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  • Samantha Reece

How COVID is changing apartment living

Updated: Feb 3, 2021

No. 1- Changes in Apartment Gathering Places

One of the very first things that many landlords and property managers did during the onset of COVID-19 is turn gathering places into multi-purpose spaces that people could be in and safely social distance.

For instance, lounges and other areas are now being repurposed for homeschooling and remote work. Furthermore, landlords are investing in more movable furniture, which allows them to set seating, dining, and studying/work areas six or more feet apart.

No. 2- Converting Clubhouses and Game Rooms into Co-Working Spaces

Similarly, game rooms are also being converted into more practical spaces for residents who are now essentially homebound.

In warmer places, property managers are still relying on rooftop decks and other outdoor spaces to facilitate social distancing and add some ventilation.

No. 3- Rethinking Living Spaces inside Apartment Units

In an effort to showcase apartments for rent, property managers have been rethinking living spaces inside their apartment homes.

For example, multi-bedroom units are now being advertised as one-bedroom apartments with home offices or remote learning spaces, instead of the traditional marketing for 2-bedroom or 3-bedroom apartments. Single-bedroom apartments are showcasing a creative space/working area where residents can earn a living in the comfort of their own home, since a significant number of people are now working from home.

No. 4- Creating Co-Working Spaces with Dividers As Apartment Amenities

Property managers also turned to coworking spaces that already existed in their apartment buildings and added dividers so their residents could still use the spaces but have an additional layer or barrier between them and the next person due to COVID-19.

No. 5- Better Ventilation and Ionization Systems

In addition to new spacing requirements, landlords have found unique and creative ways to increase ventilation throughout their apartment buildings.

In fact, some have gone so far as to invest in hospital-grade ventilation systems. Plus, high-end apartment communities are also adding an extra safeguard with special ionization systems in various building ducts. These unique ionization systems zap viruses that may have snuck through building ventilation systems.

No. 6- Fewer Touch Surfaces and Frequent Cleaning

Moreover, if you walk into an apartment complex or building these days, you will notice that there are fewer touch surfaces, which means now there are more key fobs to unlock lobby doors, motion-triggered faucets, and automated toilets.

High-touch areas that cannot be motion-triggered are cleaned daily—or there are automated mists that disinfect small, poorly ventilated spaces.

No. 7- More Copper or Antimicrobial Surfaces

Similarly, there has been an increase in copper and antimicrobial surfaces.

Anything that can now be made out of copper, even some workout equipment, is now showing up in apartment developments.

No. 8- Fitness Facilities and Half-Capacity

Speaking of fitness facilities, many apartment communities are imposing half-capacity rules for gyms and other common areas.

To deal with high-demand, fitness facilities have now become 24-hour gyms so that all residents can use the facilities. Gym equipment is also being spaced out to ensure social distancing. Apps have also been installed for booking equipment in advance and ensuring adequate spacing.

No. 9- More Assistance via Apps

There has also been a major shift to apps.

For example, some property managers have created apps for residents that allow them to schedule time in common areas. There has been an increase in virtual/electronic communication as well between landlords, staff, and residents—more email newsletters, online forums, etc.

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