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Take Safety Home

Complacency is often a contributing factor with injuries or an insurance loss in the home.  With remote working for many still in effect, staycations continue to be in vogue, and school age children are now out for summer … great time to review your home for risk on often over looked items relating to appliance safety.    

 

 

Cooking fires are still a leading cause of household fires.  If at any time you use a cooking appliance make sure the area is clean and clutter free.  Always ensure appliances are turned off and never leave your stove unattended while in use. 

 

 

 

 

Microwave Safety Rules

Most injuries related to microwaves are the result of  improper use or heat-related burns from hot containers, overheated foods, or exploding liquids. Safety tips:

  • Never leave food unattended when cooking
  • Check containers for microwave safety symbols (look on the bottom)
  • Do not use metal or shiny objects in a microwave as they can spark and start fires
  • Use oven mitts to remove hot food food
  • Prevent steam burns by removing lids slowly and carefully

Stovetop and Oven Safety Rules

Without sounding like a broken record  … can’t repeat this one enough … never leave your stove unattended while in use.   Safety tips:

  • Use the back burners on a stove whenever possible
  • Turn pot handles towards the centre of the stove to avoid them being knocked while walking by or grabbed by a younger child
  • Avoid loose sleeves or roll up your sleeves while cooking
  • If a window is nearby, secure the window covering (especially if the window is open and the fabric could blow over the flame/heat)
  • Keep burners free from debris and shut off your stovetop or oven as soon as you are done cooking

Toaster Safety Rules

A toaster is another essential item in most kitchens, but like most electrical gadgets they pose a risk if used incorrectly.  Safety tips:

  • Never stick anything (especially a metal something) into the toaster.  This will help you avoid an electrical shock that could seriously harm you.
  • Clean the crumb tray after each use to prevent a fire
  • If you notice an odd smell or any sparking, unplug the toaster immediately and contact the manufacturer.  Do not use it again until it has been repaired. 
  • Always store the toaster away from the sink or any liquids that could spill on it to avoid an electric shock

Sometimes, appliance fires and appliance related injuries are caused simply by something beyond your control. 

Smoke alarms and heat detectors are essential in keeping you safe by raising the alarm in the event of a fire.

 

There should be a minimum of one alarm/detector per floor and cover all areas where a fire could start AND your sleeping areas. 

In a larger rental home or single family house, put smoke alarms in the hallways that lead to each bedroom. On floors without bedrooms, install the smoke alarm in or near each living area such as dens, living and family rooms. Put a smoke alarm on the ceiling at the bottom of any staircase leading to upper floors.

For more Fire Safety Tips …. visit Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.’s Fire Safety Blog Category!

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. is a family owned and operated Property Management Company & Condominium Management company located in Calgary with 50 years of experience. Emerald provide a myriad of management and rental property services for tenants, property owners, homeowner associations, and condominium corporations.  Contact Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. today!  We’d love to show you why we are one of the most respected names in Calgary’s real estate industry


2022 Property Management Insurance Forecast

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. is proud of our insurance program that has been customized for the properties we manage.  With close to 50 years of property management service, Emerald has successfully leveraged its buying power and track record to obtain best in class preferred rates and robust coverage for its valued clients and property owners. As highlighted in 2021, the insurance market has been incredibly challenging for the real estate sector. 

 

2022 Property Management Outlook

As early as 2018, the insurance market started to experience a dramatic shift with reduced capacity creating a “hard market” that our team at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. continues to navigate for our valued stakeholders.  The “hard market’ experienced since has been characterized with substantial rate and deductible increases, declined renewals along with reduced capacity and/or restrictions on renewals.

