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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.


Why Update Your Property Title?

The property title details the most pertinent information about a home or commercial property. Therefore, when it is outdated or incorrect, it can present a huge problem should you need to transfer ownership, obtain financing or repossess a leased property. 

The title report often details the history of ownership, along with other information (such as):

  • The legal property description
  • Name of the property owner(s)
  • Amount paid for the property
  • Encroachments (eg. liens, easements and caveats)

 

Why You Might Need to Update Your Property Title
During the time in which you own a home or other property, you might have some changes in your life that require you to update your property title. This may include:

  • Change of name due to marriage or divorce
  • Adding an owner to the property (such as a new spouse)
  • Removing the name of an owner due to death or divorce
  • Adding a right of survivorship for a child or non-spousal co-owner

You’ll also want to update the property title when a lien or caveat is no longer valid. 

Landlords and the Property Title

When leasing or renting out a property, you may need to have to repossess it to enforce an eviction of the tenants due to nonpayment of violation of the lease.  If you have to evict a tenant and your legal name is incorrect or is not even on the title, you can face conflicts with obtaining a possession order. 

Joint Ownership and the Property Title

Do you own property with someone? Are you on the title? If you aren’t on the title and something happens to your partner, their family may have the right to claim ownership of the property. Consequently, it is of utmost importance that everyone who has a legal right to the property be named on the title. 

The Physical Address on Your Land Title

Any legal notice that is sent to you from the land title’s office will be sent to whichever address is registered with the Alberta land title that is assigned to your home. By registering an address with the land title’s office, you are claiming that you will be fully responsible for receiving any notices that are sent to you. This means that if you don’t end up receiving said notice for whichever reason, you can effectively lose your property rights. As such, changing your address on your legal title is crucial.

Selling the Property

When you sell your property, an outdated title can hinder or delay the transaction from processing. Real problems can occur when there is an owner not named on the title or an old lien or outdated easement still appears on the title work. 

The Process of Changing the Property Title

We are frequently asked how to add a name to a property title. To edit or update your property title, your first step will be to contact the Alberta Registries Spatial Information System. You should begin this process by ordering a current title to see what information needs to be changed. Next, you’ll need to decide which form(s) will be required.

There are different forms for varying situations. For example, if you need to remove a deceased person from the title, you’ll need to complete a Statutory Declaration/Proof of Death form. Land Title requires that you include an original death certificate or a document from the funeral home or cemetery with the form. Another type of form is the discharge paper, which removes a lien or caveat from the title. All applications for changes to the title must be signed before a notary or another authorized representative.

If there are multiple owners on the property, everyone must agree on the changes. This is also true if there is a mortgage on the property. You may have to gain the approval of the mortgagee to make updates to the title.

Condominium Corporations and the Property Title

If you live in a condominium, you could find yourself in a situation where a caveat or foreclosure action is commenced against you for non-payment of fees or condominium contributions.  If your legal name or address is incorrect, you may not receive the official notice of action and incur additional payments. When it comes to legal service, the condominium board or condominium management company has to rely on this information.  So to avoid being unaware in such situations, it is important to update your title with current information.

How Much Does it Cost to Transfer a Property Title or Add a Name?

Registration fees are $15 and may require supplemental documentation when you file. You can file these forms yourself or, alternatively, you can hire a real estate attorney to represent you. Although it may seem simple to do it yourself, you can end up with an invalid title if any mistakes are made. Additionally, fixing an error can be quite costly in the end as it may require you to hire an attorney to successfully fix it.

Where to Change Your Title in Alberta

Alberta residents can inquire about updating their property title at the following location:

Alberta Registries Spatial Information System

Physical Address: Mailing Address:

Service Alberta Building Box 7575

710 4 Avenue SW Calgary, AB T2P 2R4

Calgary, Alberta T2P 0K3

 

Contact Us

If you have any further questions about why you should update your property title, contact Emerald Management and Realty Ltd. today! Our team is always happy to help. 


New Condo Regulations on Hold

Let’s cut the red tape!

 

The new condominium regulations relating to governance matters were set to come into effect on July 1, 2019.   The current government has paused the regulations giving six months to address concerns not attended to by the previous cabinet.  The current government has committed to reviewing the amendments for relevancy, to cut unnecessary red tape and avoid the environmental burden of all the paper required. 

 

Per the Press Secretary for Service Alberta, it is important that “stakeholders are heard and Alberta taxpayers are protected”.

 

Condominium regulations paused for red tape review. You can view the Province’s announcement here.

 
Until January 1, 2020 the Government of Alberta will be speaking with stakeholders by way of a review process.  The purpose of this review is to determine if the Regulations and amendments to the Condominium Property Act are necessary or will create unnecessary administrative and environmental burden or challenge the volunteers that form condo boards responsible for their condominium corporations. 
 
Updates and new information to follow. To find out more about the services provided to Condominium Corporations in Calgary & area, visit our website.  Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. offers a wide range of services for condominium corporations and condominium boards.  Our benefit to condo boards derived from our experience with over 40 years providing property management services is provided through our experienced firm and team members. Our experts are dedicated to enhancing your community and management of real estate assets.

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