A Manitoba property management company is concerned by the lack of physical distancing at its buildings

By | April 6, 2020

WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg-based property management company is expressing its concern over a lack of physical distancing and self-isolating at its buildings.

Brydges Property Management said in a news release on Sunday it has been “inundated” with calls from residents and staff reporting that people are returning from travel and failing to self-isolate. Over 10,000 people live in the condos and apartments Brydges manages.

“This is not about business — it’s about saving people’s lives,” said Brenda Brydges, president of Brydges Property Management, in the release.

The company has been contacting residents who have not been complying with physical distancing protocols, but said there’s not much else to do because there aren’t measures in place in Manitoba to allow enforcement.

Brenda said the company follows the guidelines set out by the Canadian Condominium Institute – National (CCI).

“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,” she said. 

“We need to do everything we can to slow the spread here.”

The property management company has reached out to Winnipeg police, the Winnipeg mayor’s office, city councillors, the Government of Manitoba and two property management associations for help. It said “its hands are tied” until enforcement measures are put in place.

“We’re extremely concerned about all our residents, many of whom are scared,” Brenda said, noting the company is offering elderly residents in one of its lower-income complexes $100 for every month they comply with measures.

“Still, we’re hearing that some residents refuse to observe basic protection practices.”

Brydges, manages over 175 buildings and 5,500 units, said it has tried to inform all of its residents about physical distancing and has removed all lobby furniture, locked its gyms and closed recreation centres. 

Brenda noted that several condo association boards are also frustrated about their inability to enforce protocols.

“We feel responsible not just for the buildings we manage, but especially for the people who live in them,” she said. 

“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.”

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