Happy Chinese New Year 2021

Kung Hei Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year!

Wishing you a year of abundance, good health, luck & fortune.

This year we are celebrating the year of the Ox!  Did you know … that people born in a year of the Ox typically carry the characteristics of being honest and earnest. They are low key and don’t look for praise or to be the center of attentions. They will rarely lose their temper and they tend to think logically and make great leaders.
The years of the Ox are; 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021.
From all of us at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.,

Happy Lunar New Year!


Best Tips For Running a Successful Board Meeting

Running a successful board meeting, whether it be a condo board meeting or HOA/housing board meeting, is not as easy as you might think.

When it comes to running a successful board meeting, there is usually a wide collection of personalities, viewpoints and personal opinions and interests involved. Managing them all to make the best use of the available time and achieve the objectives of the meeting is an art by itself.

If you want to know how to chair a board meeting and make it successful, keep reading.

The main ingredients for a successful board meeting are preparation, organization and control. Therefore, the most important things to consider are:

Meeting agenda

A well-organized agenda is one of the main keys to holding a well-run, well-managed board meeting. The agenda for the meeting should include items for following up from the previous meeting, as well as items for discussion in the forthcoming meeting.

Naturally, the agenda should be circulated to all invited parties — ideally together with a copy of the minutes of the last meeting.

The agenda should prioritize the most important items that need voting on and cover any key presentations. Attendees are always interested in details of the financial performance of a property/properties. They’ll want to see documents such as the income statement and profit and loss statement, plus usually wish to know details of any major repairs or scheduled works;

Meeting quorum

Ensure that there will be enough attendees to form a quorum. Without such, the board meeting group won’t be able to vote for/make any decisions — which can render the meeting as unproductive. The Condominium Corporation Bylaws or  if applicable, Articles of Association will usually set out the mechanism to calculate such quorum.

Start and end on time

This may sound like an obvious tip, but you should always allocate a time budget for each of the agenda items. One of the biggest weaknesses of committees and board meetings is that they can end up running too long when there is no set time limit. Good time management is a major key to productivity and to hosting successful board meetings.

Depending upon what’s on the agenda, normally 60-90 minutes should be enough for most board meetings. We also recommend allocating around 10-15 minutes for discussion and decisions on major items.

Keep things simple and to the point

The agenda should be kept brief and be focused on the most important items wherever possible. It’s not recommended to repeat matters from the last meeting or spend too much time focusing on unnecessary items that have already been decided upon.

While it’s great to report progress, the main goal should always be to ensure decisions are enabling the working committee or property manager to continue to carry out his/her mandate.

Manage attendees

Of course, every owner or verified attendee wants to have their say. However, it can sometimes be difficult to focus on main points if the meeting’s participants are not managed properly. Be firm but fair and respect what the attendees are saying, but be sure to keep them focused on the most important matters at hand.

Ensure meeting minutes are taken

It might seem obvious, but keep minutes and record all decisions. Ensure the salient points with the key decisions and action points are noted, as meeting members will always have a chance in the next meeting to comment on the minutes.

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. Can Help

Board meetings are all about organized discussion to facilitate the most important decision-making. Meeting rules establish the appropriate procedures to get to an end result. It’s worth taking some time to go over the rules every now and then, as this may prevent any issues from arising later.

The board meeting should be wrapped up by having a short overview of what was discussed and final review of action items, with responsibilities attached. Decisions can be briefly recapped.

At   Emerald Management & Realty Ltd., we have many years of experience with arranging, running and managing board meetings for various properties. So, why not get in touch with us today and see how we can help?

Just give us a call or send an email to make an appointment to discuss your own property management needs. We’ll be more than happy to assist with your board meetings or any other property-related matters.

How to Screen a Prospective New Tenant

As a real estate investor, the importance of screening your tenants cannot be underestimated. The very last thing you want to do is to lease to a troublesome tenant who will have a negative effect on your investment. It’s for this reason that tenant checks in Canada are essential.

Female Realtor Shaking Hands With Couple Interested In Buying House

The process of screening a potential tenant doesn’t have to be difficult. Therefore, it’s best to adhere to the following steps when selecting an appropriate tenant for your property:

1. Request an application

To start, every prospective tenant should complete a formal application.

The applicant should be made aware and agree by signing the form that a background check, criminal history report and/or credit check will be requested, and that authorisation for such checks is being granted.

