Frequently Asked Questions
Landlord / Owner Property Management FAQs
How do we find tenants?
Minerva Realty advertises on Craigslist, Zumper Pro, MLS, Facebook Marketplace, and eleven other online portals using RentSync, plus its own website, to give full exposure to listings.
How much does it cost?
Placement services normally cost half a month’s rent (finder’s fees), and monthly management fees are charged at 7.5% for residential properties.
How do we qualify tenants?
Minerva Realty has stringent screening procedures and obtains credit reports, current landlord reference checks, other background checks, employment verification; and are skilled, knowledgeable and understand what to look for in a tenant.
What is my property worth?
Minerva Realty will recommend your property’s value based on our knowledge of the current rental market and do this at no cost.
What am I expected to do?
You are responsible for ensuring that the premises and the land comply with health, safety and other standards established by local, provincial, and federal law. The property must be reasonably suitable for occupation, and fixtures such as appliances, should be kept in working order.
What costs should I be prepared for?
A property needs to be maintained. This can include but are certainly not limited to repainting, replacing appliances, pruning trees, spraying for pests, repairing a wide variety of components, re-keying locks, replacing smoke alarms, cleaning ducts, servicing furnaces to name just a few. There are tenant placement fees and arbitration costs to consider as and when the need arises.
Your company had placed such great tenants in the past. Can you do it again?
Our clients are important to us and we always go out of our way to ensure you get good, stable long-term tenants and they are happy with the rental agreement(s).
The tenant used to be so good but recently has issues. What can we do?
No matter how much care and attention to detail is exercised, it is impossible to guarantee the actions of a tenant. Tenants are interviewed, references are checked, and credit reports are obtained. While most tenants come and go without incident, a tenant may try to sneak in a pet, smoke indoors, pay rent late, cause damage, or skip. We drive by properties in our day-to-day travels and offer property inspections in performance of our due diligence. Certain properties and certain neighborhoods may be prone to more problems than others but the potential of the occasional problem of varying magnitude is a risk that comes with the territory.
How do we prevent a grow-op or other illegal undertaking?
Actions speak loudly. Regular inspections of the premises are the single-most effective way to prevent illegal activity. The most widely known (and feared) activity is a marijuana grow-op. Grow-ops may occur in as many as 1 in 10 houses. A crop of marijuana can be produced and harvested in less than two months. If someone is expecting a regular inspection, they are much less likely to undertake a grow-op or other illegal activity, and may likely opt not to rent in the first place.
Your insurance company probably has a clause requiring you to have the premises inspected on a specific interval to keep your coverage valid. Some local governments are passing bylaws which penalize a landlord for not ensuring regular interaction with the property if a grow-op is discovered.
In addition to drive-bys, your Property Manager inspects the property at least once per year but can provide optional inspections on whatever frequency you require subject to tenancy laws. We recommend frequent inspections.
How much rent can I get?
For the most part, the market determines the rental rates obtainable. The condition of your property also affects the obtainable rent. In most scenarios, the Property Manager collects a percentage of the rent so we would like to maximize the price as much as our clients do. The market is also affected from time to time by waning demand, over-supply, seasonal fluctuations, and timing.
Can I raise the rent?
Yes, you can raise the rent subject to the law which requires three calendar months’ notice which must be properly served before the end of the month preceding the month in which notice begins. Rent can typically only be raised once per year subject to the maximum prescribed rate established by the RTO.
Can I inspect my property?
Certainly you can. Your Property Manager must give a minimum of 24 hours’ notice to the tenant unless a recognized emergency is at hand.
Why do we have to wait for notice to be received?
Notice, if by hand-delivery, is deemed received immediately. If notice is posted at the property or mailed by regular mail, notices are deemed to be received after 3 days. If mailed by registered mail, notice is deemed to be received after 5 days.
Do I have to return a security deposit?
Yes, unless there are valid deductions. A landlord may not withhold a deposit for reasonable wear and tear. A landlord may also not withhold a pet deposit for anything other than damages related to pets. But if a tenant does not provide a forwarding address, the deposit may be held until such time as one is provided. Interest is paid on all returned funds subject to the rate prescribed by the RTO.
Can I remove a service or facility?
At times, it may be necessary to remove a service such as laundry or parking. Be prepared to compensate the tenant fairly in lieu of the exclusion.
Commercial Property Management FAQs
How do you calculate property management fees?
Property Management fees are calculated either as a percentage of gross revenue, or as a fixed monthly fee.
What kind of insurance do I need for a commercial building?
Commercial property, liability, crime, boiler and machinery, and depending on the circumstance, you may need directors and officers insurance, and/or errors and omissions insurance as well.