The 2022 Q1 predictions made in Q4 of 2021 indicate that the market is to transition and stability to some degree, and the market is now showing signs of this transition with increased capacity and some broader appetite from insurers.  Moving into 2022, the general consensus is that markets are still looking to hold their rates with concerns the 2021 claims results are to some degree artificial due to the impact on activity globally with COVID-19.   This in addition to impact on claims costs due to global inflation and labor challenges still has many cautious.  While the market is transitioning, the outlook on some residential property remains tight especially where  the prior rate was before hard market as insurers are not providing any flexibility for rates below their required system rate.  The main concern is the impact of inflation on claim costs, as this has major effect as could appreciate looking at 15 to 45% increase on claims.

Despite these challenges, the forecast remains positive for real estate investors and condominium corporations.  This is good news as insurance companies continue to advise that market conditions are starting to improve and that there is a return to profitability necessary for the market to soften.1

What to Expect

In this current environment, even though insurers are cautiously optimistic and forecast a softer market in comparison to the past couple of years, they are still forecasting that where there is an increase in rates, mainly due to the impact of inflation on claims costs and capacity restraints, it should be between 5% and 15%.  In addition, it is anticipated that insurance companies will be seeking higher water damage deductibles and even where there is new capacity — it will be limited and expensive.

What are Key Factors Driving Insurance Costs

Key factors that continue to impact insurance rates for rental investment properties and condominium corporations are:

  • Increase in property values
  • Impact and the cost of record-high water and fire claims
  • Cost to insurers have increased from severe weather losses, market disruption and impact of COVID-19
  • Increase of building materials and construction due to disruption of supply chains, labour and inflation
  • New regulations from the national solvency regulation is being monitored as it has the potential of impact insurer capacity and drive up costs.
  • Increased focus on older buildings properties for detailed information on what insurers have identified as risk elements and opt not to renew without upgrades being undertaken.

How to keep property insurance costs down?

As the hard market continues to soften and property owners and condominium corporations adjust to the influences impacting pricing, you can impact insurance costs by2:

  1. Complete preventative maintenance and improvements to buildings and property
  2. Monitor your claims history and take steps to prevent future losses.
  3. Invests in a risk management program and loss prevention planning.

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. continues to focus on the current insurance environment and taking steps to minimize the impact of this shift on the pricing and coverage term for our clients.  As we head into Q2 of 2022, our team continues to negociate and advocate for our stakeholders. Part of our proprietary process includes our focus on achieving stability and retain loyal insurers for our stakeholders on our program.

Contact our team today to learn more about Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.’s practice and process that includes a program dedicated to achieving: low corporate rates, reasonable deductible levels, prompt claims management, coverage during vacancy, and rental revenue loss coverage in the event of an approved claim. 

The team at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. is thrilled to share the news that they have received the PLATINUM CommunityVotes Calgary Award for Best Property Management 2021.  This is the 2nd year that the team at Emerald has received this prestigious award. More information about the award can be found under Media. 

 

  1. Lloyd Sadd | The Gap Between Hearing & Seeing (November 2021)
  2. CapriCMW | 2022 Strata Insurance Outlook 

Frequently Asked Questions about Condominium Manager Licensing

Condominium manager licensing is now in effect in Alberta!

If you are a condo board member or involved in the condominium management industry, you are now aware that effective December 1, 2021, any person, or company providing condominium management services, must be licensed with the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA).

This is an exciting advancement in the property management landscape that took shape after consultation on condominium manager licensing that started back in 2015.  The decision to license and develop educational requirements is in recognition of the specialized work condominium managers undertake.   The desired outcome is ultimately for the benefit of and to protect condo owners, consumers, and professional condominium management by ensuring consistent professional standards across the condominium management industry.

Frequently asked questions about condominium manager and condominium brokerage licensing:

Who is RECA and why is this important for condominium corporations?

