Condo Corner

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.