Currently browsing: Condominium


Your Responsibilities As A Condo Owner

When you own a condo, you can reap the convenient benefits of a maintenance-free lifestyle similar to that of apartment living but you have your name on the title — all while sharing ownership of the common areas. Amenities are also often abundant for most units as most condominiums are relatively new to our market, with air conditioning, landscaping, modern kitchen appliances and laundry included in most properties. 

Condo living is available for everyone: from first time homeowners, working professionals, families and seniors. There are some communities or buildings that are childfree, so be sure to do your research!

Usually, Condo Board of Directors, (as it’s commonly referred to in Alberta) are elected by you and the rest of the owners of the condominium corporation community — and must be composed of at least two-thirds owners or mortgagees within your community. The Condo Board typically sees management from a governance perspective and leaves the day-to-day operations to a property management company.

However, as with most living situations, there are caveats of owning a condo. Living in a condominium unit isn’t like owning a single-family home.

Here are just a few of the regulations that you’ll be expected to follow:

Follow your condo’s, bylaws and rules

Condominium owners are subject to contributions (commonly referred to as condo fees) — which include costs for insurance, professional tasks, exterior repairs, maintenance of items such as siding and windows and landscaping, and funding the Reserve Fund. Failure to pay them on time, can result in being charged interest, or in extreme cases: legal issues or even foreclosure.

Condo owners are also responsible for looking over and understanding all documentation on bylaws provided to them by their Board of Directors. This  includes  important resources like board meeting minutes, insurance certificates and notices advising of specific changes in your community’s day-to-day operations. Voting and the administration of the Owner vs. Board of Directors is outlined in the Condominium Act of Alberta. 

 

While your province’s specific guidelines can vary, common bylaws include condo owner insurance requirements, pet restrictions — commonly weight restrictions or certain breeds disallowed. Noise level restrictions are also common, with quiet hours sometimes enforced. 

Failure to comply with these bylaws and regulations can and will have consequences for you as a condominium owner , so we suggest you ensure that you’re knowledgeable on all bylaws and any new developments with your particular building or condominium community. 

Repair and maintain the unit

Some may not be fully aware, but you are 100% responsible for all plumbing, appliances, fixtures and wiring in your condo unit (unless its defined as common or management property. Another good reminder to understand what is in your bylaws!)There’s a common misconception that just because you pay condominium fees or perhaps live in an apartment style building that your internal maintenance will be covered. Be sure to consistently keep your unit in good working order, with all plumbing and wiring issues attended to as soon as is reasonably possible. 

Other responsibilities

Your guests can also be subject to regulation — specifically, the number of nights a guest is allowed to stay over consecutively. Rules regarding guests have been a source of light controversy, but this is mainly in place to avoid too much noise or as a reminder that owners are responsible for their guests when on common or managed property. Some legislative bodies have also placed restrictions on numbers of people allowed during COVID-19 as a health and safety measure.

Your exterior space can  also subject to some restrictions — particularly hanging clothing to dry, barbequing and hanging decorations.  

Most communities have regulations on renting your , but most allow it on the basis that certain standards are met and to be in compliance with Human Rights legislation. In the same vein, use of your condo as an AirBnb usually is not permitted, although specifics on this can be verified with your Board of Directors. 

Call your Calgary property management experts today!

Our team at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. is more than ready to help Condo Boards and Condominium Corporations address their Condominium management needs. . We service Condominiums  in Calgary, Airdrie & Area Our property management offerings can be tailored to fit your condo community.

Give us a call at (403) 237-8600 or contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your next steps!


Summer 2020 Property Management Tips

While Calgarians continue to work towards flattening the curve for COVID-19, we have prepared a newsletter to help manage through this time with a focus on other areas that we need to remain mindful about, such as the importance of insurance and property maintenance. 

 

The following tips for rental and condominium residents have been prepared to help keep our customers up-to-date on current COVID information as the province moves through its re-opening this summer season: 

*2020 Summer Newsletter prepared for Condominium Boards & Residents. Similar newsletter was also delivered to all rental tenants during the month of July 2020.

 

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. is a family owned and operated Property Management Company in Calgary with over 40 years of experience. Contact Emerald today to discuss the variety of management and rental property services their team can provide tenants, property owners, homeowner associations, and condominium corporations.


The Benefits of Hiring a Licenced Property Manager

Managing a condominium corporation or a rental property is no small feat — it is a time-consuming and ongoing task that can quickly turn into a costly chore if not handled properly. Property owners, board members or landlords often utilize licensed property managers to partially or fully take care of their rental property. The duties of a property manager range from advising board members, may include screening tenants, working on budgets, setting and collecting rent, managing tenants, property maintenance and acting as a point of communication between all parties.

At Emerald Management and Realty Ltd., we want to help familiarize you with hiring a property manager and what the benefits of their service include… so keep reading! 

Hiring a Property Management Company

If you have a busy schedule or don’t have any experience in the property management field, or managing real estate, you should consider hiring a property manager. You’ll want to ensure you work with a reputable and reliable company, as they will oversee what is likely one of your largest assets. A property manager can significantly increase the value of your investment if they are capable and qualified to assume the associated responsibilities. 

You’ll want to select a property management company that has experience with your specific condominium or rental property type. Some companies specialize in residential or condominium property management (or both), while others may focus more on commercial properties. You also want to verify that the property manager is licensed by the local real estate council or board, as this will offer you additional protection and guarantee a certain degree of qualification. By choosing the most appropriate company for your needs, you will be far better off in the end.  