The Real Estate Council of Alberta or RECA is the independent governing authority that sets, regulates, and enforces standards for residential real estate, commercial real estate, property management, condominium management, and mortgage brokerage licensees under Alberta’s Real Estate Act.1

Essentially its mandate is to: 

  • protect consumers
  • provide services to facilitate the business of licensees
  • protect against, investigate, detect, and suppress fraud as it relates to the business of licensees

“Consumer protection is at the heart of RECA’s mandate and is the main purpose behind this licensing initiative,” explains Don Newell, Chair of RECA’s Residential Property Manager Industry Council. “Though many condominium management companies have operated professionally and successfully in Alberta for years, their clients now have the added protection of a regulated environment.”2

This is important for condominium corporations because it provides consumer protection with the added assurance that licensed professionals enjoy lifelong learning and education, in addition to the experience needed to provide quality service.  Under RECA’s mandate, the goal and desired outcome is that licensed condominium managers and brokerages will be less likely to cause harm to consumers. 

The Residential Property Manager Industry Council sets the rules subject to approval of the Minister of Service Alberta under the governance structure for RECA, for condominium management.  Enforcement of the Real Estate Act, the regulations and rules for the condominium industry will be completed by RECA complaints or issues are brought to its attention.

What is “condominium management”?

The Real Estate Act (reference Section 1(1)(e2) defines condominium management services to be “the exercising of a power or the performing of a duty of a condominium corporation on behalf of the condominium corporation including, but not limited to:

  • collecting, holding, or disbursing, or attempting to collect, hold or disburse, contributions levied by the condominium corporation or other amounts levied by or due to the corporation under the Condominium Property Act,
  • enforcing the bylaws or rules of the corporation,
  • negotiating or binding contracts on behalf of the corporation, and
  • supervising employees or contractors hired or engaged by the corporation but does not include any activity excluded by the Condominium Property Act, this Act, or the regulations under either Act.”3

Why does this matter for condo owners, condo boards and condominium corporations?

The professionalization of an industry is integral to the elements of a professional condominium manager and include the following characteristics:

  • Specialized knowledge
  • Competency
  • Honesty & integrity
  • Accountability
  • Self-regulation

These are examples of desired values that benefit condominium communities and for condo boards as it ultimately increases consumer trust in the real estate industry.

Licensed RECA condominium managers (aka Condominium Manager Associate) have meet the education and experience requirements to provide condominium management services. RECA is charged to regulate individuals and condo management companies and ensure that they follow standards of practice and meet operating and reporting requirements.

What about a code of ethics for condominium managers?

RECA has established a Standards of Practice which is like a code of ethics.  The Standards outline responsibilities, prohibitions, and practices for condominium managers.  Record keeping and financial management of condominium corporations as part of the Standards of Practice.

What is the difference between condo management and property management?

Based on the Real Estate Act and its definitions, condominium management is a separate activity and industry from property management.  The distinction has to do with relationships.

For example, condominium managers enter relationships with condominium boards and perform condominium management activities on behalf of their client boards.  In contrast property managers enter relationships with landlords and renters, negotiating leases, holding rental security deposits, and performing leasing related activities for their landlord or renter clients.

Individuals and companies can practice both condo management and property management – just under separate brokerages.  The same company can operate a condominium brokerage while also providing property management services.  Each brokerage will have its own licensed brokerage and can share ownership.

Timelines and Conditions of Licensing

  • Education: RECA has mandated that a license is conditional on the successful completion of industry specific exams and courses.  Courses are currently in production.  It is anticipated that courses will be open shortly. All condominium managers looking to conduct condominium management services in Alberta are to have their conditional license by December 1st, 2021
  • Certified Criminal Record Check must be completed
  • Condominium managers and brokers will be required to go through the pre-licensing exam challenge / education by November 30, 2022. Applicants will have different exam/education conditions placed on their licence depending on their individual circumstance
  • Apply with required documentation to RECA for review and approval.

Note: There will be three condominium management courses provided by third-party course providers (not by RECA):

  1. Fundamentals of Condominium Management,
  2. Practice of Condominium Management, and the
  3. Condominium Manager Broker Program.

