Blog / HOA And Deliveries In The Covid-19 Pandemic

HOA And Deliveries In The Covid-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 outbreak changed the way people around the world live their lives. Homeowners associations are no exception, with the pandemic influencing the way meetings and operations go. But, how has the pandemic affected HOA and deliveries?

 

HOA and Deliveries: A Rise in Online Shopping

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was normal for people to order things online and have them delivered to their homes or offices. After all, deliveries were very convenient. But, for many people, it was still typical to do their shopping in person, particularly when it came to items such as groceries and furniture. Picking out produce and getting the feel of a chair is much easier to do when you have that item in front of you.

But, when the pandemic hit, it soon became clear that in-store shopping was no longer going to be possible. Due to the risk of spreading the virus, many non-essential stores had to temporarily or permanently close down. This spurred the public to turn to other means of sourcing the items they needed or wanted.

It is no secret that the COVID-19 outbreak affected the lives of billions of people. Many lost their jobs or had to cut back on work hours, while others had to adjust to isolation. Going out to eat or shopping for clothes was not an option anymore. One of the few industries that the pandemic had a positive effect on, though, was e-commerce. In fact, at the height of the pandemic in 2020, e-commerce spending around the world rose to a whopping $26.7 trillion.

Community associations undoubtedly noticed an increase in deliveries, too. Residents of HOAs and condo associations are not immune to the charm of online shopping. It is a fast, easy, and hassle-free way of meeting their needs — all at an affordable shipping rate.

 

Dealing With Package Theft in HOA Communities

Package thieves, also known as porch pirates, are nothing new in the United States. In 2019, 36% of Americans have reported having their deliveries stolen at least once. With the rise of online shopping, though, it is not too farfetched to surmise that package theft potentially increased during the pandemic as well.

While some homeowners associations are gated, many others are not. Gated communities have the luxury of private roads and screening those who enter and exit the neighborhood. In those cases, the package thieves could be outsiders or they could very well be your neighbors. Non-gated communities, on the other hand, don’t have that same luxury. Thus, it is more difficult to crack down on package theft.

 

Installing Security Cameras Outside Homes in HOAs

It is normal for homeowners to install security cameras on their private property. In an HOA-run community, though, it may not always be possible.

hoa home deliveriesIn general, homeowners do have the right to install security cameras in their homes or condos. But, there is something called a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Homeowners expect a certain degree of privacy when they are inside their homes, and neighbors expect this, too. As such, security cameras must not point at any area where neighbors expect reasonable privacy. This includes windows and backyards.

And then there are HOA rules. In HOA communities, there are rules and regulations that residents must follow. This includes rules on architectural or exterior changes to a home, such as paint color, holiday decorations, and even security cameras.

In some associations, residents are not given the ability to install security cameras outside of their homes. Typically, this is due to the HOA’s efforts to maintain the community’s aesthetics.

While security cameras can help discourage porch pirates and even catch them in the act, not all homeowners have that option. Thus, owners should first check their respective association’s rules.

 

HOA and Deliveries: Other Helpful Tips to Avoid Package Theft

If security cameras aren’t an option, homeowners associations should help residents avoid package theft by offering the following tips.

 

1. Scheduled Deliveries

The problem with deliveries is that you don’t always know when exactly they will arrive at your doorstep. But, many services allow you to schedule your deliveries or even avoid delivering packages during working hours.

As a way to combat porch pirates, advise residents to schedule their deliveries ahead of time. This especially applies to more expensive or larger items that tend to draw more attention. By scheduling their deliveries, residents can make sure they are at home to receive their package.

 

2. Ask a Neighbor for Help

If residents can’t schedule their deliveries, another option is to ask neighbors to help out. Homeowners can request their neighbors to keep an eye out for their packages or even receive them on their behalf. Their neighbor can then hold onto the package for safekeeping while they are out of the house.

 

3. Opt for Pick-ups

If the first two options don’t pan out, homeowners should consider picking up packages themselves. Many delivery companies have pick-up locations that operate past the usual operating hours. This works great if owners are too busy during the day.

 

Minimizing the Risk of Contagion

Considering how contagious COVID-19 is, it is imperative to mitigate the risk of infection that comes with deliveries. Homeowners associations should encourage contactless deliveries with limited or no face-to-face interactions.

Some communities have also discouraged or outright prohibited the delivery of larger items such as furniture and appliances. This helps reduce the need for third-party assistance.

covid-19 hoa deliveriesMany associations have also asked residents to disinfect their packages to ensure safety.

In condo communities, deliveries can be left at the front desk or lobby where a designated person can spray packages with disinfectant. Leaving deliveries at the front desk also helps minimize package theft.

Of course, with restrictions relaxing in many places and vaccinations continuing to roll out, the future looks bright for HOA and deliveries. These tips, though, still apply even after the pandemic, as package theft has been a problem for quite some time.

 

HOA and Deliveries in These Uncertain Times

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, homeowners associations had no reason to intervene with resident deliveries. But, with the growth of online shopping as a result of stay-at-home guidelines, more and more communities are likely having trouble with package theft. While there is nothing HOAs can directly do to stop this phenomenon, you can always offer some advice to help homeowners avoid it.

Is your community having trouble with communication, violations, and other aspects of HOA management? What you need is an association management company. Start looking for the best one in your area using our comprehensive online directory!

 

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