insurance directly from the vendor’s insurance agent showing the proper insurance coverage prior to the commencement of the work. Specify that the vendor must maintain the insurance for the term of the contract. If the vendor is not properly insured or not insured at all, the association could be held responsible for any claims of damages or injuries caused by the vendor.
Indemnification – The indemnification provisions go hand-in-hand with insurance provisions. Require the vendor to indemnify and hold harmless the association and all related parties from damages and claims that are caused by the vendor or the vendor’s employees or agents. An indemnification provision basically requires the vendor to cover the association if the association is sued because of the actions of the vendor. Often, the indemnification is covered by the vendor’s insurance carrier, so it is important to ensure that there is insurance to cover the indemnification obligation. Otherwise, the indemnification obligation is only as good as the worth or assets of the vendor.
Our experienced attorneys talk about the lessons to take away from the Surfside tragedy. They share hands-on, practical solutions to use when managers are faced with a community association disaster. Jamie, Jay and Rob address general maintenance obligations, paying for repairs and maintenance in the building, disaster planning and practice, adequate property insurance coverage, directors and officers liability insurance, general liability insurance and how to handle an insurance claim after it’s submitted to the insurance carrier.
We answer your questions about COVID-19 and amenity openings. Our expert attorneys address how to safely open and operate community amenities under current COVID-19 guidelines.
• Georgia Governor Kemp’s Empowering a Healthy Georgia Executive Order
• Updates to CDC COVID-19 Guidelines
• Local & Private Mask Requirements
• Vaccination Requirements
What to do when an owner reports that their condo unit is wet or they tell you their dog is not just a pet? In this L&J Morning Break, we share the latest info on a new water insurance law and how to respond to service and emotional support animal requests.
L&J attorneys answer the your questions about regulating political signs in community associations.
• Can Community Associations Ban or Restrict Political Signs?
• Should Associations Allow Political Signs?
• How Can Associations Fairly Allow Political Signs Without Losing Control?
How can you conduct effective virtual board and membership meetings as a community association? L&J instructors discuss strategies and procedures for conducting director elections outside of annual meetings, holding virtual informational annual meetings, and conducting virtual Board meetings. The session covers notice, quorum and voting requirements for various meeting types and platforms or methods to conduct voting.
New community association laws are going into effect. L&J attorneys offer guidance on how community associations will be impacted by new laws adopted by the Georgia legislature in 2020, including the COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act and a new law for water damage insurance claims in condos.
How has COVID-19 impacted the Georgia court system? Our expert attorneys address the issue in the latest L&J Morning Break. Topics include:
• Georgia courts are reopening. How to move forward with covenant enforcement and collections
• Defending homeowner claims for assessment reductions or reimbursements due to amenity closings
How do you safely operate community associations during COVID-19? We share guidance on the topic including: Georgia’s new COVID-19 liability protection law and can we require masks in common areas?
We review the impact of Governor Kemp’s June 11, 2020 executive order on amenity openings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other topics include:
• Another Executive Order from Governor Kemp
• What Exactly are Gatherings, and Do We Still have to Socially Distance?
• Amenity Guest Policies & Age Regulations
Our attorneys break down association operation strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Pools/Amenities: Explaining Governor Kemp’s Latest Executive Order
• Actions to Take NOW to be Prepared for the End of the Statewide Judicial Emergency
• More on Responding to Owner Assessment Refund & Reduction Requests
Join our expert attorneys as they explain Governor Kemp’s executive order, present board amenity opening plans and decisions to owners, and explain how to respond to owner assessment refund and reduction requests.
We continue our discussion about the COVID-19 pandemic and how it impacts collections.
Topics for this webinar include:
• Update on Judicial Emergency Order
• What Does the Update Mean for Collections?
• What is Happening with the Courts Today?
• Can we Get Garnishments and Foreclosures Going Again?
Join us as we discuss navigating community association business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
• How Long Must We Social Distance
• Covid-19 Insurance Issues
• Electronic Elections
• Fining Resolutions
• New Emotional Support Animal Regulations
Community Association Litigation During COVID-19: Covenants, Claims, Courts, Contracts and Community
Our experienced L&J attorneys discuss litigation during the coronavirus pandemic.
• Enforcing the Covenants During The Pandemic – Does Stay At Home Mean Anything Goes?
• Liabilities and Claims Against Associations
• The Courts: Closed But Not Shutdown
• Vendor Contracts: Delay, Breach, and Defenses
• Testing Positive: Should the Association notify the community if an individual has
tested positive for COVID-19?
Our expert attorneys offer guidance on managing association amenities during the coronavirus pandemic. We address the following topics:
• Community Pressure: Should/Must You Re-Open Now – Consider a Ramp-Up
• Gyms, Tennis Courts, Pools and Community Rooms: Sanitizing, Social Distancing and Reservations
• Waivers, Disclaimers and Signage – Words Matter
• Specific Guidance for Senior Communities
We discuss business continuity strategies during the coronavirus pandemic.
• Affect of COVID-19 on association meetings
• Board meetings via video conference
• Enforcement and Board hearings
• Modifying budgets
• Borrowing money
Join L&J as our attorneys offer advice on assessment collection strategies during the coronavirus pandemic. The discussion includes:
• Managing collections in a time of crisis
• Strategic collection policies
• Responding to increased bankruptcy filings
• Remote notarization and witnessing of court documents