Ask the average community association resident whether or not the association board has a duty to protect him or her from foreseeable risk inside the community and the answer is likely to be a resounding "OF COURSE".
Whether or not that duty is spelled out in the governing documents there is the expectation that the association will ensure that residents do not get sucked into a non-compliant pool drain and drowned, trapped inside an unsafe elevator or mugged in the parking lot.
With the growing threat of Zika virus in the U.S. and particularly in South Florida what, if anything, should your community be doing to lessen this threat to your residents?
A physical inspection of your community is warranted. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued important recommendations on how to address any property conditions which might be attracting mosquitoes and providing convenient breeding grounds for them. Standing water in your community should be drained if possible or treated with insecticides. Non-functioning fountains should be drained and turned off and birdbaths drained.
The CDC is also recommending that air conditioning be used to combat mosquito breeding grounds so if you have vacant units or you keep the air off in your clubhouse or other indoor common areas to save money now is the time to address those situations.
Aerial spraying in your community may be useful in combating mosquitoes but may also draw the ire of your chemically sensitive residents. Speak to your city or county officials to see what if anything is being done to address a potential Zika problem in your geographic area.
Lastly, if you host outdoors community events in the summer for your residents you might want to consider hosting those events inside this year rather than outdoors. You might also wish to adjust the hours your pool and other common areas are open at night.
There is no reason for your community to panic nor is there a reason for your Board to undertake responsibilities that are not yours to bear. However, taking reasonable steps to prevent a potentially devastating problem for some of your residents should be explored.
For more information about how to combat the Zika virus in your community please click here: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/prevent-mosquito-bites.html
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