Your Annual Property Maintenance Checklist

Conducting yearly property maintenance can save you significant time and money. Choosing one day of the year to conduct a thorough inspection around your property and make necessary repairs can prevent potential damage and keep you and your tenants safe. Continue reading for details on the checklist you should follow each year.

Check for Water Leaks 

Checking pipes for water leaks should be at the top of your annual property maintenance checklist. Even small and seemingly insignificant leaks can diminish the life of your pipes and lead to costly repairs. Addressing leaks and cracks in the water line can prevent a pipe from bursting and flooding areas inside of your property. 

Change Furnace Filters

Furnace filters work hard to keep you and your tenants safe. Some filters require quarterly inspections; however, it’s best to conduct a more thorough examination of the furnace and the filter annually. This is essential for property owners who rent out their homes because a clean furnace filter prevents dust, dirt, and mould from building up and circulating throughout the property. 

Check for Mould 

Completing a yearly checklist can be stressful, especially if you’re inspecting multiple homes you rent out to tenants. Using property maintenance services can help with some of the more difficult areas of the checklist by enlisting the help of professionals. When checking for mould, your tenants’ health is at stake, so it’s always best to consult a professional and ensure that the home is safe to live in.

Inspect the Gutters 

One of the areas that often gets overlooked is the gutters. They are vital and can protect the life of your roof when properly maintained. Adding gutters to your checklist and inspecting them yearly will ensure that debris or animal nests are removed and that the gutters are working properly. 

Check Kitchen and Bathroom Ventilation 

One of the key benefits of hiring a property maintenance company for your rental home is having access to local resources and professional companies. Trusting your property management company to source out yearly tasks like checking the kitchen and bathroom ventilation can ensure that your home is in proper working order. Relying on a professional company to take care of ventilation issues will save you time and ensure that if any problems are found, they’re taken care of immediately and correctly.

Check for Pest Intrusion 

If your home has attic or basement space, checking for pests while working through a yearly checklist is imperative. Pests can come in all sizes and tend to favour areas that don’t get used often. If you find yourself with nests or insects/animals living in any space of the home, call a pest control service immediately to save your home from further damage. 

Check for Air Leaks 

Old doors and windows around the home can easily let air from the house slip out. Adding sealant around the window or replacing old door frames during your property maintenance checks can go a long way in helping your home stay warm or cool, depending on the season. Eliminating air leaks will also help lower your energy bill.

Inspect Your Deck 

Don’t forget to inspect outdoor structures around your property. If you’re renting out a home, your tenants will likely enjoy spending time on the deck. Ensure the structure is stable and has not deteriorated. 

Want More Advice & Guidance?

Give the team at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. a call at 403-237-8600 for help on your annual property management checklist. You can also fill out our online form with questions about how we can help and the resources we can provide. We look forward to hearing from you!


The Importance of Property Management in Real Estate

Real estate is a good investment that can generate monthly income. Owning and renting out multiple properties is profitable, but can also be stressful when it comes to keeping everything in order. Hiring a professional company to assist you with collecting money, dealing with tenants, managing contractors, and handling leases can take the burden off your shoulders.

What is Property Management? 

Property management refers to the oversight and management of properties. Property management deals with rental, condominium corporations, homeowner’s associations as well as with commercial and land properties

Rental property management deals with everything from the legal lease, collecting money, managing damage and repairs, finding tenants, and more. Working with a trusted and reputable property management company means one less thing you need to worry about.

Rent Collection 

One of the most critical tasks for property management companies is collecting rent. If you lease multiple properties, it can be tiresome to collect rent from each individual tenant. Even worse is dealing with delinquent or late rent payments … or … mid of the night emergencies!

Allowing a licensed brokerage property management company to manage your properties means you don’t have to invest time and energy to collect the rent, and you know it will come on time every month. Trusting this task to a property management company gives you peace of mind and time to handle other projects throughout your day. 

Mortgage and Utility Payments 

At Emerald Management & Realty, we make transferring your utility and mortgage payments hassle-free. If you have multiple properties, handling the utility bills and keeping things organized can quickly become a full-time task. One of the advantages of utilizing property management companies is the ease of having bills like mortgage and utility payments rolled into the same service. 

