I’m a new owner! How do I pay my condo fees?

If you are a new owner, or if you have fallen behind, you need to pay your Condominium Contributions, or “Condo fees” every month. We offer convenient automatic withdrawal plans (click link to automatic withdrawal form), or you may pay by cheque, which we ask be made out to the name of your property and mailed to Unit Management Ltd. at 214 Royal Oak Mews NW.

What are condo fees, anyway?

Condominium Contributions are your share of the Corporation’s Annual Expense Budget, apportioned to your unit on the basis of your Unit Factor.

Why do I have to pay for Condominium Documents if I pay Condo fees?

The Condominium Property Act states that the Staff who takes time to Generate, Print, and Deliver documents at each unit owner, Realtor or Lawyer's request; should be compensated for providing this service. This service is over and above the day to day operations of the building and requires extra time and effort.  This generation, printing and delivery cost is not included in the yearly budget of the condominium corporation, therefore not part of the condo fees.  www.condopapers.com is a separate company that Unit Management pays in order to provide the documents to owners online.  The yearly expense budget package, and the yearly AGM package which includes the AGM minutes and Financial Audit Statement, is sent to the owners once per year, as part of the condo corp's yearly budgeted expenses, however, if a duplicate is needed, there will be a cost to the requester, for the added time and office costs required. 

What’s a Unit Factor?

What is your “Unit Factor”, you ask? Each Condominium unit is assigned a Unit Factor when the project is originally developed, and is a share out of 10,000. This “Unit Factor” dictates your share of the Corporation, going forward, and is often determined at least partially on the basis of square footage. Some units are granted a larger Unit Factor share if they have better access to amenities or a better view, but most of the time, the Unit Factor is mostly based on your unit’s square footage. It’s as fair a way as the Province could determine to charge out the Condominium Contributions in the event that some units in your property are larger than others.

What if I have fallen behind in my payments?

If you have fallen behind in your payments, you can catch up by submitting a cheque to cover the arrears, or you can give us written permission to process the balance if you are on automatic withdrawal. Sometimes, we can accommodate payment arrangements, so if you require some help, please contact your Property Manager directly.

What information do you need from me?

We need to know who you are! Condominium owners are obligated to provide us with current contact information (link to Emergency Contact Form). If you are renting out your unit, we need your tenant’s contact information, as well, and often require a Tenant Undertaking Form (link to form). A Tenant Undertaking Form is a document that your tenant signs that indicates they have been given a copy of the property’s Bylaws, and that they have read, understand and intend to comply with them. 

Occasionally, we may require access to your unit. If you provide us with emergency contact information, we will attempt to contact you and your emergency key-holder, but if we still require access and can’t get a hold of you, we can gain access via locksmith (at your cost) to enter your unit to perform maintenance or to deal with emergency situations.

Do I need insurance?

YES!! All Condominium Owners AND Tenants should always have insurance. If you are an owner living in a Condominium unit, you can purchase a Condominium package that will cover your contents and belongings, which include appliances, and which should also have a deductible buy-down clause and displacement insurance. 

A deductible buy-down clause is coverage in case we hold you responsible for damage to the building or any other unit, either by “act or omission”. This means that you could be held responsible for damage, if the damage occurs because of something you do or do not do. For instance, if you leave a window open and the water line freezes, and floods your unit (or one below), you can be held responsible for all damages up to the Corporation’s deductible limit! In some cases, deductibles can be as high as $30,000.00 for properties in our portfolio. 

You also require displacement insurance in the event your unit becomes uninhabitable for any reason. If your unit is flooded or burned, for instance, the Corporation does not cover somewhere else for you to live while the work is done to restore your home. You must provide for this yourself. 

You should always ensure your policy provides for “content manipulation”, as well, because the Corporation will not move your belongings around to do any necessary repairs, even if the damage was not your fault. Owners who rent out their units should always have liability insurance, a deductible buy-down clause, and should maintain income protection. If a unit that is rented is damaged and is not habitable, the occupant is not obligated to pay the landlord any rent during the period it is not habitable.

What if something in my unit breaks?

It depends on what breaks inside your unit. Most of the time, anything inside your unit is your responsibility to repair and maintain, and this includes electrical appliances, electrical fixtures (like lights, switches, outlets, covers, etc.), and plumbing fixtures (including your sinks, drains, taps, tubs/showers and toilets, and the water lines connected to them up to where those lines connect to a main line). 

However, we’re always here to help, and if you have a drain that is backing up, it’s worth contacting us to have a drain specialist check it out to make sure the clog is not isolated to just your unit. Also, if there is damage inside your unit because of water or fire, at any time, please contact us to at least report it, if not coordinate the appropriate repairs. If you are in doubt, you’re welcome to call us to see if it’s something the Corporation will cover, or to get a referral to a contractor on our approved trades list.

