The East York bungalow had barely hit the real estate market when as many as 20 potential buyers showed up for a walk-through, but what they likely didn’t know is that three occupants renting the lower floor were in quarantine for COVID-19.
“It’s disgusting and it’s unbelievable,” said Ward 19 Beaches-East York Coun. Brad Bradford in an interview with Global News.
According to neighbours, three family members renting the basement apartment have been in self-isolation for almost two weeks.
The Govin family, who live across the street, were helping the quarantining trio by delivering groceries because, by law, those in isolation can’t go outside.
But to the Govins’surprise, the homeowner listed the house for sale and a real estate agent spent Thursday showing the property to several small groups who were interested.
“Some had to be in their 70s or 80s, it was terrible,” said Rick Govin.
Govin said he approached the real estate agent in his car and made sure he knew residents inside were in isolation.
“He didn’t seem to care,” Govin said, adding he later called the City of Toronto’s 311 number to complain.
The home was listed by Ariful Shohel, a sales representative with HomeLife Miracle Realty Ltd.
Several calls and messages to Shohel were not returned at the time of publication. Shortly after calls from Global News, the home was taken off the market.
“If the realtor knows and he’s not telling anyone going into the house (about COVID-19 residents), those people are going in thinking their they’re safe,” said Amanda Govin.
Amanda said she was told by the tenants that they were advised to remain together in a single room when clients were allowed into the home.
The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board told Global News “showings by appointment is permitted under provincial rules to remain functional” during the state of emergency, lockdown and stay-at-home order. But there are strict rules governing how brokers and agents must conduct business.
“One thing is certain, if realtors, their clients, or any consumer is displaying symptoms related to COVID-19, they cannot proceed in a way that may endanger others. They are obligated to refuse showings to clients,” said spokesperson Genevieve Grant.
The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), which regulates the province’s real estate industry, said salespersons and brokerages are advised to follow safety guidelines set out by public health departments.
“These allegations are concerning and RECO would like to be provided with the names of the brokerages and salespersons,” said Jennifer McCrindle, the council’s senior communications officer.
Dr. Vinita Dubey, the associate medical officer of health for Toronto, said in an email to Global News that occupants of a home with confirmed cases of COVID-19 should not leave unless they need medical attention.
“They should not have visitors,” she wrote in an email.
That fact should be common knowledge at this point, said Bradford.
“The sheer stupidity is actually beyond belief,” he said.
— With files from Caryn Lieberman
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.