MONTREAL -- June is usually the busiest month for Montreal moving companies, but this year the season was way down—so low that some companies likely won’t survive.

“I think we’re going to see some attrition in the moving business in the next six to eight months, unfortunately,” said Nancy Irvine, the president of the Canadian Association of Movers.

She said the smaller companies are likely to be hurt the most.

But with COVID-19 restrictions and the public mood having lifted very recently, local companies are trying to make up for some of the lost income with a big July 1 push.

Their customers are also scrambling to take advantage of the city’s traditional moving day. Finally, as of the last week, they could visit apartments in person, so some prospective renters may have snagged last-minute leases.

One renter, Nedrick Humphrey, said it was tough to find movers for his July 1 move—a good sign for the moving companies.

Meanwhile, Quebec’s Office of Consumer Protection put out an advisory last week reminding both sides in a move to carefully negotiate their contract ahead of time, given all the unusual changes around COVID-19.

“If the price was agreed in advance and the mover tells you about “COVID-19 fees,” be careful!” the office warned.

“Although sometimes such costs may be legitimate, the law does not allow the merchant to add amounts due that were not provided for in the contract.”

Instead of needing to argue later, it advised a careful discussion by all parties of how long their planned move will take, how many people will be required and how much infection control measures will cost.