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Can owners be prevented from undergoing renovation projects to prevent contractors from entering the property?
o If a project had been properly permitted and started and the board required the work to be suspended, does the Association have any liability or protection from the owner or Contractor?
o Would withholding permission for a new renovation be unreasonable?
A board may have the right to stop renovations during this time, but doing so is not without risk. While a board could waive any monies to which it is entitled in its alteration agreement with the owner due to a delay in a project, the owner may have contracts with their contractor, be dependent on finishing a project so they can reside in the apartment, etc. Boards could be subject to damages for stopping projects and disrupting the lives of owners, especially if the board allowed other guests in the building or did not stop building-wide projects. As to building projects for which contracts have already been signed, we encourage you to review your contract to determine if there is “force majeure” language in the agreement that would authorize the stoppage of a project due to the spread of the coronavirus. We do suggest that any board consult their Association attorney before making a decision to suspend or postpone a project with a contractor.