Public Service Announcement – Guidelines During State of Emergency in Ontario
published – January 13, 2021.
Effective Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 12:01 am for at least 28 days, the province is implementing a second province-wide state of emergency, putting further restrictions on retail hours and gathering sizes to combat a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases.
Real estate still remains an essential service, and registrants can still conduct business following all public health directives and protocols.
As part of these measures, the government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work. In addition to limiting outings to essential trips, all businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.
Real Estate as part of the financial system of Ontario has been deemed essential in order to keep the process of moving going and to make sure everyone within an existing transaction has a home to live in. Many people have sold their current home and require a new one to move into; otherwise, they become without, and the system breaks down.
What Does This Mean for REALTORS® and Real Estate?
Based on the information we have at the moment, real estate continues to be an essential service and we can continue to do business, BUT open houses remain prohibited. In-person showings are permitted by appointment, but these should be limited, and the use of virtual tools should be used.
Real Estate Associations are recommending refraining from face-to-face real estate practices as much as practicable as we continue to satisfy our ethical duties to our clients. We continue to take advantage of virtual tools. When an in-person showing is necessary, we are conducting as much business as possible virtually before participating in an in-person showing.
Our physical office remains open, but by appointment only, and must continue to follow the government’s screening requirements for workplaces, although the province is strongly urging every business that has the ability to work remotely, to do so.
It is absolutely necessary to practice physical distancing; use personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks; and clean and disinfect the home before and after the showing.
We are spacing showings as best we can and keeping showings to one family group in the property at a time and limited to the contract parties only. One agent – 2 buyers.
The State of Emergency does impact real estate in two ways:
- Short-term rentals for recreational purposes are effectively closed as of January 12, 2021. If a booking was made prior to January 12, it is permitted to go forward.
- Renovations started before January 12 will be permitted to continue, but those that have not started are not permitted to begin. The government has not indicated when the new measures will be lifted.
We continue to represent our clients with professionalism, integrity and keeping them safe. That is the way we have always worked and will continue to perform.
Keeping you safe,
Puckrin & Latreille Real Estate Team
REMAX All Stars Realty Inc.