Tenant Handbook

By , 30 December, 2010, No Comment

Dear tenant,

Welcome to Main Street Village.

Main Street Village is a 20 year affordable housing initiative comprised of 28 units including six units designed for wheelchair living. We are under contract to the Government of Alberta to ensure that all criterion are met in the operation of this facility.

You are required to qualify by completing a form outlining your eligibility. We will require a review of this information on an annual basis and request that you notify our office when there is any significant change in your household size or income. You must continue to fall within the eligibility guidelines in order to maintain your residency at Main Street Village. Your cooperation regarding this matter is necessary to ensure that this affordable housing initiative is used for its intended purpose.

This tenant handbook will explain your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. We suggest you keep this handbook in a convenient location for future reference. Please feel free to contact Dave Brown, your Property Manager, if you have any questions. phone 403-933-7455.

Sincerely

Board of Directors
961481 Alberta Ltd.

__________________________________________

1. More about Main Street Village

Main Street Village is owned and operated by a private company, 961481 Alberta Ltd., who has entered into a 20 year contract with Alberta Housing and Urban Affairs to provide affordable housing. The owner is bound by this agreement and the Residential Tenancy Act of Alberta as well as other Federal and Provincial laws.

Main Street Village - an affordable housing project in Black Diamond

Main Street Village - an affordable housing project in Black Diamond - construction progress Oct. 29, 2010

Rental rates are set at 10% below market value. They may be adjusted marginally from year-to-year but we anticipate they will remain reasonably consistent. Heat is included in the monthly rental fee however tenants are required to register with an electrical provider and pay for the electricity used in their premise. Individual electrical meters are provided for each unit. Tenants must prove their ability to pay the monthly rent and electrical power costs prior to being approved as a tenant.

It is the intent of the owners to work closely with social service agencies in the area such as FCSS (Family and Community Support Services) in order to establish the needs and eligibility of potential tenants. The Property Manager will maintain a close working liaison with these organizations with the intent of addressing the real affordable housing needs in our communities. All tenant referrals provided by these agencies will be given careful consideration. Individuals and families requiring affordable accommodation may also apply directly to the Property Manager who, in association with the selection committee, will make final decisions regarding tenant eligibility.

2. Your Residential Tenancy Agreement

Upon signing your lease with Main Street Village, you will receive a copy of your Residential Tenancy Agreement. This agreement explains in detail the guidelines and regulations you are deemed to be aware of during your tenancy at Main Street Village. You must review your agreement and keep it in a safe place for future reference.

This handbook is intended to provide quick answers to common questions. For a more complete and detailed explanation of your responsibilities and legal rights as a tenant, please consult your Residential Tenancy Agreement and Alberta’s Residential Tenancy Act.

3. Safety and Security

Maintaining a safe, crime-free environment at Main Street Village is a responsibility shared by tenants, staff and police. Your cooperation is a requirement.

Main Street Village tenants, any occupant of the tenant’s household, and/or any persons invited into the residence property by the tenant, and/or any member of the tenant’s family shall not engage in any criminal activity in the premise or property.

This includes, but is not limited to:
a) any drug related criminal activity
b) solicitation (sex trade workers or related nuisance activity)
c) street gang activity
d) assault or threatened assault
e) unlawful use of firearms
f) any activity that threatens the health, safety or welfare of other tenants, all or any persons of the residential property, or staff members and contracted workers.

A single violation of any of the provisions of this addendum shall be deemed a serious breach of the Residential Tenancy Agreement and will result in eviction.

Generally, any activity which does not comply with all health and safety regulations as well as other regulations and requirements specified by a designated authority is prohibited. Tenants are expected to obey the law. Any activity which creates a health, fire or safety hazard or activity that could cause harm to someone in or around the property shall be deemed unacceptable.

Tips for Avoiding Crime

Here are a few simple measures that will help you avoid becoming an easy target for robbery or burglary.