What if I want to do renovations?

Not every Condominium allows renovations, and most require Board Approval in writing. If you want to do renovations, it’s best to check with your Property Manager to see if there is a Renovation Application Form you can submit, or what is required for the property where you live or own. 

When preparing for renovations, you should check the references of your contractor, and ensure their license, insurance and WCB Coverage is up to date. You should always use reputable trades, and should either be in the unit or have someone in the unit to act on your behalf when the workers are there. You should get a complete description of the work, in writing at least and preferably by drawing, beforehand AND firm pricing (committed to in writing) before the work is started. If Board Permission is required at your Condominium, make sure you get it in writing before any work is started. 

If you require any permits, such as electrical, plumbing or building permits, often the Board will require copies of those, and it is a good idea to submit as-built drawings when your renovation is completed. If your Condominium covers “Improvements and Betterments” with the Corporation’s insurance, these as-builts may be extremely useful in the event of any claim later on.

How can you guys tell me what to do in my own unit? Don’t I own the space where I live?

In Condominiums in Alberta, owners own their unit, but are contractually obligated to follow the Corporation’s BYLAWS, a document you should have reviewed thoroughly before purchasing your unit. 

The Bylaws of a Corporation often contain special clauses that spell out what the Owners’ obligations and responsibilities are, along with your Use and Occupancy Restrictions. These Use and Occupancy Restrictions can limit the number and size of pets allowed, the size of vehicles allowed in parking areas or on roadways at the property, whether you can leave items outside your door and what type of items those can be, and many other things. These restrictions nearly always include a provision that you cannot interfere with the “quiet use and enjoyment” of any other unit, and can have an impact on the levels of noise you are allowed, the hours you are allowed to have work done in your unit, etc. 

When you buy a Condominium , you are inherently agreeing to all of the restrictions in the Bylaws. 

The other legislation that governs conduct in Condominiums in Alberta is the Condominium Property Act, which was under revision in 2014 with changes brought about by the passing of Bill 9. The legislation in the Act is largely concerned with how Condominiums are operated and turned-over by Developers, but also contain restrictions on what Boards can and can’t do, and how owners must be treated. 

You should always keep a copy of your Bylaws handy, and should know the main restrictions for your Property.

What recommended maintenance should be performed?

The following maintenance outline is intended to be an aid to help in the overall planning and expenditure requirements. The list is not intended to be exhaustive but rather a prompt for Community members, Property Managers and Board members to examine and review areas of importance.

  1. Review Capital Expenditures from the latest Reserve Fund Studies
  2. Conduct periodic inspections of the grounds and units, to ensure any possible safety issues are addressed (snow pile up, sidewalk settlement, grade settlement and so on)
  3. Annually review the roofs for missing, broken or otherwise damaged items
  4. Review wood surfaces (ie: staircase to Richmond Road, Building 10 Fence)
  5. Review stucco exteriors, identify areas of cracking, discolouration or delamination
  6. Conduct an annual review of landscaping and grading, ensure positive drainage away from building perimeters, and that large trees are not located in close proximity to building foundations or roof profiles
  7. Walk around the entire complex, evaluate all raised beds, replace dead shrubs and in-fill with rock/shale as required
  8. As part of landscaping maintenance contract, include a monthly cleaning of the Fountain
  9. Review irrigation to ensure adequate water is provided to all trees/shrubs. Ensure irrigation is regularly maintained and that spray angles do not water the buildings/foundations.
  10. Inspect all gutters and downspouts for blockage and ensure rainwater discharge is directed away from building perimeters. Annually have the gutters cleaned
  11. Review caulking locations for possible cracks, tears or breaches and repair as required.
  12. Inspect all asphalt for cracking, sinking and repair as required. Particular attention shall be spent in areas adjacent to manholes or catch basins
  13. Conduct an inspection of all concrete surfaces, to identify concrete cracking, spalling or vertical displacement
  14. Visually inspect and replace all loose, missing or broken fencing components. Ensure the fence is well maintained, painting as required to seal the stucco and prevent disrepair
  15. Every three years, review all catch basins for debris accumulation
  16. Ensure bi-annual checks are conducted of all interior sump pumps
  17. Dryer vents and fresh air intakes should be checked/cleaned every other year
  18. Review mechanical systems with the maintenance contractor - replace, upgrade and repair equipment as needed
  19. Inspect and clean-up rooftop mechanical areas each spring -  attention focused on cleaning up after pigeons. Maintain strobe lights to prevent further pigeon issues
  20. Annually power-wash parkades. Bi-annually perform exterior washing & window cleaning
  21. Annually have old lock boxes removed from the property by calling the Calgary Real Estate Board
  22. Schedule and perform annual fire alarm/detection inspections, replace defective components as required