Accounting 

Unless you have a background in finance and accounting, taking care of the exact amount that comes in and goes out each month can be a headache, costing you time and money. Having a property management team that knows how to keep accurate accounting records for each property can save you from losing money or paying extra when tax time comes around. 

Keeping a detailed record of every dollar spent and collected is essential to prevent confusing books at the end of the year. It will keep your renters on the right track and alert you if any homes are causing you excessive money in utilities or repairs over time.

Leasing 

It is difficult to market multiple properties at once. If you have several vacant properties that need tenants, our property management services can handle the marketing and application process for you. Allowing a respected company to take care of the application process can save you valuable time. 

Security Deposits 

Security deposits are extremely important, especially in pet-friendly rental properties. This deposit will cover any damages to the home and could save you money when tenants move out. In accordance with applicable legislation and tenancy agreements, property management companies retain these deposits and pay contractors directly if any repairs need to be completed after a tenant moves out, making this one less thing you have to worry about. 

Inspections and Maintenance 

It is expected that, over time, your homes will need some form of maintenance. Whether routine maintenance or repairing damage caused by tenants, having a rental property management team will take the stress off your hands. With many contractors and service companies on speed dial, your maintenance can be taken care of quickly.

Leave the Property Maintenance to Us! 

If you are ready to take your rental portfolio to the next level, call us at 403-237-8600 or fill out our convenient online contact form. From accounting to maintenance to management to after-hours emergency support, the team of experts at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. is here to help so you can focus on what really matters!


Take Safety Home

Complacency is often a contributing factor with injuries or an insurance loss in the home.  With remote working for many still in effect, staycations continue to be in vogue, and school age children are now out for summer … great time to review your home for risk on often over looked items relating to appliance safety.    

 

 

Cooking fires are still a leading cause of household fires.  If at any time you use a cooking appliance make sure the area is clean and clutter free.  Always ensure appliances are turned off and never leave your stove unattended while in use. 

 

 

 

 

Microwave Safety Rules

Most injuries related to microwaves are the result of  improper use or heat-related burns from hot containers, overheated foods, or exploding liquids. Safety tips:

  • Never leave food unattended when cooking
  • Check containers for microwave safety symbols (look on the bottom)
  • Do not use metal or shiny objects in a microwave as they can spark and start fires
  • Use oven mitts to remove hot food food
  • Prevent steam burns by removing lids slowly and carefully

Stovetop and Oven Safety Rules

Without sounding like a broken record  … can’t repeat this one enough … never leave your stove unattended while in use.   Safety tips:

  • Use the back burners on a stove whenever possible
  • Turn pot handles towards the centre of the stove to avoid them being knocked while walking by or grabbed by a younger child
  • Avoid loose sleeves or roll up your sleeves while cooking
  • If a window is nearby, secure the window covering (especially if the window is open and the fabric could blow over the flame/heat)
  • Keep burners free from debris and shut off your stovetop or oven as soon as you are done cooking

Toaster Safety Rules

A toaster is another essential item in most kitchens, but like most electrical gadgets they pose a risk if used incorrectly.  Safety tips:

  • Never stick anything (especially a metal something) into the toaster.  This will help you avoid an electrical shock that could seriously harm you.
  • Clean the crumb tray after each use to prevent a fire
  • If you notice an odd smell or any sparking, unplug the toaster immediately and contact the manufacturer.  Do not use it again until it has been repaired. 
  • Always store the toaster away from the sink or any liquids that could spill on it to avoid an electric shock

Sometimes, appliance fires and appliance related injuries are caused simply by something beyond your control. 

Smoke alarms and heat detectors are essential in keeping you safe by raising the alarm in the event of a fire.

 

There should be a minimum of one alarm/detector per floor and cover all areas where a fire could start AND your sleeping areas. 

In a larger rental home or single family house, put smoke alarms in the hallways that lead to each bedroom. On floors without bedrooms, install the smoke alarm in or near each living area such as dens, living and family rooms. Put a smoke alarm on the ceiling at the bottom of any staircase leading to upper floors.