Know your neighbors

Keep your apartment door locked and balcony doors and windows secure

Ensure that all doors shut firmly behind you whenever you enter or leave

Never prop entrance doors open and leave them unattended — post someone at the door during move-in and move-.out’s.
Report all lost keys to the Property Manager

You are requested to notify the Property Manager if you notice a disturbance
caused by individuals not known to you.

Vandalism

Please call the police if you see anyone damaging Main Street Village property or any property in our neighborhood.

Fire

Fire safety is a big concern. Here are some very simple steps to take to ensure a high degree of safety:

Do not store flammable materials such as paint thinner, solvent, propane tanks or gasoline inside your apartment.

Do not overload electrical outlets.

Use candles with great care and never leave them burning unattended or while you sleep.

Regularly recycle old newspapers and paper materials. They become a fire hazard when allowed to accumulate.

Plan what you will do if there is a fire in your building. Plan an escape route.

IF THERE IS A FIRE ALARM… LEAVE THE BUILDING IMMEDIATELY

Close your apartment door on the way out but do not lock it so that fire crews can check your premise without breaking the door down. Many people die each year because they hesitated to leave their building in time.

Even if a small fire breaks out in your apartment that cannot be quickly extinguished evacuate to safety.

Evacuation Procedures

1. Call 911 from the nearest phone that is out of harms way.

2. Proceed to the day care area located adjacent to Main Street Village. Remain there until further instructions are provided by an authorized authority.

Smoking

Smoking by any person is prohibited inside your premise. All units include a patio or balcony. Smoking is permitted on your patio or balcony only.

Smoke Alarms

Do not disable your smoke alarm. This is a very serious safety issue. Every tenant must realize that it is not only their lives and property at risk but the lives and property of every other tenant in their building. If you are having problems with your smoke alarm, please contact the Property Manager immediately.

Pets

Pets are not permitted in your premise. Under special circumstances a working dog will be considered providing all other requirements of tenant eligibility are met.

Illegal Drugs

Main Street Village has a “zero tolerance” policy regarding the possession or use of illegal drugs including marijuana. Individuals suspected of involvement in this activity will be reported to the police immediately.

Premise Maintenance

All units are subject to a semi-annual maintenance inspection conducted by the Property Manager or his representative. In addition, other normal inspections will be conducted as required by the Property Manager or his representative and as specified in the Residential Tenancy Act of Alberta.

Keys and Locks

If you are locked out, call the Property Manager, Dave Brown at 403-933-7455 or 403-466-0203. You will be charged a $25.00 fee per daytime entry. This fee doubles between the hours of 7 PM and 7 AM. You may also call a locksmith. You are advised to store an extra key for entry in this circumstance.

If your key is lost or stolen, you must inform the Property Manager immediately.

You may not replace locks or make changes to the interior or exterior of your door. This includes the installation of bolts, chain-locks, mirrors or any other attachments. If you have security concerns, please contact the Property Manager to discuss reasonable modifications.

Doors should generally be kept closed and must be locked while you are out of your premise.

Children

Families are welcome at Main Street Village. We can expect to see children and their friends on the property. However parents are reminded that they are responsible for the conduct of their children and those they associate with on the property. Eviction of the family will occur where the conduct of their children and/or associates continues to be inappropriate after suitable notice is given by the Property Manager. It is important for children to be adequately supervised and provided with a means of access to their apartment or a guardian’s apartment at all times.

4. Use of Additional Facilities

Storage

Tenants are expected to limit their storage to their premise and automobile located in their assigned parking stall. Minimal storage is also permitted on patios and balconies however tenants are required to keep these areas neat and to secure items when required.

Town houses are equipped with a crawlspace that may be used for the storage of non-combustible materials and which is accessible from within each premise. Tenants using this space are alerted to the fact that a forced air furnace is located in the crawlspace beneath each townhouse unit. Any stored items must be kept back a minimum of 4 feet from this natural gas furnace.

In addition, a covered storage area is provided behind the garage for tenant bicycles. Bicycle owners must provide and maintain their own locking devices.

Tenant Laundry

An on-site tenant laundry is provided for the exclusive use of tenants and their guests.

