In order to assist you with any essential notarial services, including Wills, Powers of Attorney, Statutory Declarations, and Conveyancing transactions (Purchases, Sales, or Mortgage Refinances, our office has established some covid-19 office rules and guidelines, so you and our staff can stay safe, while helping you with those needs.
Office Safety Measures
To comply with the recommendations made by our Federal and Provincial Government and our governing bodies, we have implemented the following office safety measures:
- Each client has to answer few safety questions before visiting our office;
- We will ask clients to sanitize their hands upon entering our office;
- We will encourage clients to bring their own pens;
- Staff will wash hands and sanitize furniture and office supplies after each meeting, etc.
Booking Appointments & Pre-Signing (virtual) meetings
Regarding your Real Estate transactions, it is important that you contact us as soon as possible, so we can have enough time to prepare your documents. (Normally, we need at least 2 weeks, but under these circumstances, please give us at least 3 weeks or more.) Also, if you have a Sale and a Purchase at the same time, it would be wise to leave at least one day between the Sale closing day and the Purchase. This way, if there are any issues with your Sale file (e.g. the Buyer of your property has some issues with the mortgage proceeds, etc.), which can delay your completion day, there would be less chances to negatively affect your Purchase file (or even collapsing that deal). Also, in order to minimize the time of our “in-person” meeting, we will arrange virtual “pre-signing” meetings over the phone or other technology means, so we can explain the documents and answer any of your questions.
Regarding Wills & Powers of Attorney, instead of 2 meetings (1 – for taking instructions and 1 – for signing documents), we will meet in person only for the 2nd meeting. For the 1st meeting, we will have a teleconference over the phone, Skype, Zoom, Google Hangout, or whichever other method works for you.
Since the law still requires that Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Land Title documents must be signed in person and be witnessed by a Notary Public, we have to meet you in person for a short meeting, so we can sign those documents.
Following you answering those pre-screening questions, and ensuring that you were not exposed to COVID-19, we will arrange our “in-person” meeting, which can be tailored to our clients’ needs. (For example, we can meet our clients in a spacious boardroom or even parking lot, so we can keep the safe distance.)
*If you’re not sure about your symptoms, here is a COVID-19 self-assessment tool provided by the BC’s Centre for Disease Control. https://bc.thrive.health/
Other issues that might affect your file
Delays with Mortgage Funding and Discharges
While we work closely with your mortgage brokers and lenders to ensure your mortgage will fund in time, due to COVID-19 and staffing shortages, your mortgage might not fund on time.
Please note that many banks are closing their local branches and others are very limiting their hours of operation. Therefore, this may pose difficulties with signing documents or obtaining bank drafts, etc.
Regarding the Lenders’ Funding and Discharging Centres, we have already noticed some issues and delays due to COVID-19, so we’ve taken some proactive measure to avoid any delays and protect you and your transaction. However, please keep in mind all these aspects and keep in touch with us if you have any questions about this.
While we strongly believe that each buyer or borrower should obtain Title Insurance, which covers legal issues related to the property, such as zoning issues, fraud or forgery, lack of legal access to the property, or work orders, GAP insurance coverage is a special feature of title insurance which can insure owners and lenders against losses that happen as a result of an “intervening registration” (this is a charge or title change that sneaks into the title system between the closing date and the date of registration).
This can be very important if the Land Title & Survey Authority (the “LTSA”) becomes unable to run its electronic registration processes because of staffing shortages or in order to protect their staff against exposure to COVID-19. If these precautions require closures of the LTSA electronic system, we will have to submit registration documents manually. In that case, GAP insurance will protect borrowers and buyers against intervening registrations, which can cause loss of title or security.
BC Centre for Disease Control – http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19
COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool: https://bc.thrive.health/
Provincial and federal governments joint statement https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0054-000361
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
We look forward to helping you with your essential notarial needs, while taking these necessary steps in order to keep everyone safe!