Landlords have a responsibility under the Residential Tenancy Act to provide and maintain a safe rental unit and residential property. This means maintaining reasonable cleanliness throughout common areas of the residential property. While regular cleaning is always required; we are in the midst of a potential public health crisis and LandlordBC encourages increased vigilance to mitigate the potential risk to tenants and staff.
This may mean, and we would encourage, more frequent cleaning of high traffic areas such as lobbies, elevators and laundry rooms with disinfecting products. Building managers should also consider placing alcohol-based hand sanitizer in common areas to promote cleanliness, and appropriate signage recommending that residents exercise due diligence.
We do not recommend disclosing personal information to other tenants regarding an individual’s status. In a situation where you are informed that a tenant or occupant of your building has contracted COVID-19, you should encourage them to contact their local health care facility for assessment. If directly asked by other residents, only general information should be shared such as “there is a confirmed case on the second floor” to protect the privacy of the affected individual.
If a tenant in your building contracts COVID-19 the health authority for your region should reach out to any individuals who may have encountered the infected person to determine the best course of action. Your local health authority may also contact building management to deal with staff concerns.
According to the BC Centre for Disease Control, COVID-19 is spread through contact with large water droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. The virus can enter through these droplets through the eyes, nose or throat if you are in close contact. The virus is not known to be airborne which means it does not spread through ventilation systems and it is not something that comes in through the skin.
Advice from the BC CDC includes frequent handwashing and covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Pay attention to your health and how you are feeling after getting the test. You can call 8-1-1 anytime to talk to a nurse at HealthLinkBC and get advice about how you are feeling and what to do next. 8-1-1 has translation services in 130 languages.
We encourage our members, and everyone, to take care and adhere to suggested precautions as advised by B.C.’s health officials, including:
- wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- avoid close contact with people who are sick
- consider no longer shaking hands and instead use another form of greeting/acknowledgment