RELIANCE’S RESPONSE TO COVID-19

At Reliance, we take this pandemic of COVID-19 seriously. We are in uncharted territory related to understanding and attempting to protect ourselves and our fellow Canadians against the COVID-19.  We wanted to provide our clients with information regarding measures in order to protect our clients, be they Board or Strata Council members, unit owners & tenants, condominium or property management firms or their representatives, and our staff.

The following stems from the government requirements as well as general practices that Reliance is adopting.

For the foreseeable future we are staggering our office hours and otherwise working from home offices. Should you need to reach us please email us and we will respond in a timely fashion.

INSURANCE APPRAISALS

Reliance appraisers are designated members of the Canadian National Association of Real Estate Appraisers (CNAREA) and as such conforms to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). Numerous directives have come from CNAREA outlining inspection of properties and we will be following the practices put forward. We will complete Insurance Appraisals by utilizing what is called a “Desktop” or a “Drive -By” (exterior viewing only) appraisal. This allows the appraiser to have limited contact with individuals and interior building surfaces but still requires the standard of developing and reporting to be like a full report in accordance to the USPAP and client requirements.

Prospective Estimates:  Please note that Reliance will continue to provide prospective values for most of our reports. This means that if the insurance renewal date, which is critical, is several months away, we utilize this date. This provides flexibility in terms of us being able to complete the reports well in advance of the renewal date and just as important allows the insurance broker enough time to provide the best service to the client. We are currently tracking the market conditions as part of the possible economic upheaval created by this health issue and will be monitoring for empirical evidence of changes in the construction industry over the next 6 months to one year which may be applied to our costing.

NEW APPRAISALS

At this time if the appraisal is a townhome complex, we can proceed with an external inspection to view the common area. As for apartments where we typically want to get into mechanical/electrical rooms, we will evaluate on a case by case basis. We normally have sufficient information combined with a list we can provide the client to provide vital information on the improvements in order to complete an external inspection/Desktop report. Additional information available such as building specifications, building plans, any past reserve fund study, insurance appraisal, and the most current insurance certificate are always extremely helpful for providing our appraisers with as much information on any project. We ask that any documentation available to please be forwarded to Reliance.

In the above instance, Reliance reserves the right to complete a full inspection later when is deemed to be safe to do so by government and client recommendation.

EXISTING APPRAISALS

These will be conducted through a Desktop appraisal for all properties that we have previously appraised.  We will likely still proceed to complete an exterior inspection only, but this will be at our discretion and would occur without accompaniment by any client representatives. We will however be requesting any changes that may have occurred since we completed the last appraisal and will be asking the client for any significant changes that have been made which can be incorporated into the report. Please understand that insurance appraisals, unlike a reserve fund study, do not take into consideration depreciation. Therefore, as an example, a medium efficient boiler or an asphalt shingle roof has been replaced with a like kind, this remains as the finish that would be replaced upon loss whereas if a roof finish has been changed from wood shake to asphalt shingle or a boiler upgraded to a high efficiency unit this becomes critical as the cost may change and has to be factored into the analysis.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL AN INTERIOR UNIT INSPECTION(S) BE CONDUCTED FOR EITHER A NEW APPRAISAL OR AN EXISTING APPRAISAL

Standard Insurance Unit Descriptions (SIUD)

We continue to process these descriptions and appreciate your patience in this matter given the current workloads. We have found the majority of the SIUD’s can be created without an inspection because we were the first to include a basic SIUD in our reports over the past 20 years. We now require additional, more detailed, items but these may be found in our files as well as other background information we have at our disposal (and/or any builders specifications provided by the clients) so we will continue to process; however, if a unit(s) inspection is required these will likely be deferred until such time as it is safe to do so.

RESERVE FUND STUDIES

For those properties where only exterior inspections are required, such as townhouses, industrial and commercial properties, Reliance typically compiles background information before an inspection occurs and then relates this to inspection. We can proceed with an exterior inspection, provided we receive client permission, to conduct the exterior visual inspection with or without a client representative. Once the inspection is completed our Inspection Summary that is provided allows the client to review and comment on any changes or modification that are required prior to moving to the draft stage. 

For improvements requiring interior inspections, such as apartments, the same approach as noted for insurance appraisals will apply. This provides the client the flexibility of proceeding however if there is a level of discomfort with the process the inspection can be held back until such time as it is deemed safe by government and client permission.

MEETINGS & INFORMATION

Until such time as it is deemed safe to interact in a normal manner (whatever that is defined in the future) there are several options available to gather and understand our reserve fund studies. All drafts include a portal link to our video, which is unique to the reserve fund study market, and explains the entire process in detail as to how to read and understand our studies. We have found this to significantly reduce the number of meetings once the viewer has had an opportunity to apply this media.

If however our clients still require a clarification on certain unique matters they have the opportunity to correspond by email if there are only a few minor issues or we can set up a WebEx meeting where everyone attends, can interact, can have a recording of the meeting for future reference and deal with any required changes.

For Insurance Appraisals queries or quotes please contact us at info@relianceconsulting.ca       

For all correspondence related to SIUD’s please contact kim@relianceconsulting.ca

For Reserve fund Studies please contact cori@relianceconsulting.ca

Our staff will be working hard to make sure our clients are served with the level of service Reliance has always prided ourselves on delivering.