March 16, 2020
Letter to Inspire Property Management Clients
Re: Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19)
Dear valued clients,
The world is facing a global pandemic which has already had devastating effects. Our hearts go out to those affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We hope that the actions of our world leaders, scientists and health professionals will prevent this outbreak from rising to the level of devastation seen during the last global pandemic of 1918-1920. But as always, our personal actions may have the greatest impact in managing the spread of disease.
I wanted to personally reach out to you to provide an update on the actions that Inspire Property Management is taking now that this serious illness has begun to spread in our region.
Health Canada and the World Health Organization has rated the risk associated with COVID-19 as low for the general population. However, there is increased risk of more serious outcomes for individuals aged 65 and older, with compromised immune systems, or with underlying medical conditions. We work with a great number of individuals who are most vulnerable to the serious effects of this illness. Moreover, we often attend meetings with large groups which increases the risk that our staff may become a vector in the spread of this disease, including to our vulnerable clients who may be at risk of a serious outcome.
We take our role in preventing the spread of the virus seriously. It is important that we consider the risks of and the way our staff members interact with clients during this outbreak.
This morning, the Provincial Government ordered the cancellation of all meetings with more than 50 people attending. That directive is binding upon strata corporations and should be adhered to until further restricted or rescinded. Strata councils also need to consider modifying the way they convene smaller meetings or consider postponing them.
We are encouraging strata councils who have bylaws permitting meetings to be held by electronic means to take advantage of our telephone conference and/or video conference system. This service has always been available free to our clients calling from Canada or the USA.
We are encouraging strata corporations that have bylaws permitting general meetings to be held by electronic means to consider holding the meeting by phone or video conference. Meetings conducted using our video conference system will allow any owner with an internet connection and a modern desktop browser to easily participate and vote. We understand that not everyone can attend by video conference and that phone conference may limit voters from feeling like they can fully participate in the conversation. We will be training our staff on how to make the best use of our video and telephone conference system.
If your strata corporation has an upcoming annual general meeting but does not have bylaws permitting meetings to be held by phone or video conference, we will assist the the strata council to seek legal advice about balancing the contradicting legal requirements.
Appointments and in person attendance at our offices
Our offices have always been by appointment only. Our staff tries to be accommodating whenever someone attends our office unannounced, but without full time staff at either location, this has often caused avoidable inconvenience to our clients who have stopped in without making an appointment.
Most matters can be addressed by phone or email. You are strongly encouraged to call or email your strata manager rather than try to conduct your business in person, especially unannounced and without appointment.
If you need to deliver a document to our office, you are encouraged to mail it to one of our offices, fax it to (778) 760-9654, or email your strata manager at the email address for your community.
Working from Home
Inspire Property Management has invested in tools and software to make it easy for our strata managers to work just as well at home as they do when they are in the office. We will continue to make it as convenient as possible for our staff to work from wherever they are most efficient. We will be encouraging our strata managers to keep unnecessary trips to the office to a minimum. Again, it will be important that our clients make appointments with their strata manager and not stop by unexpectedly.
If you do not already pay your fees by pre-authorized debit, we strongly encourage you to join the 94.3% who already do so. The sign-up form may be found here: https://inspirepm.com/PAD
Cash has always been a vector for the spread of disease and infections. It also adds additional administrative costs, special trips to the bank, and additional banking fees, all of which is paid for by the strata ownership generally and not by the person who chooses to pay in cash rather than by post-dated cheque or pre-authorized debit.
Many strata corporations already have bylaws which prohibit cash payments and require post-dated cheques or pre-authorized debit. We will be encouraging councils to enforce these bylaws and encouraging others to adopt similar bylaws.
If you need to make a one-time payment, we ask that you contact your manager to discuss sending a one-time Interac e-Transfer.
If you must pay by cheque, we will ask that our clients mail the cheque rather than attend our office in person.
Again, we ask that you not come to our offices without first calling ahead to make an appointment.
At Inspire Property Management, we believe it is our role and responsibility during this time to prioritize the health and well-being of our clients while also playing a constructive role in supporting local health officials and government leaders as they work to contain the virus. Through that lens, we will continue to make vigilant decisions informed by the latest science-based information and guided by our mission and values.
Thank you for being a loyal client. We are privileged to serve you and our community.
Inspire Property Management Ltd., per
President & Managing Broker