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While the entire city of Toronto lets out a collective sigh of relief as restrictions ease, your condo board might find itself ill-prepared for the grand reopening condo amenities. Here we offer tips to help avoid mistakes as you prepare for the reopening.
Keep Tabs On Progress
Because the government is being extra cautious this time around, it’s important to keep up to date on the latest restriction lifts. Make sure you don’t miss any cues that indicate reopening condo amenity eminent. This avoids disappointment and complaints from residents. Also, when you learn something new, share it with your residents quickly so they remain in the loop. This helps reduce constant questions. Information about reopening stages can be found here.
Respect the Phases of Reopening
Although pressure from condos might be on to act fast, respect the phases. Also, be realistic and only open things when you know you can manage them safely and effectively. It’s not just about what you’re allowed to open, but also what you can manage reopening properly. You might also find residents and owners pointing out loopholes to “help” you open things sooner. Be sure you know the rules so you can explain why their ideas won’t work. Although taking a cautious approach could lead to complaints, your goal is to come up with a manageable plan that won’t negatively impact your budget, your operations, or the safety of your residents.
Start Your Plan Now
Many condo boards took a proactive approach and already have a plan in place. If this doesn’t include your team, act now. First, you need to understand all legal obligations so any decisions you make don’t infringe on the Condo Act or owners’ rights. Second, your reopening condo amenities plan must adhere to government guidelines to ensure you don’t put anyone in danger. Your plan should include a schedule that looks at each aspect of reopening including all the required pre-opening tasks. Creating the following checklists helps address all necessary areas:
- Disease prevention
- Operations and maintenance
Consider consulting with a property management company to help create and implement the proper reopening plan.
Don’t Overlook Pests
Pests such as rodents and cockroaches become more active without people to scare them off. As a result, you could find your condo amenities might now provide a new home for pests. Key areas requiring inspection include:
- Closed off exterior, landscaping, and rooftops
- Unused office space
- Shut down fitness centres and common gathering areas
- Swimming pools
- Trash receptacles
A staff reporting process for pest sightings and signs of pests such as rodent droppings, helps tackle pest issues more effectively.
Consider Costs of Reopening Condo Amenities
Chances are your budget suffered due to additional maintenance needs in hand with shutdowns and new office procedures. Reopening condo amenities poses further budget challenges and calls for a review of your financials. Engaging assistance from a property management company offering financial services can help avoid poor reopening funding and the need for special assessments.
Share Your Plan
Your condo reopening plan impacts many people associated with your condo including your residents, staff, and service providers. Making sure you share your plan with anyone impacted by the process helps avoid challenges. For example, maintenance crews might have to add more time to scheduled appointments because you have opened more facilities. Residents might need to know some areas might be impacted due to pre-opening jobs and tasks. Staff might need to come into the office again. Messages should target the specific groups instead of using a generic message. Using this approach ensures everyone has the information they need to reduce confusion. Communication also includes proper barriers and signage to introduce new policies or indicate areas that are off limits during the reopening.
At CPO Management, a property management company in Toronto and the GTA, we can help avoid reopening mistakes by preparing a plan, addressing budget challenges, and ensuring finances are available. Contact us today.