Here are some questions to ask a property manager before hiring:

  • Do you have experience handling a variety of condo owner or tenant interactions?
  • How do you screen potential tenants?
  • How do you handle condo board or condo owner communication?
  • How are condo fee or rent payments collected and dispersed?
  • Is your staff also licensed?
  • Will I be able to contact you directly to discuss my condo or rental property?


Advantages of Hiring a Property Management Company

Hiring a property manager does have a cost associated with it, but the benefits received in exchange are certainly worth the investment. With respect to revenue properties, property managers have access to resources and networks that expedite the tenant locating process. They will advertise the property on their platforms and conduct an extensive tenant screening process. This will ensure higher quality tenants and a lower turnover rate. 

The leasing agreement is perhaps the most technical aspect of the rental property process. A property manager is responsible for drafting the lease and making sure it includes all pertinent information and clauses to protect the property owner. Included in their duties is establishing the required security deposit based on the rental term and a variety of other factors. A property manager will also have knowledge of the laws and regulations that are applicable within your region and be able to transmit this information to you. 

Much of the above information also transfers as useful knowledge and benefits when it comes to condominium and commercial properties.  Operational real estate knowledge is most certainly an asset as understanding of buildings and various legislation is valuable when looking at experience and bigger picture issues.

Another large advantage to working with a property manager is that they will handle all daily occurrences at the property and communicate with the condo owners or tenants on your behalf. This includes scheduled and emergency maintenance or repairs, as well as complaints. The property manager will also have a large network of reliable plumbers, electricians and other contractors that they work with on a regular basis. This means your property will receive prompt and quality care and you will indirectly have access to better service pricing. 


Contact Us Today!

As one of Calgary’s leading residential, condominium and commercial property management companies, our team at Emerald Management and Realty Ltd. is ready to assist with all your rental and property management needs. Our extensive industry experience will provide you peace of mind that your property is in good hands. If you have a property you need assistance managing or renting, don’t hesitate to contact us today!


Ministerial Order Impacts Condominiums

Ministerial Order Impacts Condominiums

 

Earlier this month, the Honourable Nate Glubish, Minister of Service Alberta, issued a Ministerial Order under the authority of the Public Health Act.  The Order issued on April 9, 2020 was to temporarily modify provisions in several acts and regulations related to timelines, location and distance, as well as utility payments and access to information requests. 

 

This Order highlights the governments awareness that responding to the pandemic has challenged the ability and capacity for many organizations to comply with aspects of existing legislation and regulations.  Service Alberta anticipates that these temporary changes in place for the duration of Alberta’s State of Public Health Emergency, will help businesses, public bodies and non-profits as they focus their efforts on responding to COVID-19.   

The following is a highlight and summary of the temporary modifications made to the Condominium Property Act:

 

  • Section 10.1 now states that the interim board holds office until a board is elected pursuant to Section 29 and, for greater certainty, will continue to hold office in the event a meeting under Section 29 is delayed.
  • Section 24.1 (4.1) now states that a person, other than a person who regularly resides in a unit, is not entitled to enter a unit under (3) unless expressly or impliedly invited by a person who regularly resides in the unit, if
    • (a) any person who regularly resides in the unit is self-isolating, in quarantine, or displaying symptoms consistent with the pandemic COVID-19 or has tested positive for COVID-19; or
    • (b) the person seeking entry is self-isolating, in quarantine, or displaying symptoms consistent with the pandemic COVID-19 or has tested positive for COVID-19. 
      •  💡 The temporary modification to Section 24.1 (Right of Entry) does not impact the Condominium Corporation’s right to enter in the case of an emergency. 
  • The requirements for the developer to convene a general meeting under Section 29(1) is suspended.
  • The ability of an owner to convene a meeting under Section 29(2) is suspended. 
  • The requirement for an annual general meeting to be held under Section 30 is suspended.
  • The requirement to convene a special general meeting on the request of an owner under Section 30.1(4) is suspended.
      •  💡 Opportunity to check with your legal counsel to confirm if your Bylaws have provisions on how virtual meetings could be handled in the future. 

The Condominium Property Regulation has been modified as well:

 

  • Section 20.1(d) now includes events leading to a declaration of public health emergency under the Public Health Act as events that may delay occupancy beyond the final occupancy date for a unit, without liability for damages and without giving rise to a right of rescission by a purchaser.
  • The 5 year time period to carry out a reserve fund study, prepare a reserve fund report, approve the reserve fund plan, and provide owners with copies of the reserve fund plan since approval of the most recent reserve fund plan under Section 30 is suspended.
      • 💡 Great opportunity to review what your Condominium Corporations can proceed with at this time where possible. 

Also, the Consumer Protection Act, has been to modified to state that:

 

  • (3.1) Between the period of March 17 and June 18, it is an unfair practice for any person to charge a supplier of power or heat sub-metering or any individual, including landlords or condominium corporations, to refuse to defer payments subject to the sub-metering arrangement upon the request of an individual subject to the sub-metering arrangement, and may not disconnect service under a sub-metering arrangement between March 18 and June 18.
  • This change is in support of the utility bill payment extension resulting from the government directed optional utility bill payment deferral plan.

Click here for a complete copy of the Ministerial Order (Sections 17 & 18).  Questions about these changes can be direct to J.D. Crookshanks, Statute Administrator for the Condominium Property Act and Real Estate Act.  You may also wish to review these changes in detail with your legal and property management team, as this information is provided as a general update of the temporary changes implemented. 

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. offers a wide range of condominium management services for condominium corporations and their Board of Directors.  The above information is a sample of the supplemental information often included with the delivery of the monthly operating statements provided to our valued clients.  As we have been for several decades, during the COVID-19 pandemic – we continue to be available  24/7 and we are proud to recognize the valued dedication and support of our valued team members and service providers.  We are here to help and will get through this together.


1 2 3 4