How moving to a new home is changing during COVID-19

By | April 1, 2020

WINNIPEG — Moving into a new apartment often involves a lot of people — from your landlord and prospective tenants to movers and cleaners.

In the age of physical distancing, moving has a different look. 

“We make sure that we’re wiping down the elevator buttons, all the doorknobs. We put in-door jams to make sure the doors stay open so we don’t have to retouch those areas,” said Stu Starkey, President of Two Small Men with Big Hearts Moving Co. 

Starkey said business hasn’t slowed down, but changes are being made every day. He said most of his staff are now working from home, but his movers still need to be in and out of the office, and they are making sure to practice physical distancing as much as possible.

“With their partner, they can get closer when needed,” said Starkey. “We keep those partners the same every day that’s possible to minimize the potential for transmission between staff if that ever were to occur.”

Starkey said his crew is also in communication several times with the resident leading up to their move, including asking them about recent travel and whether they’ve been in contact with anyone infected. 

On the other side of things, property management companies are also doing what they can to eliminate physical contact where possible, including cancelling all showings in occupied properties. 

“We’re asking all of our residents to take an iPhone or Android, and just kind of walk through the property, and show us in a recording what the property looks like,” said Garret Wong, President of Upper Edge Property Management. 

Wong said online tours are also available for vacant properties. However, for those seriously interested in moving into the property, Upper Edge can still accommodate in-person showings, but Wong said the process has changed. He said his showing agents are equipped with masks and disinfectant and have made signs to put on the property’s front door. 

“Basically advising people to maintain their six feet of distance at least, and that we’re only going to be taking one group through at a time, and for them to not touch anything,” said Wong. 

He also said they’re avoiding back-to-back move out and move in appointments. 

“We try to at least have a day or two between that. We have to step up our cleaning as much as we can because if you were a brand new resident moving in, you wouldn’t want to move into something that might make you sick,” Wong said.  

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