The courses you must take, or challenge the exams for, will depend on your current licence status with RECA, your experience, and whether you oversee a condominium manager firm.

Consumers can perform a quick search to see if your condo manager is licensed using the Find a Licensee tool on RECA’s website.

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. has been a licensed brokerage for several decades with RECA and excited about this advancement in the real estate industry. We are proud of our legacy of providing responsive and licensed property management services to rental properties, commercial owners, and condominium corporations.  Our system and processes have been developed to bring peace of mind and full-service offerings including customized maintenance services, administrative support, leasing and specialized management services. To learn more about our goal to enhance the quality of live by managing and providing great places to live and work, request a management proposal today!

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. has provided proven property management solutions to Calgary & Area for close to 50 years.  Its specialized suite of services includes condominium management.  Additionally, the team at Emerald is a licensed brokerage providing professional management services to rental properties, apartment building, commercial and industrial properties, and homeowner associations.   Profit from our experience, contact Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. at www.emeraldmanagement.com or call us at 403-237-8600

 

Footnote:

  1. Legislation & Standards | RECA
  2. December 1, 2021 – Condo manager licences are now required | RECA
  3. Exemptions Announced for Condo Manager Licensing | FIELD LAW

Benefits of hiring a Property Manager

Investing in a condominium or a single family home is just the first step of becoming a landlord; it is best to maximize your potential for higher profits by hiring a licensed property management company. By delegating the painstaking task of managing your property, you avoid so many potential headaches. 

Read on to learn more about the numerous benefits of using a property manager

Higher Quality Tenants

Your investment in a rental property will go much further if you have high-quality tenants. This means they are dependable individuals who will stay on the property for an extended period, take care of it, and pay their rental fees on time. 

By employing a licensed property management company, you can rely on a skilled property manager to inform you of who is and is not a suitable candidate for renting a property. Furthermore, having excellent renters helps you avoid major issues such as late rent payments, property damage, or even legal concerns.  For more tips on spotting fake tenant references … read more!  

Shorter Vacancy Periods

An important aspect of owning a rental building is to make sure the residences are occupied as much as possible. You want to squeeze out as much income as you can, and one of the best ways to do that is by relying on a property management company. Rather than dealing with the headache of always finding the right tenant, an experienced manager will do all the heavy lifting for you. 

The rental market is competitive; therefore, it is essential to price your properties correctly and pick the appropriate tenant. Your property manager will be equipped with a wealth of knowledge and experience to address these issues plus help with marketing and showings, thus granting you fewer chances for vacant residences. 

Less Legal Problems

Once again, employing a property manager usually leads to better, high-quality tenants. Therefore, you end up with fewer legal problems. 

While you are spending money on hiring a property management company, it is essential to note how the money you spend now will save you from potentially higher costs if you are caught in a legal battle with a tenant. If you find yourself in a legal dilemma or having a problem with boundaries by some misfortune, your management company will have the backing of their legal team to help you. 

Efficient Rent Collection Process

There is no need to stress about rent collection because your property manager can easily set up an automated system to receive rent payments efficiently. You also get the added benefit of not having to deal with anyone who’s late with their rent payment. Your property manager can take the brunt of the work in confronting any tenants who are behind on payments. 

Lower Maintenance and Repair Costs

Looking after an investment property is a full-time job, and we doubt you would want to split your valuable time between managing your rental property, spending time with your family, and going to work. As the property owner, you want to relax and not stress too much about maintenance and repair costs. 

Having a property manager to always keep an eye on things and tackle any issues before they become too big to handle is a surefire way of keeping your investment profitable and maintaining its longevity for many years to come. A property management company also has the perks of having a network of trusted companies and vetted partners who will always do an excellent job with any needed repairs or maintenance. 

Contact Us Today

We are one of the leading property management companies in the Calgary area and have been experts in our field for close to 50 years.  Profit from our experience and contact us today for all your property management needs. You can call us at 403-237-8600 or send us an email.


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