A Landlord’s Guide to Early Lease Termination

In any lease agreement signed between a landlord and a tenant, the agreed, fixed period of occupancy will be specified therein.

Although the landlord and tenant may have every intention of allowing the lease to continue for the period specified, sometimes situations arise to prevent or change this and breaking a lease is not uncommon.

The landlord may wish to recover possession or the tenant may be forced to move out earlier if certain circumstances arise. And, so, the question of how to terminate a lease early often comes up.

Therefore, let’s have a good at some of the key issues to be considered in the event of early termination of a lease:

 

Firstly, establish the reasons for early termination

Fundamentally, the reasons to early terminate can be separated into landlord and tenant related issues. The landlord may want to:

  • sell the property and the buyer wants to have vacant possession without the encumbrance of a tenant;
  • undertake extensive decoration and/or remodelling or renovations or repairs to the property, and which require it to be vacant for a certain period of time;
  • live there him- or her- self

On the other hand, the landlord may wish to early terminate the lease as the tenant:

  • has failed to pay rent and meet other financial obligations in the lease agreement, despite appropriate warnings and notice periods;
  • is failing to meet his repair and maintenance obligations which may mean that the property is becoming uninhabitable, with possible health and safety and liability consequences for the landlord;
  • is breaching other lease conditions such as keeping a pet when this is expressly not allowed, disturbing neighbours with excessive noise, damaging the property, using the property for an unauthorised use, or participating in illegal activities on or near the premises.

 

Then, review the lease agreement

Carefully go through the terms and conditions in the lease signed by both the landlord and tenant. You need to establish exactly what language has/has not been included in the clauses of the agreement as this will form the basis for your next actions.

The provisions in the lease for any early termination can also be grouped into two parts:

  • Default:

Refers to the failure (by the tenant) to comply with the terms and conditions of a signed lease. Often, written warnings are given by the landlord to the tenant to “cure” the default before early termination due to default can proceed.

In the case the default is not cured, the due legal process will have to be followed in order to enforce early termination, probably requiring statutory notice periods. It’s also necessary to record all relevant correspondence leading up to and during the termination process. In some cases, the matter may end up in civil court.

 

  • Express or special conditions in the lease

If, in advance of granting a lease to a tenant a landlord plans that the property may be sold, extensively renovated or may, one day, become his/her residence, then such provisions can be written into the agreement. This will include how much notice is required to terminate the lease.

It’s in the best interests of a landlord to include as many contingencies as possible, as the more opportunities there are to early terminate a lease, the more flexibility there will be in the future.

 

Always take advice from an experienced professional

If you are thinking about an early termination of an existing lease or want to make such provision in a new lease to give you more options, just give us a call at Emerald Management and Realty. We’re specialists in working with and advising clients about leasing matters.

It’s easy to arrange an appointment to meet or you can contact us via email about your lease issues or other real estate related matters.

We look forward to meeting up!


Covid19 Property Management Update

November 29, 2020

Since the news of Coronavirus first broke, Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.’s focus has been on protecting the health and wellbeing of our employees, families, customers, suppliers and our communities.  In addition, we have focused on our ability to continue business operations and keep everyone working.  Like most organizations, our emphasis has been on preparedness and safety. 

Emerald is following the guidelines of Alberta Health Services and while this information continues to change and evolve, we believe we are well positioned to continue to meet the challenges of this pandemic. 

Our ability to meet the challenges is based on several reasons, including: 

  • Our team has proven performance and experience navigating emergency events. We are family owned and engaged in our key business operations.  Our systems have developed over our almost 50 years in business so that we can be responsive.
  • Our tools and technologies enable our team to work on rotation, and when needed, remotely, without disruption, to fully serve the needs of our customers. We have a work from home policy that makes necessary transitions and adjustments seamless.
  • Our team is committed to delivering great customer service and support, even in difficult situations. As a result, our customer demand and activity remains strong. We have been recognized for the past 5 years as: Top Choice in Property Management Services in Calgary.