For more Fire Safety Tips …. visit Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.’s Fire Safety Blog Category!

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. is a family owned and operated Property Management Company & Condominium Management company located in Calgary with 50 years of experience. Emerald provide a myriad of management and rental property services for tenants, property owners, homeowner associations, and condominium corporations.  Contact Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. today!  We’d love to show you why we are one of the most respected names in Calgary’s real estate industry


2022 Property Management Insurance Forecast

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. is proud of our insurance program that has been customized for the properties we manage.  With close to 50 years of property management service, Emerald has successfully leveraged its buying power and track record to obtain best in class preferred rates and robust coverage for its valued clients and property owners. As highlighted in 2021, the insurance market has been incredibly challenging for the real estate sector. 

 

2022 Property Management Outlook

As early as 2018, the insurance market started to experience a dramatic shift with reduced capacity creating a “hard market” that our team at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. continues to navigate for our valued stakeholders.  The “hard market’ experienced since has been characterized with substantial rate and deductible increases, declined renewals along with reduced capacity and/or restrictions on renewals.

The 2022 Q1 predictions made in Q4 of 2021 indicate that the market is to transition and stability to some degree, and the market is now showing signs of this transition with increased capacity and some broader appetite from insurers.  Moving into 2022, the general consensus is that markets are still looking to hold their rates with concerns the 2021 claims results are to some degree artificial due to the impact on activity globally with COVID-19.   This in addition to impact on claims costs due to global inflation and labor challenges still has many cautious.  While the market is transitioning, the outlook on some residential property remains tight especially where  the prior rate was before hard market as insurers are not providing any flexibility for rates below their required system rate.  The main concern is the impact of inflation on claim costs, as this has major effect as could appreciate looking at 15 to 45% increase on claims.

Despite these challenges, the forecast remains positive for real estate investors and condominium corporations.  This is good news as insurance companies continue to advise that market conditions are starting to improve and that there is a return to profitability necessary for the market to soften.1

What to Expect

In this current environment, even though insurers are cautiously optimistic and forecast a softer market in comparison to the past couple of years, they are still forecasting that where there is an increase in rates, mainly due to the impact of inflation on claims costs and capacity restraints, it should be between 5% and 15%.  In addition, it is anticipated that insurance companies will be seeking higher water damage deductibles and even where there is new capacity — it will be limited and expensive.

What are Key Factors Driving Insurance Costs

Key factors that continue to impact insurance rates for rental investment properties and condominium corporations are:

  • Increase in property values
  • Impact and the cost of record-high water and fire claims
  • Cost to insurers have increased from severe weather losses, market disruption and impact of COVID-19
  • Increase of building materials and construction due to disruption of supply chains, labour and inflation
  • New regulations from the national solvency regulation is being monitored as it has the potential of impact insurer capacity and drive up costs.
  • Increased focus on older buildings properties for detailed information on what insurers have identified as risk elements and opt not to renew without upgrades being undertaken.

How to keep property insurance costs down?

As the hard market continues to soften and property owners and condominium corporations adjust to the influences impacting pricing, you can impact insurance costs by2:

  1. Complete preventative maintenance and improvements to buildings and property
  2. Monitor your claims history and take steps to prevent future losses.
  3. Invests in a risk management program and loss prevention planning.

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. continues to focus on the current insurance environment and taking steps to minimize the impact of this shift on the pricing and coverage term for our clients.  As we head into Q2 of 2022, our team continues to negociate and advocate for our stakeholders. Part of our proprietary process includes our focus on achieving stability and retain loyal insurers for our stakeholders on our program.

Contact our team today to learn more about Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.’s practice and process that includes a program dedicated to achieving: low corporate rates, reasonable deductible levels, prompt claims management, coverage during vacancy, and rental revenue loss coverage in the event of an approved claim. 

The team at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. is thrilled to share the news that they have received the PLATINUM CommunityVotes Calgary Award for Best Property Management 2021.  This is the 2nd year that the team at Emerald has received this prestigious award. More information about the award can be found under Media. 

 

  1. Lloyd Sadd | The Gap Between Hearing & Seeing (November 2021)
  2. CapriCMW | 2022 Strata Insurance Outlook 

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