Security Tips to Improve Peace of Mind

Condo and apartment lifestyle is certainly different than living in a single family home.  One thing they do share is the importance placed on safety and peace of mind when it comes to security.

6 Tips for safety condo livingSafety and security is a responsibility shared by each one of us and should be kept top of mind to keep yourself, your property (the entire property) and your neighbors safe.   Please help protect yourself and your neighbors by considering some basic steps that can help deter suspicious and/or illegal activity:

  1. Suspicious activity should be reported to the non-emergency police line at 403-266-1234, and then to your property manager.  If a break-in is imminent and/or in progress — call 911.  If you have experienced a break-in, please report it to the police.
  2. If you don’t know them … please don’t let them in.  No one should follow you in the front door or into the parking areas without request.  You might to consider saying “Hello” to people trying to follow you into the property, as criminals hate being engaged. This is also a great reason to get to know your neighbors.
  3. Keep vehicles free of valuables and personal items when they are left parked.  This includes documents with personal information, garage door openers, keys, etc. (… just make sure you have the necessary documentation with you when you drive!)  When you have removed valuables from your vehicle, consider placing a sign visible to potential thieves that says: “All valuables have been removed”.  
  4. Protect yourself and your property. Lock all your doors and windows when you are not at home and be mindful of open doors and windows when you are home.  Even if you are above the ground floor, a balcony can still be a target for theft or intrusion. If you notice a door property open or not locking securely, let your building or property manager know right away about the security risk.
  5. Be aware of your surroundings. If you see someone that doesn’t belong, please take note.  Contractors should all have identification and we can’t imagine anyone that would mind identifying themselves when respectfully asked if they belong in the building or on the property.  Report any suspicious people.  This builds a strong case for getting to know your neighbors.  If you see someone behaving strangely, don’t hesitate to contact the police.
  6. Be mindful of the lighting and landscaping in and around your property. Report any burnt out bulbs, damaged lighting or overgrown landscaping.  Proper lighting and smart landscaping is a very good deterrent to crime.  Notify your building or property manager about dimmed, burnt out lights or maintenance issues to help to improve everyone’s safety.

These 6 tips are all great safety and no (even low) cost measures that can be put into practice for condominium community, even your single family home or multi-family rental property.

For clients of Emerald Management & Realty Ltd., issues that require attention can be reported to any of our property management team members at 403-237-8600 (24-hour emergency line) or by completing our online Maintenance Request Form.

By taking steps to treat the entire building exactly as would your home, these simple security measures could save you and your neighbors from avoidable damage and even theft and improve your sense of security.

Tips to get your Rental Unit “Rent Ready”

Tips to get your Rental Unit “Rent Ready”

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. strives to maintain a high standard of cleanliness in the buildings that under management. While some Resident Managers are responsible for the cleanliness of common areas and prepare vacant suites themselves, other larger rental communities may have cleaning staff or third party contractors who fulfill this need. In either situation, it is ultimately the Owner or the Property Manager’s responsibility to ensure that all of the following expectations are addressed to maintain pride of home for residents and maximize the first impression of prospective renters.

When it comes to getting a property rent ready, the goal in an ideal world is to have the unit in rent ready condition on or before the first of the month.  An inspection mid-month prior to the tenant moving out provides a great opportunity to see what work will be required.  Recognizing that a variety of factors may impact a tenant moving out, it is recommended that the cleaning services and repairs are scheduled in advance to accomodate a 24-hour turnover.   

If “life happens” (and it often does) you may may need to discuss options with the incoming tenant to work around them, especially in a tight rental market where turnovers are tightly timed.    In a softer rental market where vacancy is higher sometimes you have the luxury of time, but to maximize rental showings the goal should be to have suites cleaned within three days of vacancy. First impressions matter and the propsective renter should feel positive if the unit is in great condition or they can see that renovations and repairs are underway.

During suite preparation, thoroughly inspect each room from the light fixtures to the baseboards.  It is important to make sure all elements of a room are clean and in good state of repair. While doing your checks, be sure the smoke detectors are working and change the batteries (if required) to ensure proper function. In cooler months, double check that the heaters are working, the baseboard heater panels are straight and free of dust, and set the thermostat appropriately for the weather conditions.

An area that often gets over looked is a deep cleaning of kitchen appliances.  Fridges should be cleaned (don’t forget the seals) and if needed, the icebox must be defrosted.  Keep the fridge plugged in and running while the suite is vacant. A box of baking soda or open jar of coffee beans will help with odors.  Range hoods should be in working order and free of grease and oil, this also includes the oven and trays under the elements.  Make sure to clean the wall behind appliances and the flooring underneath.

Its important to triple check all of the hard surfaces too.  The cleanliness of the floors is very important.  Strip and wax hard surfaces,  or polish tile if necessary. Ensure that the carpet has been professional cleaned as the carpet cleaning equipment rented from local grocery stores often just doesn’t do the job. Windows should shine and drapes or blinds checked for good working condition. Clean ridges in patio doors and dust drapery rods. Bathrooms should be spotless and lime stains removed with products like “Lime Away” or “CLR”.

Last but not least … make sure to remove any items left behind by the former tenant and/or any of your own personal property if you are renting your unit for the first time. This includes: shower curtains and hooks, foil on the stove, coat hangers, toilet paper, nails in the wall, etc.,.  While the unit is vacant, make sure to check the suite regularly and be mindful of insurance requirements. 

For more information on how Emerald Management & Realty Ltd., can help you with the management of your rental asset, please contact us at 403-237-8600 or complete our on-line Request for Proposal

Happy Mother’s Day

Visit the Giant Pandas at the Calgary Zoo

Visit the giant Pandas at Calgary zoo

Giant pandas and their cubs

This May, Calgary is welcoming a Giant Panda family to the Calgary Zoo! Two adult pandas – Er Shun and Da Mao; as well as two panda cubs – Jia Panpan (Canadian Hope) and Jia Yueyue (Canadian Joy).

During their time in Calgary, the giant pandas will stay at Panda Passage, an exclusive, newly constructed habitat that has taken over the old elephant enclosure. The new habitat includes water features, hot and cool rocks, elevation, lush greenery and indoor, humid, quiet spaces.

The two adult giant pandas are on loan from China for a ten year period as part of a breeding program. They have now finished their first five years at the Toronto Zoo where they had their first two cubs. They will spend the next five years here in Calgary, while in a year the panda cubs will head back to China to begin anew.

The Pandas have been settling in for the past month and are enjoying their new home. Each panda eats about 40 kilograms of bamboo per day, this means that a couple times a week bamboo is flown in from China on a commercial flight. There are nine varieties of bamboo for the pandas to choose from, each panda usually has its own specific taste. Bamboo is 90% of their diet, so bringing in the correct food is a big part of the panda care.

Calgary’s Panda Passage at the Calgary Zoo opens to the general public on May 7, 2018.

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