FAQs for Renters

For Prospective Tenants Seeking Homes, Apartments, Or Condominiums For Rent

A Guide for Renters

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. has over 40 years of experience managing and renting properties in the Calgary area, and we want to use our hard-earned knowledge to your benefit! For your convenience, we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions. Please read through the list of questions prior to contacting Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. If your question is not found below, please fill out our Inquiry Form and an Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. team member will respond to your inquiry within 3 business days.

View our Checklist for Renting Your Next Home.

Application Processes With Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.

What does the application process involve?

Applying for rental properties through Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. involves a series of steps and processes.

ORDER: Tasks:
STEP 1 The first step involves filling out our Tenant Application to Rent form. To complete this form, you will have to provide the following:
    Landlord References
    Employment References
  TIP: To speed up your application process, include as much information as possible!
STEP 2 Now it is time to complete a Tenancy Agreement, provided to you from Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. This form is non-binding until the approval of your application form in Step 1 and upon receipt of your security deposit.
  NOTE: Information obtained in the Tenancy Agreement and the Application to Rent forms will be used to complete a credit check.
STEP 3 Provide a Security Deposit – equivalent to one month’s rent. A Security Deposit is required to hold a property, along with a completed Application to Rent form and a Tenancy Agreement. Failure to provide all 3 may prevent Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. from holding your selected property.
  TIP: You can pay your Security Deposit through a debit transaction, money order, or a certified cheque.
STEP 4 Are you a pet owner and found a pet-friendly rental property? Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. will provide you with a Pet Agreement form that will help determine if your pet is eligible for the property in question. If you are approved, you may be required to pay a non-refundable Pet Fee.
  NOTE: It is worthwhile to check to see if your building is pet-friendly and, if so, if there are certain conditions that limit the kind of pets in the building prior to filling out our Pet Agreement form.
  TIP: You can pay your Pet Fee through a debit transaction, money order, or a certified cheque.
STEP 5: Supply the First Month’s Rent. Payment can be received through Money Order, Certified Cheque, Pre-Authorized Payment, or a Debit Card Transaction made at the office. Rent is due at the first of the month. Late payments are subject to late fees.
STEP 6: Apply for Utilities. We provide forms for ENMAX (AB Hydro & Electricity), EPCOR (utilities for outside of Calgary), Direct Energy, and ATCO Gas.
  TIP: Look through the Tenancy Agreement to find out what utilities are included in your rent. If you want additional utilities that are not mentioned in your Tenancy Agreement, you are responsible for the provision of these Utilities.
STEP 7: Now that it’s time to move in, a Move-In Inspection needs to be completed. Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. will walk you through your rental property to complete a report at the time of possession, which you and Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. will have to sign.
  TIP: To Complete your move-in inspection, a date and time will be coordinated with your assigned Leasing Agent, Property Manager, or Resident Manager.
STEP 8: Supply payment for a Move-In Fee if applicable. Some apartment buildings and condominium corporations require tenants that are moving in or moving out to provide a fee to cover any damages incurred during the move and coordination of the elevator bookings.
STEP 9: Provide Payments for the duration of your tenancy. Rent is always due on the first of the month.
  TIP: To fulfill this obligation, you can provide post-dated cheques or a pre-authorized debit transaction. We find that these payment methods are easiest for both our tenants and our landlords. We also accept debit payments in person at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.’s office or money orders. Late payments are subject to late fees.
  NOTE: Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. has a strict NO CASH policy. For the safety of our staff, we will not accept cash.
STEP 10: COLLECT YOUR KEYS!!!

How long does it take to fill out the Tenant Application to Rent form?

It takes approximately 30 minutes to fill out the Tenant Application to Rent form.

How long is the approval process?

We guarantee that you will have feedback regarding your approval within three business days as long as all necessary documentation (the application to rent, the tenancy agreement, and the security deposit) are in the possession of Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. and are completed to the fullest extent possible. Missing information may result in delays in processing your application.

Why do you check my credit?

To ensure prospective tenants can afford the unit in question, many property management companies in Calgary often complete credit checks. We want to ensure that the tenant is able to meet their commitments to Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. given other financial obligations and circumstances. If your credit is not stellar, it doesn’t mean you will not be accepted. We assess credit on a case-by-case basis. If you have questions on this matter, please call us at 403-237-8600 for more information.

