Good afternoon residents,
Here are the frequently asked questions about the waiver and processing of the waiver. There has been some confusion from residents regarding the Clubs and Groups distributing waivers. We want to clarify the distribution of the waiver and who is going to process the collection of the waivers. We have changed this process after talking with some of the Clubs and Groups. It just did not seem efficient to have the Clubs and Groups process the waivers, so we are changing the process so the HOA will create a master list of everyone that signs a waiver so that residents don’t have to fill out more than one waiver.
We have also received some additional questions about the waiver. I will attempt to answer the most frequently asked questions, but if you have further questions please let us know.
Did I sign a waiver when I signed up on the reservation system? For those of you that have signed up on the Mind/Body Program to make reservations to use facilities like tennis, pickleball, bocce, pools, gym, etc., you have already signed a waiver. When you created an account on the reservation system, you signed a waiver as part of that process.
Since I have already signed a waiver by creating an account on the reservation system, do I still need to sign a new waiver? No. You do not need to sign a new waiver, but we recommend you do because the old waiver on the reservation system has more limitations for residents. By signing a new waiver, you gain more protections. So, signing a new waiver helps you, but you don’t have to sign a new one if you don’t want to and you may use all Common Area facilities.
What if I signed a waiver with my Club or Group before Covid, do I still need to sign a new waiver? Yes. The old waivers that Clubs and Groups distributed before Covid (before March of 2020), are no longer valid and will not work. You are required to fill out a new waiver before using Common Area facilities. The old waiver used before Covid has no provisions about Covid, so it no longer applies and is invalid.
Why are we asking for you to sign this waiver? The Board is trying to prevent the Association from being sued for frivolous claims. We want to protect all the assets of the HOA, which protects all residents, which in turns help to maintain property values. One affects the other. Waivers explain a person is responsible for their own actions and that there are risks to any activity. Each person must be responsible for those risks.
Waivers put in writing that residents and guests are responsible for their own actions and so they may not file a legal claim for damages when they are responsible for their own injuries. Without such waivers the HOA could be responsible for every accident and claim against the HOA even if the HOA was not responsible. This would lead to increased claims, increased costs to insurance companies and eventually our insurance rates would increase, or possibly insurance companies would not insure us because the risk is too great.
In the case of Covid, there is no insurance coverage for such a claim, so without a waiver each resident could possibly be subject to a special assessment if the claim for monetary damages against the HOA was significant.
How likely is this to happen? No one knows what amount of risk there is for a Covid claim at this time. All the insurance companies and attorneys can say is to describe our legal liability and explain the exposure if such a claim were filed. For such a claim we would have to pay for all defense costs and damages.
Why did we rewrite the waiver? After sending out the previous version last May, we received some legitimate concerns and comments about the existing waiver. After Board discussion and review, a new waiver was created taking into account all the comments and concerns.
How is this new version different from the previous one? There are three significant differences between the old waiver and the new waiver:
- The previous version did not allow a resident to file a claim against the HOA even if the HOA was at fault. This has been changed so a resident may file a claim against the HOA if the HOA is at fault.
- The previous version did not protect the Clubs, Groups, and their officers from a claim. The new version protects the Clubs, Groups, and volunteers so the HOA will protect them for such claims.
- The previous version made residents responsible for all actions of their guests including paying all damages and court costs for the HOA even if the HOA was responsible. New waiver states if the guest signs a waiver the homeowner will not be responsible for the liability claims against the HOA by their guests.
Why are we asking for this now? SCSH has had a waiver in place for certain activities since 2005. We are as eager as everyone else in our community to open our facilities and get back to “normal”. We anticipate that Riverside County will move to the Orange Tier in the next week or two (finger crossed!) and we can open indoor facilities to at least 25% capacity. That means that Clubs and Groups can meet in the clubhouses, and we all can once again enjoy our beautiful facilities. We need to have the waivers signed by each resident so you may use the Clubhouses once we open.
Did the Board implement emergency rules to get waivers now? Yes. To put this in place right away so we can open facilities once the State gives us permission, the Board implemented two emergency rules. This is allowed under State Law. The two new rules are:
- Informed Consent – Release and Waiver: All Residents and Guests eighteen (18) years of age or older (and the parent(s) and/or legal guardian(s) of Guests under eighteen (18) years of age) are required to sign an Informed Consent, Release and Waiver before using the common area facilities; the Association’s, Chartered Club’s, and Resident Group’s equipment; or participating in an Association sponsored activity.
- The HOA may implement the new waiver approved by the Board.
When must the waivers be signed? All residents and guests are now required to sign a waiver before using Common area facilities. By implementing this now the HOA can process the waivers of all residents so that each person will then be able to access the Clubhouses once we open. Hopefully, that will be within a couple of weeks.
May the HOA deny access to our facilities if residents have not signed a waiver? Yes. According to CC&R’s and By-laws, residents do not have an unrestricted right to use Common Area facilities. The Board may put into place rules for access. CC&R’s and By-laws also allow for suspension of Common Area privileges if the rules are not followed.
How are you going to get every resident to sign a waiver? We understand that we might not get a waiver on every resident for every part of the Common Area property. But that does not mean we should not have waivers on as many residents as possible to best protect the assets of the HOA. No system is perfect, this we understand, and people will get through the cracks, but the Board believes the most responsible approach is to get as many waivers as possible before residents begin using the facilities again as we open.
We will ask all new residents to sign a waiver when they process through the HOA office to get their transponders and/or at New Member Orientation.
Club and Group members will be asked to sign a waiver through their clubs.
We will not reach everyone as we have many residents that do not use any of our facilities.
Do I have to sign a waiver for every club where I am a member? No. The good news is in the new process there will be one centralized database that tracks who has signed and who has not signed a waiver. No need to sign one for every club every year. Once you sign one waiver you are “good to go” for the future.
We all want to wish you a safe and happy holiday weekend.