Parking

Each premise is provided with a parking stall adjacent to the unit. This is for the use of the tenant. Electrical plug-ins are provided at each stall and can be controlled from within the assigned unit .

In the event that a tenant would like the ongoing personal use of a second stall adjacent to their premise, a small monthly charge will be levied during the time this stall is assigned to the tenant.

In addition, parking stalls are available for visitors. However vehicles left in an unassigned parking stall for more than 48 hours without permission of the Property Manager will be removed at the owner’s expense. All vehicles parked on the property must be insured

5. Insurance Requirements

The owners insure the building only, not tenant’s belongings. As a tenant you are required to purchase liability insurance on your household. We strongly recommend adding contents coverage as well. Events such as fire and burglary can be devastating when a tenant is not adequately insured.

6. Maintaining Tenancy

Annual Reassessment

On the anniversary of your tenancy agreement the Property Manager will reassess your personal information to determine if you are still eligible for Main Street Village housing or if you are a good candidate for market-priced housing. This will include the verification of information about your income, family size, employment and other relevant factors. This information will be used to verify your eligibility similar to the assessment process that occurred when you were originally considered for tenancy.

Maintenance and Upkeep

It is your responsibility to keep your apartment, along with the appliances in a clean and working condition. If care of the apartment and equipment requires more then you are capable of dealing with on your own, please notify the Property Manager in writing.

Tenants are not permitted to make alterations to their premise. The intention is to rent the premise to another tenant after you have moved out in the same condition as it was rented to you. If you undertake changes without the written consent of the Property Manager, the cost of renewing your premise back to its original condition will be charged to you.

Prohibited actions include, but are not limited to:
redecorating including painting
adding or removing wallpaper
installing additional wiring
moving in large appliances or furniture without the consent of the Property Manager
installing fasteners such as nails, bolts, screws, etc. in the walls, floor, doors or trim without written permission from the Property Manager. The Property Manager will inform you of the type of hooks that may be used on your walls to hang pictures.

NOTE: If you would like to install a satellite dish you must decide where the dish will be located and get permission from the Property Manager for this location prior to installation.

Guests

You are entirely responsible for the behavior of your guests or anyone else you invite on to Main Street Village property.

Your guests may stay with you for no more than two weeks without special permission from the Property Manager. After this period, your guest(s) will be deemed an unauthorized tenant as per the Residential Tendency Act and requested to leave immediately in order to prevent your eviction. If you plan visits longer than two weeks, you must apply in writing to the Property Manager for approval in advance of the visit.

Additional Occupants in Your Premise

If you are interested in adding another occupant to your lease agreement, it is imperative that you contact the Property Manager beforehand to get the individual(s) named in your lease. You will be reassessed for suitability using your combined income. No person is permitted to reside in your premise more than two weeks without special permission from the Property Manager as noted above.

You may not assign or sublet your premise.

Under no circumstances will the total number of occupants living in a premise exceeded the number of bedrooms in the premise plus one.

Rent and Utility Payments

Rent payments will be made by automatic deduction from the tenant’s bank account on the third day of each month. Late payment charges are $20.00 plus $5.00 per day after the first day. On a rare occasion when sufficient funds are not in your bank account, you will be given an eviction notice, however you will have 14 days to pay your rent in full prior to moving out. If you are aware in advance that sufficient funds to pay your rent will not be in your account on the third day of the month, contact the Property Manager immediately. Repeated late rent is viewed as an accumulation of substantial breaches of our residential agreement which will result in eviction.

Payments for electricity metered to your premise will be made directly to the electrical provider chosen by the tenant.

Security Deposit

When your application has been accepted and you are assigned to a unit, the first payment required is a security deposit equal to one month’s rent. This one-time deposit is placed into a separate trust account and is refundable to you along with interest as legislated by the Province of Alberta within 10 days of the termination of your tenancy. In the event that repairs to your premise and invoicing cannot be completed within 10 days, the tenant will receive an estimate of costs and balance of deposit within 10 days. Deposit funds may be used by the landlord under certain conditions outlined in the Residential Tendency Act such as failure to pay rent, property damage or cleaning.