Can I give you security deposit now to hold the property?

To hold a property with Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. we require a security deposit, a completed Tenant Application to Rent form, and a completed Tenancy Agreement form. We will not hold a property unless all three items are in our possession. We will cease to hold the property for you if your Tenant Application to Rent form is not approved, and your security deposit will be returned.

For the safety of our team members, we adhere to a strict NO CASH POLICY. No cash is ever kept on site.

For Current Tenants Living In Homes, Apartments, Or Condominiums For Rent

Rent Payment Inquiries

Where and how do I pay my rent?

You can pay your rent by post-dated cheque, Interac, or by pre-approved withdrawals from your debit account. Rent is always due on the first of the month.

During regular office hours, payments in person can be made at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.’s office located at:

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.
1036 10th Avenue SW
Calgary, AB T2R 1M4

For the safety of our team members, we adhere to a strict NO CASH POLICY. No cash is ever kept on site.

Rent – When is it due?

Rent is due on the first of every month by the end of the business day. To help ensure that rent is paid on time every month, we accept post-dated cheques or you can pay by a pre-authorized debit transaction. You can also come into the Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.’s office to pay with Interac.

NOTE: We also have a strict NO CASH POLICY – no cash is ever kept on site.

Can I do a money transfer to pay my rent?

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. is happy to set up an automatic pre-approved debit transaction to assist with paying rent.

If my rent is late, what are the consequences?

Rent is due on the first of the month. If rent isn’t received by the third day of the month, we will issue a late notice in accordance with your lease agreement. Late fees will apply, and Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. will adhere to the Residential Tenancy Act.

If you have any questions on this matter you can contact us directly at 403-237-8600.

My cheque – Who do I make it out to?

All cheques must be made out to EMERALD MANAGEMENT & REALTY LTD.

If cheques are issued to another party, rent will be considered not-accepted and late fees may apply.

The first of the month falls on a weekend or a holiday. Is rent still due on the first?

Yes. Rent is ALWAYS due on the first of the month. We find that providing a series of post dated cheques or using our pre-authorized payment program ensures that rent is paid on time and avoids added costs incurred by late fees.

I have roommates. Can we all pay with separate cheques?

Roommates must designate one individual who will be responsible for the collection of rent for the house and issue one cheque to Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.

I can’t pay my rent on time. What do I do?

If for any reason you cannot pay your rent on time, you MUST contact Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. to make satisfactory arrangements. Please note, arrangements need to be made prior to the date rent is due and approved by Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. in order to prevent undue fees.

I paid my rent, but I still received a late notice in the mail. What should I do?

Your rent may have been delayed because of mail delays, or other extenuating circumstances. If you have paid your rent, but still received a late notice, call Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. at 403-237-8600 to confirm payment was received.

Specific to Tenants Renting a Condominium

What is a condominium?

A condominium is a unique type of property ownership where owners have a title to their unit, but also jointly own common property. Unlike an apartment complex, the management of the condominium property and maintenance of the building (including administrative tasks) are the responsibility of the Corporation’s Board of Directors who are elected by the owners.

What is a Board of Directors and how do they affect me?

A Board of Directors is responsible for administering the business of the condominium complex on behalf of the rest of the owners. This includes ensuring the condominium complex runs within its legal parameters and continuing to keep the owners apprised of significant changes.

As a tenant, your landlord will provide any changes to the bylaws or other regulations the condominium complex has brought into effect. You will also be provided with a copy of your condominium corporation’s bylaws prior to possession so that you, as a tenant, are aware of regulations that you will have to abide by, even if you are not an owner.

What are the responsibilities of the tenant? What are the responsibilities of the owners?

As a tenant, you are responsible for reviewing all documentation associated with rules and bylaws of the condominium corporation that your landlord provides – this may include minutes from board meetings. The landlord is responsible for ensuring that you are provided with these documents in a prompt manner.

Prior to moving into your condominium unit, your landlord will provide you with the bylaws associated with the condominium complex you are renting.

How do I file a complaint for a bylaw/rule violation (e.g. noise, pets, etc.)?

We strongly encourage neighbours to resolve disputes between themselves and this includes the tenants of condominium properties. If you feel that a matter is beyond solving on your own, or you are not comfortable with reporting the incident to your condominium’s Board of Directors, we welcome you to contact Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. directly, and we will address your concerns with either your landlord, the condominium’s Board of Directors, or both. We will work hard to ensure that all issues are resolved to the best outcome possible for all parties involved.

