A Toronto law firm specializing in condo living, operations and management recently issued a statement, advising condo operators to implement mandatory mask policies for their properties, particularly for indoor common areas, in order to keep staff, guests, and residents safe.
The City of Toronto’s official mask bylaw, which can be seen if one opts to go to their website, mandates face coverings and protection in public indoor areas, with a few exceptions, but doesn’t cover condominiums.
Lash Condo Law’s Josh Milgrom notes that the public spaces that the bylaw requires mask protection in are similar to indoor common areas found in condos, like lobbies and hallways. He explains that this means that these areas have similar risk levels for the contraction and spreading of COVID-19.
Milgrom says that condo operators are responsible for managing common elements in their properties and ensuring the safety of people living, or working in, or around their properties. He notes that condos are peoples’ homes, and that people should feel that they’re safe in them.
According to the Ministry of Labour’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, which can be viewed if one opts to go to their website, corporations are legally obligated to ensure a safe and healthy workplace for the wellbeing of their employees.
Some condos have made masks mandatory, like the Neo and Montage condos, while some condos only ‘recommend’ that guests and residents wear masks in common areas.
A few residents have expressed their opinions on the matter, with a lot saying that it’s only common sense that condos mandate masks for their residents.
Giselle Melillo, a resident in the Liberty Village condo building, reports that she saw about half of the building’s residents following the recommendations of the building to wear masks, but notes that this isn’t enough, saying that she wants it to be mandated.
She says that wearing masks have been proven to add a measure of safety, and it’s something that people need to do, adding that she finds the controversy about the matter utterly incredulous.
Milgrom says that encouraging people to wear masks isn’t enough as there aren’t any consequences for non-compliance. He notes that it could lead to issues down the road if someone ends up contracting COVID-19 in a condo building, which would lead to the company operating it becoming liable.