Seven months into the pandemic, and with the province escalating the pandemic response level to Restricted, it's time for an update on how we are handling things at Brydges.
We take the threat of the virus seriously. As such, safety is our top concern for our employees, esteemed clients and our broader community.
Within our office, we're following the province's recommendations. Thankfully we have enough space and work-at-home capabilities that we've been able to maintain social distancing. Like many organizations and individuals, we've found ways to adjust. We're proud to continue to provide the same level of service we did before the pandemic hit.
Although our office remains closed to the public, we can always be reached by phone 204-489-9510 and you can email your property management team at anytime.
It's been a challenging year, but thankfully our team has been up for the challenge. We would like to thank you for continuing to allow us to work for you, as we all weather the storm together.
April 5, 2020 - WINNIPEG, MB – Brydges Property Management has identified a systemic lack of compliance to COVID-19 social distancing and self-isolation protocols by residents of the multifamily properties it manages.
The company has been inundated with calls from emotional residents and on-site staff reporting that neighbours are returning from travel and are failing to self-isolate. Brydges is one of the larger property management companies in Manitoba; more than 10,000 condo residents and apartment tenants live in buildings managed by the company.
“This is not about business – it’s about saving people’s lives,” says Brenda Brydges, president of Brydges Property Management.
The company has been contacting non-compliant residents directly, but beyond that there’s little it can do because the measures necessary to allow enforcement are not in place in Manitoba and Winnipeg as they are in other provinces and cities, she adds. She says the company follows the guidelines developed by the Canadian Condominium Institute - National (CCI) as a resource.
“Our concern is that if no one has authority to enforce social distancing and self-isolation among tenants and residents, who are sharing common spaces like lobbies, elevators, stairwells, gyms, laundry areas and hallways, then this puts them at higher risk of infection,” says Brydges. “We need to do everything we can to slow the spread here.”
The property management company has approached the Winnipeg Police Service, the Winnipeg Mayor’s office, city councillors, the Government of Manitoba and two property management associations looking for guidance, but until enforcement measures are enacted in Manitoba, its hands are tied.
“We’re extremely concerned about all our residents, many of whom are scared,” Brydges says. “We’re offering the elderly residents in one of our lower income seniors’ complexes $100 for every month they comply. Still, we’re hearing that some residents refuse to observe basic protection practices.”
Brydges Property Management has gone to great lengths to inform all 10,000+ residents and tenants about social distancing requirements, including removing lobby furniture, locking gyms and closing recreation centres. The company cares for over 175 buildings, representing more than 5,500 units. Brydges says many of the condo association boards she works with have also expressed frustration about their inability to enforce.
“We feel responsible not just for the buildings we manage, but especially for the people who live in them. We’ve seen how the virus can spread in nursing homes and other multi-family buildings in Ontario; I simply can’t sleep at night worrying that people in our multi-family properties could be at an increased risk of infection.”
She adds that the Winnipeg Land Titles and Personal Property Registry Offices will not allow extensions beyond 90 days for registering liens for properties owners in arrears, despite the huge numbers of job losses and ongoing delays in securing financial assistance. Land Titles is also requiring that documents be witnessed, in person, by a commissioner of oaths. Brydges suggested witnessing via video conferencing but to date, the Winnipeg Land Titles Office has not made these updates. She says the Ontario Land Titles Office allows owners to arrange payment plans to assist with the added financial burden, but she has been cautioned by a prominent Winnipeg lawyer that he does not believe Manitoba Land Titles would allow the same.
Brydges has indicated that Manitoba Housing and Renewal and CCI - National have been and continue to be a major source for valuable pandemic information.
“We’re trying to be innovative to protect our residents, staff and partners,” she says. “But so far, we have received little support from decision-makers whose priority should be the protection of Manitobans. We need more definitive preventative and enforcement action now.”
Dear Valued Client,
Further to our previous letter to all our clients sent earlier today, we are diligently monitoring the progression of COVID-19 in Canada and are taking the advice given by the Government of Canada seriously.
As you may know the Government of Canada's press release this afternoon urged Canadians to practise social distancing and stay at home when possible. Considering this guidance and to support the effort to contain the spread of the virus, Brydges Property Management will be closing its doors to the public effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
To protect condominium owners, residents and staff we urge the following:
We are working with your Board of Directors to determine possible postponement of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) until the end of May. At that time, depending on the development of COVID-19 in Canada, the AGM may be rescheduled.
The decision to invoke these measures was a difficult one to make however it was made in the best interest of protecting the health of our employees, and subsequently our clients throughout our community.
Brydges Property Management is committed to work with you as we navigate this evolving situation. If you have any questions or additional concerns please feel free to contact your Property Manager or email our general email account at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Valued Customer,
As we all continue to monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation very closely, we wanted to reach out and share the actions Brydges Property Management is taking to keep our employees and the community at large safe, while continuing to provide top quality service to our customers. As a valued Brydges client, your safety and wellbeing are our top priority. With continued news developing around the coronavirus (COVID-19), I want to personally share the steps we are taking to protect all customers and employees.
Brydges Property Management is carefully monitoring the progression of COVID-19 and making decisions in the best interest of protecting the health of our employees, and subsequently our customers, in the community, while managing the potential for business disruption.
Brydges Property Management has proactively taken steps to ensure that our business continuity plan can be successfully executed should the need arise. We recently completed a "Work from Home" test that enabled us to evaluate potential gaps in service that could affect our merchants and partners. As a result, we confirmed our ability to communicate and provide services and support to our customers remotely. Brydges is confident that the services we provide are sustainable and that there will be minimal disruption should COVID-19 affect our ability to operate business as usual. Please see below for additional insight into steps we have taken thus far:
As a result of these preventive and precautionary steps, we expect to increase the use of alternative methods of working together including remote working arrangements and video or conference calls that take the place of face-to-face meetings. We believe this approach can help us limit risk to the health of our customers as well as our employees while continuing to move us all forward on our shared objectives. While we are being proactive regarding alternate arrangements, we welcome any solutions you may have as we both work to manage our relationship during this time. We know that you appreciate the dynamic nature of the situation as you make similar decisions in your own life. It is important that you understand Brydges Property Management is dedicated to conducting business as productively as possible, yet our priority remains the safety of our employees and customers. Brydges Property Management is committed to work with you as we navigate this evolving situation. If you have any questions or additional concerns please feel free to contact your Property Manager or email our general email account email@example.com