COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Update #4

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It is clear this situation will require Strata Councils and Owners to be far more involved in the day-to-day operations of your Strata Corporation in order for things to run as well as possible under the circumstances and for the health and safety of everyone. There is more information to pass along that is easy to digest, so we continue to do what we can to prioritize and distill it for you.

With that in mind, here is our latest guidance regarding developments with COVID-19 as they relate to Strata Corporations:

  • Your Strata Council Emergency Committee should already be established.  If not, please do so now.  We will require quick decisions from Council, and there is much work to be done on site.
  • Staffing & Building Operations – consider how work disruptions (illness or government directive to concierges, building managers, security guards, etc.) could impact your Strata Corporation and put plans in place.  Meet with your building staff if applicable to go over the most important items- locations of keys, manuals, shutoffs, etc.  
  • Janitorial & Cleaning – work directly with the cleaning staff responsible for your building directly to go over the high frequency touch points, make sure they are focusing on essential items (picking up the time that they used to spend on amenities and other low priority items). Enlist residents to assist in additional cleaning of key areas as may be necessary.
  • Waste Removal – you must advise your PM asap of garbage/recycling removal needs as they increase. With most units occupied and producing far more garbage and recycling a) garbage must be removed BEFORE it is overflowing or it may not be picked up, and b) there is a significant increase in cardboard from deliveries and all must be flattened;
  • Elevators & Visitors – steps must be taken for proper Social Distancing in elevators and residents should be reminded of that and the above-noted concern on garbage increase – we are sending notices to Councils via email to post on site regularly;
  • Drains & Plumbing – steps must be taken to decrease the potential for backups and related repairs/restoration work – we are sending notices to Councils via email to post on site regularly;
  • Strata Fee Payment & Financial uncertainty for some Strata Corporations– consider deferring non-essential work (landscaping upgrades, window cleaning, etc.) if you’re concerned about your budget and available funds. Please read the following for more information https://www.cwilson.com/the-covid-19-pandemic-financial-issues-for-strata-corporations/. Owners who are contacting us with questions about needing to pay their strata fees are being told that they must continue. Those facing acute financial hardship are to provide details to Strata Council so that they may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Government Subsidies – The Federal Government has announced temporary wage subsidies which will likely be applicable to Strata Corporations with employees.  Stratawest will be examining the details of this and providing guidance in due course.  
  • Insurance Renewals – we continue to work with insurance brokerages to push for earlier receipt of renewal terms as well as additional options for strata corporations to pay for the increased premiums that were our biggest problem prior to the COVID-19 crisis. This remains a major issue even now and we are advocating along with industry stakeholders to government to propose changes to the legislation that may allow for lesser financial impact and improve the situation for everyone.

Thank you for your efforts to contribute to your strata corporation above and beyond during these very challenging times. There is far more to be done than anyone can fully understand in this evolving situation, but we will all continue to do our best and we will get through it together one day at a time.