Condos must continue allowing in-person showings
Even as Ontario takes its first steps to gradually reopen the province this week, most social distancing measures remain in effect. In the real estate world, this means an absence of open houses and virtual workarounds in lieu of the typical physical interactions. While in-person showings are not currently banned under social distancing rules, just limited, it appears that some condominium communities have assumed the opposite.
In a press release issued today, the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) clarified that in-person real estate showings are permitted so long as they meet public health guidelines. The notice, which is directed at realtors, clients and building managers, notes that there have been reports of condominium buildings refusing to allow showings.
“We have recommended that Realtors work with their clients to find technological alternatives through virtual showings, video conference calls and digital signings,” said Tim Hudak, CEO of OREA, in the statement. “However, for many people in dire circumstances who need to buy or sell a home, an in-person showing is a necessary part of a real estate transaction.”
In Ontario, real estate agent services are considered essential. In-person open houses were prohibited in early April to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but OREA explains that regular showings “are permitted as long as real estate professionals follow provincial and local public health guidelines on social distancing and other safety measures.”
In an effort to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in their condo buildings, some property managers have implemented new policies which include increased cleaning efforts and the closure of communal spaces. While the postponement of non-urgent real estate transactions has also been encouraged, OREA said that some individuals may find themselves in circumstances where they must buy or sell, including those who have lost their job or have already bought a home and need to sell their current one.
“Condominium managers should allow in-person real estate showings in their buildings,” reads the statement from OREA. “Realtors will continue to prioritize the health and safety concerns of tenants, building occupants and the general public.”