Our team has managed crisis scenarios successfully in the past, and we are well prepared to continue navigating this unprecedented global health event with positivity.

To assist our customers and team members with information about how we continue to adapt, we have been posting regular information on our website at: www.emeraldmanagement.com/blog  and a pop-up alert on our home page.  This has proven to be an effective tool and resource for our community.

In response to the recent Government of Alberta restrictions:

  • As Emerald Management is deemed an essential professional services business, our office will continue to remain open and we will be available to guests by appointment only.
  • To do our part in minimizing the spread of Covid-19, effective November 30, 2020, our office hours will be modified to: Monday – Thursday (8.30 am – 6.00 pm); Friday (8.30 am – 5.00 pm); closed weekends.  Please note that office hours are subject to change.
    • Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. continues to be available 24 hours a day: 7 days a week for after hours support and emergencies.
  • All employees & guests are required to wear a mask and social distance. 
  • Over the next couple of weeks, we will continue to monitor the safety of our team and risk management protocols.  Where necessary, we will implement a rotation of teams working and the potential of working remotely.
  • In accordance with the provincial guidelines and the Real Estate Council of Alberta, property showings and inspections will continue to follow the physical distancing and masking requirements in place.  Property showings are now limited to two family-unit members at a time.

    Disinfecting clean added to Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.’s list of property management services.

  • Whenever possible, meetings and property showings will be conducted virtually.  As highlighted in our last Covid-19 Update, we continue to monitor the cleaning requirements of the common spaces of our multifamily properties and condominium communities.   We continue to use effective disinfecting protocols including the use of Vital Oxide and electrostatic sprayers. This disinfectant service has been integrated into Emerald’s extensive list of property management and property maintenance services. It is now available to condominium corporations and building owners.  For more information on our areas of focus, visit our last Covid-19 Property Management Update.

The above protocols and restrictions are in accordance with Alberta Health Services and supported by theAlberta Real Estate Association and the Real Estate Council of Alberta.

For individuals seeking information on the emergency financial relief programs and additional assistance available during the Covid-19 pandemic, visit:

Throughout this time, it continues to be important that we support each other and the community. We are thankful for the support of our loyal and dedicated team members, residents, clients and partners — all of whom, are all integral to the foundation of our success.

Thank you for your contribution to flattening the curve and working through this together.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay positive.

 


Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. Nominated 2021 Top Choice Award

Winning the Top Choice Award is one of the largest endorsements a business can receive within North America, so this is a BIG deal!

This is our 6th year being nominated for this award for Best in Property Management Services and we are proud of our team members for working towards the goal of being recognized as the best property management company in Calgary.

Now, we need your help to WIN! Voting is now open and if you feel that we have earned your vote, we would appreciate your support. Your vote will automatically enter you into a draw for a chance to win 1 of 4 cash prizes of $500 given out by Top Choice Awards!  Take a moment and please vote today as voting ends December 20, 2020. 

VOTE NOW

When you vote, you are also able to provide anonymous feedback via a survey. Your feedback is very important to us, as it allows us to know what you love about us and what we can improve to continue serving you every day and providing the best customer experience possible. Many thanks in advance!

We would love to win the Top Choice Award… But we need your help to do so. If you believe we are your Top Choice, show us some love and help us spread the word!

Thank you again to our customers and team members for your vote of confidence! We are proud to have received your 2021 Nomination for Calgary’s Top Choice Property Management Company!

 

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. Top Choice Property Management Nominee

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. Top Choice Property Management Nominee for 2021


COVID19 Property Management Update November

November 13, 2020

With the recent Alberta Government announcement of heightened restrictions in response to the increased community spread of COVID-19, we are reminded about the importance of remaining diligent in our efforts to stay well.

Our goal at the onset of COVID-19 remains the same today: to keep our team and clients safe, healthy and working. As we continue to work together to flatten the curve, in-line with the recent government restrictions implemented on November 12, 2020, our specific areas of focus include:

Face Coverings

In accordance with current provincial and municipal bylaws, signage regarding face coverings continues to be posted in common building areas.

