Condo Corner

Are you ready to take the condo purchase plunge? Consider these pros and cons first.

Are you ready to take the condo purchase plunge? Consider these pros and cons first.


The condominium lifestyle is attractive to many. But like most investments, you’ll want to ensure you consider all of the advantages and disadvantages prior to committing. Does an easy breezy condo lifestyle excite you? Are you financially prepared to take ownership? And what about those darn cash calls that can crop up when you’re least expecting them?


We’ve compiled a list of the main advantages and disadvantages to help you with this important decision.



  • More affordable for first time buyers. A condo can be less intimidating than purchasing comparable houses.
  • Depending on the exact rules of the corporation, the common property is owned and maintained by the board of directors of the condo corporation. This means you can wash your hands clean of time-consuming and pesky maintenance and repairs of these areas. Common areas may vary from condo to condo, so don’t forget to read all of your documents.
  • Outdoor maintenance such as landscaping and snow removal is taken care of. No more freezing your butt off having to shovel all that snow.
  • Flexible living. Condos provide more freedom and a worry-free lifestyle for owners wanting to spend time travelling or simply avoid the responsibilities of home ownership. 
  • Access to sweet onsite amenities that usually don’t come with a house, such as gyms and swimming pools
  • Monthly fees do not change. They are constant, making it easier to budget.
  • Elaborate security features. Most buildings have enhanced security to keep their residents and guests safe, including video surveillance, top-of-the-line locking systems, and entry buzzers.
  • As an owner, you have the right to vote and be elected to the board of directors. Once elected, you’ll have the opportunity to contribute to all the important decisions about your building, not to mention get your wants and needs pushed to the forefront.
  • Social and recreational activities. Who doesn’t love a good social gathering? The building may have a common lounge for residents to gather complete with a kitchen, seating space, and more. 
  • Instant community. Neighbours are near and lifelong friendships can be built.
  • Rules are set in place to protect property values and keep maintenance costs low.
  • Attractive re-sale options.



  • Little outdoor space. While no yard work is definitely an advantage, you’ll want to consider the minimal green space, especially if children will be regularly occupying the unit. 
  • Repairs and maintenance timelines are out of your hands.  
  • Possible special assessment fees required for unexpected repairs. You’ll want to have a stash of cash just in case.
  • Limited parking. Parking garages, guest stalls, and street parking might be available; however, you might have to pay additional monthly fees. 
  • Less privacy. There’s potential for people to be living beside you, above you, and below you, and all public areas are communal. You will run into neighbours and encounter smells and noises from time to time.
  • Due to its community lifestyle, condominiums attract a variety of personalities, sometimes making consensus difficult.
  • Pet restrictions. Some condos have specific guidelines regarding types, sizes, and number of pets. 
  • There are sometimes limitations on certain décor, including wall and window coverings.
  • Lack of storage space. Some condos include a small storage space, but it always isn’t a guarantee.


Depending on your personal needs, a condo can be an excellent and affordable option, with minimal hassle. Maybe you’ll even luck out with a fitness facility, hot tub, or other desirable perks. On the other hand, if you’re in need of extra space, parking,  a yard, and own pets, you may want to consider a house or townhome. Either way, buying a new place can be a fantastic investment and fulfillment of a lifelong goal.

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Help!! I need somebody…. not just anybody. How to deal with an Emergency in your Condominium?

Help!! I need somebody…. not just anybody. How to deal with an Emergency in your Condominium?

Living in a multi family building has its own unique set of challenges and one of those is determining what constitutes an emergency and how to deal with issues that arise.  These issues can range from having a skunk living under your patio all the way to water dripping down your living room light fixtures. It’s sometimes difficult to understand which events happening within your condo community necessitate a call to your emergency line and which can be handled by your condominium manager during regular business hours.

When Should I Call My Emergency Line?

  • 1. Water where it shouldn’t be.

Water damage is one of the most common cause of condominium insurance claims in apartment-style or stacked townhouses. A leaking toilet can easily become a major loss impacting multiple units. Leaks sometimes present themselves as a growing noticeable new stain on your ceiling or can be as obvious and acute as a wet floor with water pooling. The sooner a potential major leak can be identified and addressed, the less expensive it is to fix and the fewer residents that are impacted.  Quick resolution to water leaks keeps your condominium fees from rising.  If the leak if coming from your unit it also saves you from also having to make claims on your insurance (as per the Jan 1, 2020 changes in the new Alberta Condominium Act) and potentially incur the cost of your deductible and increased premiums going forward. At the end of the day if you see water where it shouldn’t be you should always be reaching out and calling your emergency line for assistance.

  • 2. Where there’s smoke there’s Fire!!!

First and foremost, your personal safety is paramount.  If you suspect a fire immediately leave your building and follow your buildings individual fire protocol.  Once you are safely away from the building at your condominiums fire muster point, call 911 and then call you condominium corporations emergency line. This will ensure that you get the support you need right away to assist you with next steps.  Once the fire has been extinguished and the scene declared safe by the fire department your condominium management team will start coordinating the work needed to return your unit to a pre-loss condition as well as ensure you are kept informed of the process.

  • 3. Brrrrrr its cold in here

Another common issue you may face from time to time is no heat, while this may not be an issue during the one week of summer that we have in Calgary it is definitely an emergency situation for the remaining 10 months of winter weather.  It is critical that heat be restored as quickly as possible to your unit, not only for your personal comfort and safety but to also ensure that water lines don’t freeze causing a major loss.   

  • 4. Security, Security, SECURITY!!

Another concern you may experience are issues with building access and door systems which may leave your building accessible to trespassers.  If the locking system is not working properly, this is again something that we want to address immediately for the safety and security of all the occupants within the condominium.  Calling your emergency response line is the quickest way to ensure the appropriate steps are taken to resolve the issue right away.

When Shouldn’t I Call My Emergency Line?

  • 1. Illegal Activity on the Property

It may seem counterintuitive, but If you witness a crime in progress on your condominium property, immediately call 911 and DO NOT approach the people involved in the crime.  Follow the 911 operators’ directions and ensure that you fill out a police report with the reporting constables. When you are able it is appreciated to reach out to your condominium manager during regular business hours to provide them with the details of the incident. There may be additional support that your condominium manager can provide to the police on your behalf such as possible video footage of the incident.  The other benefit is that your condominium manager will discuss the incident with your Board of Directors to discuss options for preventive measures for the future.

  • 2. Noise Issues

When living in a multi-family building each household is on a different schedule and it is important to be mindful of your impact to others.  Loud parties at all hours of the night and occupants running and jumping in the unit above you at 2am is frustrating however it is not something that should be dealt with via your condominium corporations emergency line.  If you are being disturbed by loud noise at night, you may choose to call your local civic non-emergency line for support from their bylaw officers and or local police. Ensure that you get a copy of your file number from the officer and report this to your condominium management during business hours. Your condominium manager is better able to assist you when there is an official paper trail for your complaint. 

  • 3. Parking and Other Occupant Behaviour

Parking complaints and other occupant behaviour concerns need to be reported to your condominium management team during regular business hours. Your manager can then begin the process of reviewing your corporation’s building policies as well as bylaws and provide you with recommendations and support to assist in resolving the matter.

What exactly is a 24/7 Emergency Response?

Charter Property Management offers a fully trained team to handle your emergency.  Our emergency line is answered 24/7 by a live person and each incident is dispatched immediately for service.

The Charter Property Management emergency team is always there to assist you. We’re always only just a call away and with our Charter Connect portal, any owner can log in and request less urgent assistance.  We understand that during an emergency you need a supportive team to provide timely and precise assistance.

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