How will you market and find tenants for my commercial property?
Besides listing on MLS, placing signs on the property, and advertising on Spacelist, we typically partner with 3rd party leasing agents who are experts in the local market to source leads and place tenants for vacancies.
How do you screen prospective tenants for my commercial property?
A prospective tenant will often come to us via a leasing agent, who has already screened them to a certain extent. At that point we will review the applicants’ proposal to see if the business will be a good fit for the property and the demographics of the area, also ensuring that it does not add direct competition to existing tenants. If everything looks good, the next step is to run a credit check. However, the building owner will always have final approval over the tenants on his or her property.
What type of qualifications are you are required to have?
We are licensed in specific areas under the Real Estate Council of BC, including rental management, strata management, managing broker, etc.
Do you have an after-hours phone number for building emergencies?
Yes! You can call at (778)-387-7368.
What would be considered an emergency?
Significant roof leaks, power outages, floods of any kind, plumbing issues, sewer back-up, etc.
Do you handle the financial reporting for my property?
Yes! Comprehensive monthly reports are prepared using industry leading property management software. We will prepare both monthly and year-end financial statements ready to audit standards and forward them to you every month.
What documents are included in my accounting statements?
Our reporting format can be customized to your needs, but will typically include: property management report, income statement, rent roll, cash flow statement, and aged trial balance.
Is my information shared with any outside parties?
No. Minerva Realty Corp. do not share any information provided in the form with any outside parties.
What are tenants responsible for?
- Pay the rent on time every time. If not paid on the first, you will be provided with a Notice To End which give you 5 days to pay or 10 days to move. If you pay rent late more than once, you risk eviction for frequent late payment of rent.
- Keep the premises and the surrounding area clean and in good condition.
- Keep noise to a level that will not disturb your neighbors.
- Repair any damage occurring to the apartment through the fault of the tenant, family members or guests. Notify Property Manager at once of major damage.
- Give the Property Manager permission to enter the apartment at reasonable times and with advance notice to inspect it or to make any necessary repairs.
- Notify the Property Manager of any anticipated prolonged absence from the apartment.
- When moving out, give Property Manager proper advance notice. Be sure that the apartment is in the same condition as when the tenant moved in and return the key to the Property Manager promptly.
- Notify the Property Manager immediately if the apartment needs repair. If notification is neglected, the tenant may be charged for the additional damage as a result of not reporting the matter.
- Promptly pay for all utilities that the Property Manager does not otherwise agree to pay for.
- See your tenancy agreement for specific details that you agreed to by signing the contract.
What is the tenant not responsible for?
Reasonable wear and tear which refers to natural deterioration that occurs due to aging and other natural forces, where the tenant has used the premises in a reasonable manner.
What is my security deposit for?
Any damage caused by deliberate action or negligence is the tenant’s responsibility. The security deposit may be used to rectify a problem at the end of a tenancy but an interim matter should be reported to the Property Manager as soon as possible. Tenants should note that liability for damage is not limited to the amount of a security deposit.
Do I really have to clean my place?
Yes, the tenant is expected to have the carpets professionally steam-cleaned; and window coverings, behind appliances, walls, vents/grilles, and glass, cleaned on a regular basis and then again at the end of the tenancy. Yards, walks and driveways require regular tenant upkeep, which includes raking leaves, shoveling snow, maintaining gardens, and mowing/trimming lawns as required for safety and relative curb-appeal. Bulbs, filters and fuses must also be replaced as necessary. Fireplaces and chimneys must be maintained and cleaned if being used. The tenant is also responsible for freeing blocked plumbing, lost keys or similar negligence.
How do I give notice to move out?
Do you have an active tenancy agreement which has not expired? If so, you must take full responsibility for breaking your tenancy agreement which may not just be limited to costs. If you are on a month-to-month tenancy, you are required to give 30 days’ notice on or before the last day of the rental period to move out at the end of the next.
Can I put things on the wall or alter the premises in any way?
Before hanging anything on a wall, the tenant should request permission from the Property Manager. The tenant must repair walls where an excessive number of nail holes, large nails, anchors, screws or tape have been used and have left wall damage. A tenant must not paint, renovate, or otherwise alter the premises without the written consent of the Property Manager before undertaking any work.
Can I disconnect the annoying alarm?
No, tenants must not disable or alter any security alarms, CO detectors, or smoke alarms and must also notify the Property Manager of any malfunctions or if new batteries are required.
Can I have telephone, satellite or cable installed?
If the tenant wants to change or install a dish or extra jacks written permission from the Property Manager is required before any work is conducted.