At the very least, the following information is required:

  • Financial information, including bank accounts and credit cards, balances and other major monthly payments
  • Current income level (basic salary plus bonus’ or other add-ons)
  • Current and previous employers
  • Contact information for previous landlords with addresses, details of rent paid and reasons for leaving
  • Number of occupants and number and type of pets
  • Personal references, including names, length of acquaintance and phone numbers


2. Arrange a tenant check  

After you have pre-screened applicants and narrowed down tenants who meet your requirements, the next step is a credit check. This will reveal details about the tenant’s previous credit history, going back up to 10 years. It’s possible to obtain a credit report and credit score using the Equifax Identity Report.

When the credit report is available, key items to consider include:

  • Credit history (this includes history of late payments, charged-off credit card accounts or major issues or delinquencies, such as bankruptcy)
  • Current debt (including high credit card balances, major loans for a car or the need for alimony payments or other unpaid debts)


3. Perform a background check

A background check can be arranged by using the prospective tenant’s social security number and such tenant verification services  will reveal details of:

  • Evictions from other properties
  • Any criminal record
  • Public records to see if tenant is involved in a legal battle, or has been sued in the past (eg. for unpaid rent, unpaid child support or another serious financial matter)

Many Canadian landlords are subject to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which has recent updated guidelines to clarify landlord rights and responsibilities.


5. Ask for references

Two of the main references to seek are from the tenant’s former landlord(s) and current or past employers, with key questions being:

  • Would you rent an apartment to this tenant in the future?
  • Does the tenant owe you any money or have a history of late payments?
  • Did the tenant cause any major damage in their last unit?
  • Did you repay the security deposit with or without deductions when the tenants moved out?
  • Did the tenant disrupt the neighbours or cause any major issues whilst in the unit?


For the tenant’s employer:

  • Is the tenant a current employee? If so, from when and on what contractual terms?
  • Does the tenant have a steady, reliable income source? If so, can this be verified?


 6. Interview the tenant

The Fair Housing Act stipulates that landlords cannot discriminate based upon disability, family status, national origin, race, religion or sex. You can still ask reasonable questions either in a phone or face-to face interview with the tenant, such as:

  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you have any pets? If so, how many and what are they?
  • What is your typical work day? Do you work night shifts or odd hours?
  • Do you plan on getting a roommate in the future or have any friends or relatives who frequently spend the night in your home?


Our team can help

To mitigate your risks as a landlord, it’s integral to screen every potential tenant — as no one wants to go through the hassles and process of evicting a tenant. Sometimes, instinct counts as much as the hard facts from the tenant’s credit report and background information.

In any event, care is needed to ensure you do not break any privacy laws in the relevant Landlord and Tenant Act.

If you are looking for assistance in finding tenants or with tenant screening, why not give us at Emerald Management and Realty a call today? You can also contact us by email.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Holiday Message 2020

With the holiday season upon us and as we approach the the end of a year like no other, Emerald Management & Realty Ltd., would like to extend our gratitude and appreciation to those who have entrusted us to provide property management services: our clients, tenants & residents, our team members, contractors, and the communities that we serve. 

Thank you to all our clients and residents for your collaboration and working with us as we continued to provide property management services  during this unprecedented time of challenge and opportunity.  We are grateful for the support of our people. Especially for their resilience and commitment to providing responsive service and looking at innovative solutions.  This helped meet our focused goal of keeping everyone healthy and working.  Markedly, the teamwork provided the inspiration to keep all of us mentally and physically strong so that we could remain responsive, positive and be flexible through the challenges and opportunities faced this past year.

We also wish to send a shout of support to all the first responders, health professionals and every other essential worker for keeping us safe and reminding us of the importance of caring for others and giving back for the greater good.  It has been proven time and again this past year, that together, we are stronger.

In recognition of the support of being made by those working tirelessly to serve some of the hardest impacted in our the community, in lieu of gift cards, this year, donations were made to the Calgary Food Bank, HomeFront Calgary, Make a Wish Foundation, Mustard Seed, Project Warmth and the Salvation Army.


Like so many, we look forward to the day where we can get back to business-as-usual and celebrate the lessons learned and the successes achieved.  Until then, we are focused on interacting safely to minimize the threat of COVID-19 and are grateful for everyone’s effort and cooperation to help keep each other safe and healthy.

On behalf of everyone at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd., we wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year. 

Happy Holidays! 


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