There is some confusion in residential communities about COVID 19 orders and restrictions. There is also confusion about how these should be applied. What can you do if you live in a community like this? Where facilities are not being appropriately managed or monitored to curb the spread of COVID 19?
The BC Centre for Disease Control issued indoor individual exercise requirements on March 31st. There were also orders from the medical health officers due to the increased risk of spreading the virus. How do these rules and requirements apply to your residential community, how are they managing your facilities?
Condo Facility Management Rules
There is a decision from the Civil Resolution Tribunal that requires any strata corporation to require a three-quarter vote at a general meeting to shut down a facility. Because this would be a significant change in the use or appearance of a common asset or common property. If your facility management has not closed down shared areas and you are concerned, maybe find out if others share your concern. If enough are concerned, you can request a general meeting to share your concerns, and cast your vote.
Strata Companies Hiding Behind Liability Waivers
A resident at one community expressed concern about the gym and pool areas still being open in her residential community. The strata has a sign-in sheet that implies users acknowledge the risks of using the space, but this is not enough for concerned homeowners. The facilities are not manned, and people are left to do as they please. This creates the potential for the easy spread of the COVID19 to other members of the community. Even those staying away from shared spaces are at risk.
What We Wish For
It is our hope and the hope of many residents that corporations will be more interested in the health and safety of their residents. Yes, strata corporations can use liability waivers, but they also must comply with health orders. They are obligated to properly staff, manage and monitor facilities, if this is what the health orders require. They should also ensure the proper janitorial and sanitization standards are being upheld, and users’ activities should be recorded. This is how we can quell the risk of increased spreading of the virus.
WorkSafe BC Protocols
WorkSafe BC protocols should also be followed. These apply to all staff that has to interact with and manage facilities for the residents. It’s important for mechanical systems, waste facilities, elevators, hallways and lobbies to be maintained to ensure routine fresh air delivery.
Makeup air systems should be regularly and appropriately maintained. Because these systems pressurize hallways and ensure that vehicle exhaust doesn’t get into traveling elevator shafts. This reduces the chances of smoke or smells from the exhaust migrating to strata units. They also ensure the introduction of fresh air into a building. For these systems to be effective, they must be operational. All routine cleaning and maintenance should be done, especially the changing of filters on a monthly or quarterly basis. Maintenance scheduling is pre-determined by the manufacturer.
This is a very important task when it comes to the proper use of facilities, still, if strata corporations have rules, they must be known by the residents. Posters should be distributed or strategically placed to remind residents how to operate in common areas. These can include information on washing hands, wearing a mask, not gathering in groups, etc. Reminders for staying isolated if one has tested positive for COVID-19 or is experiencing any of the symptoms of the virus.
When we are yet to see the impact of COVID-19 close to us, it can be easy to become complacent. Indeed, you should be in the know. Even if your strata corporation is being complacent, do your own research and checks. Check out updates and orders from CHOA by visiting their website and clicking on COVID updates. Here you can see what other residential communities are doing. You can find the available guides and publications, so you can determine if your facilities management are not following the rules.
Build Your Own Home
If you are tired of living in a residential community where you have to share space with people who just don’t care or listen, maybe it is time for you to build your own home. We understand that nowadays home prices are high, and people need their homes to adjust to the new normal. The best way to do this is to create your own custom home. We can help you with that. SilverBeam home builders at your service! Give us a call today and let us help make your dream of owning a home, your new reality.