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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!


COVID19 Update Mandatory Mask Bylaw

Mandatory Mask Bylaw

On August 1, 2020 the Calgary temporary mandatory masks bylaw comes into effect.  This bylaw requires the wearing of masks or face coverings in any indoor space that the public has access.  Businesses are also required to post signage where applicable along with maintaining a safe work environment.   

As we continue to work together to help flatten the curve in Calgary, a sign requiring the use of a mask is posted at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.’s front entry as the main reception area could be perceived as a public area.  Current social distancing and sanitizing protocols remain in effect for the protection of our team and clients.  

We understand that some people may be unable to wear a mask due to various medical reasons.  This is a situation that we will address with kindness and understanding.  That being said, our team understands that it is important to be in compliance with this bylaw for the safeguard of fellow team members, clients and customers.  Everyone’s support and cooperation as we work with this new bylaw is most appreciated.  

Our goal at the onset of Covid-19 was to keep our team and clients safe, healthy and working.  As we enter this next phase, wearing a mask, practicing good hygiene, maintaining good health and wellness,  in addition to remaining diligent to the habits already developed continues to be important.  Our team is aware that when it is not possible to maintain social distancing in accordance to Alberta Health Services recommendations, a mask is required when in public, on a job site and when working with customers.  

In support of this temporary bylaw, half a million masks have been made available for free around the city of Calgary.  Free masks in packages of 10 are available at select recreation centres, Calgary Transit stations, bus terminals, and animal shelters. 

For more information on this Bylaw and for helpful tips to help limit the spread, visit: 

 COVID19 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.    

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 these difficult times! Stay well!


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.

Rain Related Leaks

What can you do when the weatherman predicts significant amounts of rainfall and you are experiencing a leak or flooding?

 

Rainy days … … we can appreciate that you would rather be snuggling in with a good book or catching up on your latest Netflix craving, however, sometimes Mother Nature has other ideas.  If you experience a leak or flooding during a rainfall or stormy weather, there are some steps you can take to mitigate damage in your home. 

 

Step 1. 

Try and prevent as much damage as possible. As soon as you notice a a leak coming into your home, try to contain it. Place a bucket and/or a tarp under the leak to help minimize damage. Move valuables and documents out of the way.

TIP … If you notice water coming through a crack in the caulking in your home, around windows or doors, place a towel at the leak to catch the water.

TIP … If you have a sump pump or backflow valve, ensure it is working.

TIP …  If you reside in a single family home, make sure your downspouts are directed away from your home. If you notice a leak in your basement during the rainfall, start by double-checking the positioning of your downspouts. If a downspout is causing water to run towards the home, change the direction away from the home and let your Property Manager know about the situation.

Monitor the water leak and contact our team at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. at 403-237-8600 to discuss next steps.  Sometimes, a roofer or maintenance person may not be able to assist until after the rain stops because of safety concerns.

If the leak is containable and not an emergency,  complete our on-line maintenance request form to let us know of the non-emergency maintenance issue. Continue to monitor the situation and if it gets worse, keep us informed so that your issue can be handled at the appropriate priority level.

Step 2.

Try to dry out the area as much as possible. Use old towels, mops or other tools you have at your disposal to safely remove the water.  Make sure to safeguard your personal items, electronics, etc., by moving them away from the water (finding another room or alternate location might be best as repairs could also be required and no point in moving them multiple times if you can avoid it).  Unplug electronics and appliances where necessary. 

TIP … Fans can be of great help! Not only do they circulate the air and dry out the area but can also help prevent mold from growing!

Again, if the leak is containable and not an emergency,  complete our on-line maintenance request form to let us know about the issue. Monitor the situation, and if it gets worse, keep us informed so that your issue can be handled at the appropriate priority level.

Step 3.

If the leak gets worse, call us right away at 403-237-8600.  Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. has a team on-call to address after hours emergencies. Let us know what is going on so that we can provide assistance and help trouble shoot the situation. We can experience high call volumes during periods of heavy rainfall; all calls will be handled in priority sequence.

TIP … Call 911 if someone’s life is in danger.

TIP … Have an evacuation plan and 72-hour kit if you need to leave your home. 

TIP … For real-time updates and advisories in situations where heavy rainfall warnings or State of Local Emergencies have been declared, visit the City of Calgary’s Flood Information and sign up for alerts.

Depending on the size of the leak, you may need to call in extra support … especially when a bucket or tarp won’t contain the water.  If a bucket and tarp are not an option, we might need to pump out the water or use alternate measures to handle the water entering your home. 

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.

As referenced above, sometimes problems that arise from a leaking roof can often only be temporarily repaired until the rain stops in part due to danger to workers and because the area of repair needs to dry out first.

Once these steps have been taken and any danger to yourself and you home has been avoided, as soon as the rain stops, more permanent repairs can be arranged. 

Many leak and flood related repairs can only be done when the rain has stopped and the area dried out.

Depending on the nature and extent of the damage, this may result in an insurance claim.  In these situations, the scheduling of repairs will involve the insurance company and timing of repairs impacted by their schedules. 

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. has 50 years of property management experience in Calgary, AB & area.  Locally owned and operated, our top choice team has the extensive knowledge and support systems in place to attend to your property management concerns with the goal of protecting your real estate asset and the residents who call the property “home”.