Pre-Authorized Payment Plans

What is a Pre-Authorized Payment (PAP) Plan?

A Pre-Authorized Payment Plan (PAP) allows Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. to automatically withdraw funds from your debit account in order to pay your rent, condominium fees, or any other financial obligation you may have to Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. The PAP plan makes your rent payment worry free – you never have to question if we have received your payment!

It is the easy way to make your monthly payments. Simply fill out this PAP Agreement, print it, and sign and initial where indicated. Then fax or email it to us with your VOID cheque. Fax to 403-290-1530. Email to

Can I do a money transfer to pay my rent?

Emerald Management Realty Ltd. is happy to set up an automatic pre-approved debit transaction to assist with paying rent.

How do I cancel my existing PAP plan?

You will always have complete control over your payment to Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. – just like you would if you had issued cheques. To cancel your existing PAP plan, you just need to instruct your bank or, alternatively, you can reach Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. and submit your request, in writing, and we will cease all PAP payments.

Tenant Changes & Roommates

I have roommates. Can we all pay with separate cheques?

Roommates must designate one individual who will be responsible for the collection of rent for the house and issue one cheque to Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.

My roommate just gave me notice, and I need to get a new roommate. What do I need to do in order to adhere to my Tenancy Agreement?

Only tenants listed in the Tenancy Agreement may occupy the rental unit unless the landlord has provided prior written approval.

If you are anticipating a new roommate, the proposed tenant must complete the Application to Rent form and submit it to Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. for approval. Depending on your location or building, the proposed tenant, once approved, may also be required to pay a move-in/move out fee.

The tenant that is moving out must supply their notice of leaving to Emerald Management & Realty Ltd., in writing, and may also be responsible for a move-in/move-out fee.

We recommend that the vacating tenant also signs a Waiver of Security Deposit form.

My roommate wants to move out, but the lease is still active. What steps need to happen?

At Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. all tenants are singularly and jointly obligated to ensure that rent is paid in full by the first of the month. This means that if a roommate moves out without giving proper notice, the remaining tenants can be held responsible and will be obligated to pay the portion of rent your prior roommate(s) were responsible for; however, this is a worst-case scenario.

Ideally, your roommate will provide written notice to both you and Emerald Management & Realty Ltd., thereby providing you with an adequate amount of time to manage your finances or find a different roommate. If you find a new roommate, this person will need to fill out a Tenant Agreement form and get approval from the Landlord to move in.

It is not the responsibility of Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. to negotiate or mediate issues between tenants. We strongly recommend that the vacating tenant also sign a Waiver of Security Deposit form.

My roommate has given notice to Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. What happens to the security deposit?

Security deposits are collected to ensure that the property is well maintained by the tenants. Accordingly, we keep the security deposit until all tenants vacate the property, and have completed a move-out inspection prior to vacating the property. If there was no damage to the property, aside from normal wear-and-tear, the security deposit will be returned in full. Partial reimbursements to roommates will not be given. We expect the vacating tenants and the new tenants to manage this matter on their own. We also strongly recommend that the vacating tenant sign a Waiver of Security Deposit form.

I have roommates. Can we get insurance together or do we have to have separate policies?

Some insurance companies will allow individuals to purchase tenant insurance jointly; however, there are some disadvantages to this approach. In order to ensure expectations are met between all tenants, it is good to keep a record of each tenant’s valuables and their worth and accordingly, an appropriate ratio of sharing the cost of the insurance. Also, roommates should discuss together what would happen if one of the tenants moved out.

Alternatively, insurance companies can also provide separate policies, which can make things much simpler if a roommate decides to leave.

Moving In or Moving Out

Why do I pay an elevator fee to move into a building with an elevator?

Many buildings in Calgary have an elevator. In some cases, to offset the cost to the building to maintain elevators, increased wear and tear on equipment, or moving and security monitoring, buildings may charge a move-in/move-out fee.

Can I rent a steam cleaner and clean the carpets myself prior to moving out?

Yes, however, if determined by the Landlord that the cleaning is not satisfactory or if the property is damaged in the process, the tenant will be charged for having the carpets professionally steam cleaned and/or repaired in accordance with their Tenancy Agreement. You may find it more cost effective to contact your Property Manager to identify a high quality company that works frequently with Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. If you elect to clean the carpets yourself, Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. will request a copy of the receipt during your move-out inspection.