Guests and team members at our head office are wearing masks in accordance with the Mask Bylaw1 protocols while in public, in common spaces and meeting with customers for the health and safety of all individuals.

Team members (in select positions) are also required to wear additional PPE including face masks and gloves.

Surface Areas & Shared or Common Spaces

In the common spaces of our multifamily properties and condominium communities, we have implemented rigorous cleaning schedules with the support of our valued third party contractors and vendors.

Our team continues to sanitize and wipe down their work areas and meeting rooms prior to and post client meetings. Hand sanitizer remains available to use in the lobby areas, at desks and in the washrooms.  

As property management has been deemed an essential service, we have added a regular disinfecting clean of all touch points in our office with Vital Oxide, a product authorized by Health Canada for use against SARS-CoV-2, the Coronavirus that causes COVID-192. Vital Oxide is a hospital grade disinfectant that uses new enhanced cleaning technology and odourless and 100% biodegradable.3   

 

This disinfectant service has been added to Emerald’s extensive list of property management and property maintenance services. It is now available to condominium corporations and building owners. The service includes: disinfecting hard surfaces, touch points, elevators, etc., and can be completed as a cautionary measure prior to a tenant’s move-in or showings

Physical Distancing

To help alleviate the risk of COVID-19 transmission through person-to-person contact, Emerald has placed signage in its lobbies to remind guests to maintain social and physical distancing protocols. Where required: furniture has been re-arranged to allow more space for distancing; partitions and protective barriers have been installed at desks and reception areas to provide an extra level of precaution for guests and team members; and floor markers have been placed in common areas.

As well, Emerald supports physical distancing with the use of technology for virtual board meetings and client interactions. Further to this, we continue to improve systems and update processes in addition to enhanced cleaning and new efforts like disinfectant spraying.

The health and safety of our team is our top priority. Accordingly, they are prepared to work remotely when necessary or should someone be impacted by quarantine. The need for rotating schedules continues to be monitored to ensure compliance with government regulations and meet service needs.

Guests to the office have been asked to arrange meetings by appointment. This measure has been taken to limit the numbers of people in the office and reduce congestion in meeting rooms and lobby areas.

We continue to take payments online and work with residents on maintenance concerns as they arise. Rental showings remain top priority and we take precautions to ensure both residents and our team remain safe. We provide virtual showings where possible and will continue to take proactive creative steps to market rental listings.

Updates

Continue checking here for updates about how we’re supporting our community and employees, and providing service to our customers and clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you need additional support or find yourself in a crisis situation, the following Agencies may be of assistance:

  • Distress Centre: 2-1-1
  • Alberta Works: 1-866-644-5135 (emergency needs allowance for Albertans)
  • Bow West: 403-804-9826
  • Sunrise Community Link: 403-204-8280
  • CUPS: 403-717-0922 (crisis intervention fund)
  • Aspen: 403-219-3477 ext. 177 (for families)
  • Children’s Cottage: 403-242-8575 ext. 230 (for families)

For your go-to resources and obtaining timely, accurate information and guidance, please visit:

If you start to exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, self-isolate and call Health Link (811). You can also assess your own risk if you are concerned or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. If you need to self-isolate, follow the recommended instructions for self-isolation: Self-Isolation Fact Sheet (Government of Alberta).

COVID-19 information continues to be fast moving. Please let us know if you have any concerns or notice a sanitation issue in properties being managed so that we can work together to minimize the risk of transmission.

Emerald continues to implement the health and safety measures of applicable provincial and municipal government regulations to help provide our people a safe experience. We ask residents and clients to join us in doing their part to protect members of their community by staying home if experiencing any symptoms.

A big thank you, from our team to all of our clients, customers, trade members and third party contractors, for your support and collaboration during this challenging time!

Stay well!

 

1 Mask Bylaw Information 

2 Government of Canada, Health Canada 

3 Vital Oxide Material Safety Data Sheet