Like buying a car, choosing a new home is challenging without seeing the place in person first. However, thanks to the internet, some rental properties may be offering virtual tours in the form of videos or 360-degree photos, giving people an option to shop around from the comfort and safety of their couch. If this is not an option, ask the landlord to conduct a showing with limited contact.
Upon arriving on-site, take the following precautions:
- Maintain proper physical distancing
- Wear face coverings
- Inquire if the person showing the home or unit would be OK waiting outside so you are free to look around alone
- Try to minimize touching common surfaces, including elevator buttons in strata complexes
- Sanitize your hands and request that the landlord continue discussions over the phone or email
Love the space and ready to take the plunge? Rather than a face-to-face meeting, finalize the agreement digitally. Thanks to modern technology, there are a plethora of apps available now, for example DocuSign, allowing the secure e-signing of documents right from a mobile device. Use a video conferencing tool such as Zoom or Skype to go over the paperwork together onscreen.
When moving, it’s time to call in some favours. If possible, enlist the help of family members or friends in your personal “bubble” to do the heavy lifting. Pack boxes and label beforehand. On the day of:
- Put on masks and gloves
- Avoid huddling in groups
- Whether using a personal or rented vehicle, disinfect touch points like the door handles, steering wheel, gear levers and seats
Need professional help? Call or research moving companies online to find out what they are doing in response to the COVID-19 crisis — ask how their trucks are being cleaned, the frequency, and if there are measures to minimize contact. For other general advice, check out this page by the Office of Consumer Affairs.
Did you know BCAA Home Insurance coverage extends to personal property even in transit, like while moving? If you are with a different insurance provider, double-check there are no gaps in your policy and that coverage is in place before, during and after you move. Learn more in the section below.
And before getting started, channel your inner Marie Kondo (organization guru) and use the opportunity to declutter. Donate unwanted clothes and furniture to a local thrift store (many establishments accept curb-side drop-off), or call up a charitable organization to see if they’re doing doorstep pick-ups. The best part? BCAA Members can earn 100 CAA Dollars® on moving services every day at AMJ Campbell. And if you need decluttering services, BCAA Members can save 10% on junk removal at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Not a Member? Join online today.
Don’t forget the importance of having proper home insurance to safeguard your home and belongings. This includes before, during and after the move. BCAA Home Insurance offers protection for fire, break-ins, water damage, just to name a few.
Whether you rent or own your home, BCAA has the knowledge and experience to understand the unique needs of everyone. With BCAA you can build the best, customized home insurance policy to fit your needs. In addition, Members save up to 20%. For more information check out www.bcaa.com/home.
There are many resources out there to help everyone navigate the new reality. The Real Estate Council of British Columbia has an information sheet detailing what renters, landlords, homeowners and real estate professionals can currently expect at most open houses. Also, visit the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for the latest coronavirus industry updates.
The information provided in this article has been provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. No one should act, or refrain from acting, based solely upon the information provided in this article or other general information without first seeking appropriate professional advice. Home Insurance is sold through BCAA Insurance Agency Ltd., a licensed insurance agency, and underwritten by BCAA Insurance Corporation.