On March 23, 2020 Premier Doug Ford announced the shutdown of all non-essential businesses and services in Ontario. The order becomes effective on March 24, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. and is scheduled to last for the next fourteen (14) days but may be extended as necessary. Any non-essential businesses and services that remain open may be fined.
A list of all essential services has been published here.
Condo corporations may be relieved to find out that most condo services are deemed to be essential services and remain operational during the shutdown.
Condo management is included in the list of essential services. Wherever possible, we encourage limiting owner/resident communications to email and telephone only.
Maintenance services may continue to operate, including security and concierge services, plumbers, electricians, cleaning services, fire safety and sprinkler systems, building systems maintenance and repair technicians and engineers, mechanics (including HVAC and elevator technicians) and other similar services. Residents should be encouraged to practice social distancing, limit interactions with security and concierge, and condo Corporations should continue to provide additional cleaning services (as available) to the most commonly frequented common element areas.
Although many of the vital services provided to condo corporations are on the essential services list, condo corporations should be prepared for potential reductions in resources or workforce, as workers may be unable or unwilling to continue to work. Many businesses have had to quickly pivot to establish remote working capabilities, and are trying to adjust to these new systems and processes. This may pose some delays and challenges for condo corporations moving forward.
Construction work and services in the commercial and residential sectors remain operational, however, we recommend encouraging residents to stop any in suite renovations during the shutdown unless absolutely required.
Land registration services remain open, so condo corporations can continue to register liens, by-laws etc., during the shutdown.
Engineering firms also remain open. That said, COVID-19 may continue to impact the ability for engineers to conduct the necessary inspections as part of a Performance Audit, possibly leading to delayed submissions. Tarion has published an advisory for condo corporations with some useful information for condo corporations, such as owners who deny access to their units, builder repair periods, and conciliations. Performance Audit delays will be assessed on a case by case basis. Questions about a potential Performance Audit delay should be directed to Bonnie Douglas at Bonnie.Douglas@Tarion.com, or legal counsel.
Finally, law firms remain open however the courts continue to only hear urgent matters during this emergency period.