Can the Property Manager / Landlord / Owner come in, if I refuse?
Yes, with 24 hours to 30 days’ notice, the property can be reasonably accessed with or without your permission. You do not have to be present but may opt to do so.
Do I have to carry insurance?
To protect yourself from any liability relating to fire or other damage, it is recommended to have appropriate insurance.
Are we allowed to take on another roommate?
Possibly, but at the reasonable discretion of your Property Manager. This must be approved in writing before the extra party moves in.
Can I call the Property Manager outside of regular office hours?
Yes, but for emergencies only. The emergency line is (778)-387-7368.
Strata Management FAQs
When are my monthly strata fee payments due?
Strata fees are due and payable on the first of every month.
Can I make my monthly payments by Pre-Authorized Debit?
Yes you can. Please download our Pre-Authorized Debit Form, complete it and return it to us. Forms that are received in our office by the eighteenth of the month will have the PAD effective on the first day of the following month. Any arrears that have accrued prior to that date will have to be paid separately by cheque.
What do I do if I want to make alterations to my unit?
Alterations are generally guided by the bylaws of the strata corporation and the Strata Property Act. You cannot make alterations of a structural nature and should generally not make alterations without seeking the permission of the strata council. An alteration that is frequently requested is the installation of a hardwood floor. Many strata corporation bylaws do not permit these installations, and if they are installed either in contravention of the bylaws of the strata corporation or without permission, the strata corporation may require them to be removed. If there are alterations requiring changes to electrical or plumbing fixtures, strata council permission is generally required and a permit should always be sought. Before doing any alterations you should contact the property manager in writing with a request outlining the specific alterations that you wish to make. The property manager will review the bylaws, review the request with the strata council and then will respond in writing. The response may decline the request or it may grant the request with specific conditions. Please make sure you always follow the conditions outlined, as they will have been set out either in your bylaws or by the strata council.
How do I request copies of documents?
If you are an owner and you would like copies of strata documents please email us your request(s) at firstname.lastname@example.org. And we will contact you to pick up the documents when they are ready for collection. Payment for documents must be made by cheque or cash when you pick up the documents.
What is a Form B?
A Form B is the strata corporation’s information certificate. The required contents of this form are set out in the Regulations of the Strata Property Act. Required information includes (i) the monthly strata fees, (ii) any arrears of strata fees, (iii) any alteration agreements affecting the strata lot, (iv) any upcoming special levies, (v) bylaw amendments that have not yet have been registered, (vi) ¾ vote resolutions for which notice has been given but not yet voted upon, (vii) a copy of the strata corporation’s depreciation report, if any, and (viii) the number of strata lots that are rented, and (ix) a number of other items. If you are a council member, you should never sign a Form B. These should always be done by the property manager.
What is a Form K?
The Form K is a form set out in the Strata Property Act. This form must be signed by any person renting either a unit or a room in a unit in a strata development. It provides confirmation that the tenant has received a copy of the bylaws of the strata corporation and agrees to abide by them. If the Form K is not received, there are various remedies against the owner that are set out in the strata corporation bylaws and the Strata Property Act. In addition, failure to have a tenant sign a Form K provides the tenant with certain rights under the Residential Tenancy Act. You can download a Form K from our Downloads page.
How do I make complaints about noise or bylaw infractions?
Complaints must always be in writing and must be submitted to the strata council, generally through the property manager. You can send a letter or an email with the specifics, (i.e. date, time place, nature of the incident) to us or you can also complete the Bylaw And / Or Rule Violation Complaint Form. Please note that while you will not be disclosed as a complainant, anonymous complaints are nearly impossible for the strata corporation to enforce if challenged.
What happens when I do make a complaint?
Complaints will generally be discussed at council meetings, after which the property manager will send a letter to the offender noting that a complaint was received and warning them about the action. If there is a significant issue where a warning is not appropriate or if a more minor issue persists and further complaints are received, an additional letter will be sent (after review with council) outlining a potential fine and giving the offender an opportunity to respond in writing or attend a hearing before council to explain the situation. If the offender does not respond in writing or request a hearing, the strata council will decide whether a fine should be imposed and what the appropriate fine is in the circumstances. If an offender does respond in writing or attend a hearing, the council will make a decision based on the facts presented.
How do I arrange my move in or move out?
Many strata corporations have specific bylaws that outline the move in and move out procedures. Often you will need to advise a caretaker, council member or the property manager of your moving plans. Please review the bylaws for your particular strata corporation to see what the appropriate procedures are. If you have any questions after reviewing the bylaws, please contact the property manager or assistant for your building.