I want to move out. How much notice do I need to provide?

Parameters regarding leaving notice are included in your Tenancy Agreement.

If you have completed the term of your lease and are no longer operating on a Tenancy Agreement, one month’s written notice must be given on or before the first day of the month, in order to provide at least one full month’s notice.

If you wish to vacate, you can fill out the Notice to Vacate form.

I may have to break my lease. What are the consequences?

Tenant responsibilities with respect to breaking your lease are outlined in your signed Tenancy Agreement. Generally, the tenant breaking the lease will be responsible for re-leasing fees, advertising, turn-over costs, and any rent differences between the existing and new rent for the remainder of the original lease.

If you are transferring locations for work purposes, ask your employer about financial support for breaking tenancy agreements.

It is important to provide as much notice as possible. As soon as you know you need to move out, contact Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.

What are some steps I can take to ensure a quick move-out process?

The first step is to fill out the Notice to Vacate form. Once submitted, this form will officially provide Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. with the notice of your intention to leave. Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. needs at least one full month’s notice, so it is important to fill out the Notice to Vacate form prior to the first of the month to make this process as quick as possible.

If your building has an elevator, you will likely have to book the elevator for moving out. There may be fees involved.

The final step is a move-out inspection. We highly recommend that tenants attend the move-out inspection personally to help expedite processes, and get your security deposit back sooner. You can contact Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. directly at 403-237-8600 to book a mutually convenient move-out appointment with a Leasing Agent, Property Manager, or Resident Manager.

Utilities & Amenities

Do I hook up Utilities? And if so, why do I need to fill out the forms?

Apartments, condominiums, and homes include a different range of utilities on a case-by-case basis. If a particular utility is not provided, you are responsible for both the provision of the utility and setting it up.

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. is happy to provide forms to get you set up in your new home as quickly as possible. We provide forms and information on the following companies at the time your application is being processed:

  • ENMAX (Alberta Water & Electricity)
  • EPCOR (Utilities for properties outside of Calgary)
  • DIRECT ENERGY
  • ATCO GAS

Is Internet and cable included with my rent?

Unless otherwise noted on the property listing, you are responsible for providing internet and cable for your rental property.

Can I install cable, satellite TV, or extra phone lines at the property if not already installed?

If you wish to install cable, satellite TV, or extra phone lines at your rental property, you must first receive written permission from Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.

If you are approved, and the rental property is damaged due to the installation processes you, the tenant, will be responsible for ensuring damages are fixed and the unit is restored to as close to the original condition as possible, at your expense. Accordingly, we recommend a professional complete all installations.

Once the installation is complete, it is considered a permanent fixture of the property, and cannot be removed if the tenant vacates.

Pet Policies

Can I get a pet after moving in?

First, find out if your rental property is pet-friendly. If yes, please contact Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. for a Pet Agreement Form. Pets will only be approved if your Pet Agreement Form is approved by Emerald Management & Realty Ltd., at which point you may be charged a one-time, non-refundable pet fee.

Insurance

As a tenant, why should I get Insurance? Will the landlord’s policy provide enough insurance?

Many first-time renters often make the mistake of not getting renter’s or tenant insurance. This insurance is incredibly important in protecting your possessions! Your landlord’s own insurance policy covers damage done to the building itself and not the personal possessions of the tenant. Tenant insurance doesn’t just cover your personal property in the event of a robbery or fire – it also covers other issues such as if a guest or delivery person is injured while in your home because of tenant negligence (e.g. tripping over a shoe).

I have roommates. Can we get insurance together or do we have to have separate policies?

Some insurance companies will allow individuals to purchase tenant insurance jointly; however, there are some disadvantages to this approach. In order to ensure expectations are met between all tenants, it is good to keep a record of each tenant’s valuables and their worth and accordingly, an appropriate ratio of sharing the cost of the insurance. Also, roommates should discuss together what would happen if one of the tenants moved out.

Alternatively, insurance companies can also provide separate policies, which can make things much simpler if a roommate decides to leave.

Business Out Of The Home

Can I use the property for my business?

Businesses of any kind cannot be run out of apartments, condominiums or homes for rent by Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.


Frequently asked questions: