Re-Opening Soon

August 2020

Communities preparing to re-open amenities as government closure orders are rescinded face pressure from both sides.  Residents may demand access to closed amenities they pay to maintain as lockdowns are eased.  Others, believing the virus won’t disappear, may support continued closure.

There is risk regardless of which approach is taken.  Is it fair owners be denied access to parts of their home?  What risk is there by those who contract coronavirus, or perhaps any virus, when using amenities and claiming the corporation was negligent?

Condo boards are expected to use their best judgement when making decisions based on known or factual information.

When it comes to common areas, there has never been a requirement to guarantee spaces are clean or virus-free.  The expectation is that reasonable policies be implemented to reduce risk.  As with closure of amenities, it is advisable to follow government guidance on reopening.  This may include separating equipment and seating to maintain distancing, and providing supplies to wipe down areas before and after use.  Limiting guest access can ensure maximum access to residents.

There is no single approach for all communities.  Staffing, financial implications, administration, community demographics and potential risk all should be considered.

Not everyone will be happy with whatever approach is adopted so push-back is to be expected.  Yet this is no different than any other decision made by the board.  After all, board decisions are rarely intended or expected to make everyone happy.