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COVID-19: recommendations and free training to better manage the crisis

COVID-19 : recommandations et formations gratuites pour mieux gérer la crise

Five free webinars on the condominium situation

MONTREAL - MARCH 20th 2020 - We are launching four 30-minute webinars that will answer our members' questions relating to the coronavirus and co-ownerships. Each webinar will deal with a specific topic and these are free and open to everyone (please note that one of these will be available in English and will be announced shortly).

For more information, click here. 

Wednesday April 1st at 5:30 pm: Daily distancing measures in co-ownership

Thursday, April 2nd at 5:30 pm: The finances of the condominium and the coronavirus

Tuesday April 7th at 5:30 pm: The Coronavirus and the decisions of the co-ownership

Wednesday April 8th at 5:30 pm: The technical imperatives of co-ownership and the coronavirus

The exceptional situation we are experiencing has put the work in condominiums on hold, except for emergency interventions or for security purposes. Many condominiums are concerned about being late in their inspections, work and other maintenance activities. 

List of RGCQ corporate members who currently offer services

Many RGCQ corporate members are still open, to provide essential services or offer remote services. You can find a list of open businesses and the services they currently offer at this address. This table will be updated regularly.

We take this opportunity to thank all the companies that provide maintenance, that respond to emergencies and that help condominiums in this difficult period. Congrats to everyone for their work!

If your usual suppliers have not yet replied to our questionnaire, do not hesitate to call them to find out the state of their operations. You can also consult the 2020 Directory of Suppliers and the Suppliers section of our website to find the contact information of our corporate members.

In the event of a fire alarm, ongoing social distancing measures influence evacuation procedures. After communicating with the fire safety services of Montreal, Quebec and Gatineau, today we have received a document prepared by the Minister of Public Security which gives you official instructions adapted to the situation. You can access it here. (Please note that this document was only provided in French).

Building evacuation procedures

If you would like additional information, you can contact the fire department of your municipality.

Collection of common expenses

The beginning of the month is approaching and, with it, the collection of common expenses. There is no leave for common expenses or exemptions: all co-owners must pay their contribution to the syndicate. If you had to postpone your annual meeting and you have not adopted a new annual budget yet, the co-owners must pay the same amounts as last year.

Fortunately, the various governments and most of the financial institutions have put in place some measures that will help mitigate the financial shock of this health crisis. Unlike these institutions, the syndicate of co-ownership cannot function without the contributions of its co-owners. It is therefore imperative that everyone continues to settle their part of the common expenses.

To help you address this matter with your co-owners, we have prepared a sample letter reminding you of the importance of paying your contributions to the common expenses. You can find it in the Tool Kit, under the title "Payment of common expenses (letter to co-owners)".

If co-owners are having difficulty due to the current circumstances, we recommend that you be flexible. In particular if the co-owners concerned expect to receive benefits from the federal government on April 6th. However, it should be kept in mind that any amounts that are not collected represent a deficit in the syndicate’s operating budget.

Congratulations to co-ownership managers and administrators

We would like to highlight the exceptional work that administrators and co-ownership managers are doing in the current situation. All the administrators and managers with whom we have spoken since the start of the crisis are proactive and committed to contributing to the effort against the Covid-19 while ensuring the proper functioning of the syndicate. The current situation creates a considerable additional workload to meet the current challenges and they are handling the situation remarkably well.

Use of common areas

One of the first recommendations of the RGCQ, in accordance with the recommendations of the government, was to close the common areas intended for pleasure or leisure, which are potential areas for the transmission of the virus.

Today, the situation is more serious and the instructions are stricter. A mandatory quarantine is now in effect for some people. The police can be called to enforce these isolation conditions.

We have received several testimonies indicating that co-owners are walking or strolling in the common areas that are still open, for instance hallways. We recommend that administrators advise all occupants of their co-ownership that all common areas that are still open (with the exception of common areas with restricted use such as individual balconies) should be reserved for rapid and strictly utilitarian traffic. Their usage must be done in strict compliance with the health regulations in force.

Short term rental

With the exception of hotels, motels and campsites designated to welcome snowbirds upon their return, all tourist accommodation establishments are affected by the Quebec government's order of closure.

This provision applies to condominium units rented on a short-term basis on platforms such as Airbnb. Even if this activity is permitted by your declaration of co-ownership, it is temporarily prohibited by the government. If you are aware of such actions in your building, you should notify the affected co-owners of the situation.

Tenants who started their stay before March 29 are not obliged to shorten it, but they will not be able to extend it either. Find more information on the website of the Ministry of Tourism.

Useful resources (new ones only)

Condolégal Newsletter

Managers' fees during the crisis (De Grandpré Jolicoeur)

Coronavirus and your co-ownership - updated (Chianetta Avocats)

Co-ownership under the microscope (La Presse)