Barbeque left without cover Not cleaned after use Burnt grills and spit Residue form coals Ash in base of barbeque Burnt electrical cord Damaged fly screen

PEKA Rental Agency

In 2011 we decided that we would rent the apartment and because we lived in the UK, it was sensible to use a rental agency as we could not easily manage the property ourselves. In Canmore there were 2 main rental agencies, PEKA and AssetWest. We chose PEKA since AssetWest didn’t reply to our enquiry. PEKA handle a lot of rental property in Canmore and from what we could gather, had a reasonable reputation. Charges were a $200 annual registration fee plus 10% of the rental income, both quite standard. For this PEKA handled all the Condominium documentation, all renter issues and the withholding tax requirements of the CRA. We had 3 renters over a 4½ year period and initially, for the first renters, PEKA sent us full details of applicants so we could chose but in later years as personal information protection Acts came into force, we were only given a name and occupation.

Generally speaking, things went reasonably well but with our first rental, though we specified no pets, PEKA allowed the renter to have weekend visits from his wife and dog without our total approval. PEKA oversaw the end-of-rental inspections and sign-offs which were fine apart from the last renter with whom we encountered problems and obfuscation on the part of PEKA. We had found PEKA personnel both helpful and friendly during our 4½ years with them apart from the completion on the last rental when we dealt with Mark Walker, their Rental Trust Manager. He was difficult to deal with, mainly we think because there were a number of issues that he just brushed aside and was irritated by the fact that we were annoyed that his final inspection was sloppy and were prepared to question him about that. He definitely took his eye off the ball and was not prepared to admit it, in his eyes the customer is not right. We think we deserved better. The issues that Mark Walker described “as very small potatoes” were as follows:-


I should add that in a final e-mail from Mark Walker I received a threat that if I posted any of his e-mails on-line, I would face action from his legal team. However, if anyone would like to see the e-mails, please register your interest on the Registration form.

Insurance

One of the basic aspects of living in a Condominium is that you must carry Condominium Property Protection and Premises Liability cover in addition to personal property, accidental damage, burglary etc. All services in the walls, floor and ceilings are the responsibility of the Condominium Corporation should any malfunction occur since the Condo Bylaws generally forbid the apartment owner from any disturbance to these. When the apartment is occupied, insurance is quite straightforward but when the apartment is left vacant, then this becomes a difficulty for insurance companies in Canada because of the risk of sewer back-up and water damage. This is because the cold weather in winter Canada can cause pipes to freeze and burst quickly and insurers generally apply this to all properties, including Condos. Despite the fact that our apartment was on the 3rd floor and sewer back-up would cause the floors below to be knee deep in it first, and the fact that all water lines into the apartment had their own shut-off valve and underfloor heating was always on in the winter, it made no difference to the insurers. We found this quite unreasonable since invariably a premium was required when the apartment was vacant for no good reason. Management were quite willing to organise weekly inspections but again this does not affect the insurance situation.