Check in/Check out Inspection

At the time of moving into your premise, a careful inspection will be conducted, preferably with the Property Manager or his representative, to record pre-existing deficiencies in the premise. You will not be held responsible for deficiencies found at this time and recorded on the inspection sheet. Both you and the Property Manager will receive a copy of the completed inspection form. At the time of checking out of your premise a careful inspection will also be conducted using the original inspection form. You will not be charged for normal wear to your premise.

7. Fee Schedule and Requests for Repairs

Work required at your premise, in addition to normal wear, will be supervised by the Property Manager and invoiced directly to the tenant as per the following fee schedule.

Cleaning charges………………….. $25.00 per hour
Removal and disposal………… … $60.00 per pickup load plus land filled charges
Items requiring replacement…… … charged out as a direct cost as per invoice +10%
Minor repairs and maintenance ….. $35.00 per hour
All other costs including contractors.. billed as per invoice +10%

Please report all maintenance issues to the Property Manager promptly because delaying repairs often leads to additional cost and inconvenience.

You are free to choose whether you will be at your premise or not when the maintenance is being done. You should make your wishes clear to the Property Manager prior to the date set for repairs.

In the case of emergencies such as floods, burst pipes and heating system or electrical failures, please call the Property Manager immediately at 403-933-7455 or 403-466-0203. In an emergency resulting in damage or potential damage to the building, the Property Manager or his representative may enter your premise without the normal 24-hour written notice in order to stop or minimize property damage.

8. Neighbour’s Covenant

The owner wants its residents to live in harmony with their neighbours. Whenever disputes arise, please approach your neighbor with patience and understanding for their point of view. Every resident is entitled to the peace, harmony and security of his or her home. By signing a Residential Tendency Agreement with Main Street Village you have agreed to give appropriate consideration to each and every neighbor living on the property.

Always take into consideration your neighbors with regards to excessive noise or disturbances as well as sharing laundry and other common amenities.

9. Moving Out Procedures

A tenant’s notice to vacate must be in writing and delivered to the Property Manager on or before the first day of the calendar month preceding the month in which you plan to leave. Your move out must be completed, cleaning included, by noon on the last day of the month in order to allow the next tenant to move in on the first day of the following month. A minimum of 30 days notice must be given prior to move out. Holdovers (days of an authorized occupancy) will be charged at $100 per day.

A final inspection of your apartment will be done after you have removed your personal effects and at the time agreed upon by yourself and the Property Manager. All keys to your premise must be returned during this final inspection. Items abandoned will be removed at the tenant’s expense.

You will need to provide the Property Manager with your forwarding address in order for the security deposit, including a Statement of Account, to be forwarded to you within 10 days of the termination of your tenancy.

Required Cleaning List

These tasks must be undertaken when you are vacating your premise:.
Clean oven and top and burners on the stove
Clean the fridge and the defrost and clean the freezer
Slide fridge and stove away from the wall and clean the walls and the back and sides . of the appliances
Leave the fridge door open ONLY if the power has been turned off
Wash all cupboards inside and out
Window, window tracks, closet doors, closet tracks, patio door and patio should be
cleaned.
Wash walls and floors
Dust window coverings
Dust or wash light fixtures, replace burned-out light bulbs
Clean bathroom thoroughly including tub, tile, sink, vanity, mirror, medicine cabinet
and toilet.
Remove all personal effects and clean storage areas and balcony/patio.

NOTE: work that is not completed by the tenant will be done on the tenant’s behalf and charged back to the tenant as per the fee schedule above.

10. Home-Based Businesses

Home-based businesses will be considered on a one by one basis at Main Street Village. The applicants will need to successfully complete the following two requirements:

1) Approval in writing from the Board of Directors of Main Street Village.

2) A business license to operate the business issued by the Town of Black Diamond. The applicant will provide the Property Manager with a copy of this license including details explaining the scope of business activities.

Again… Welcome to Main Street Village

It is the owner’s intent, through design and management, to ensure that Main Street Village is a preferred affordable housing complex. We hope that you will enjoy living here; feeling secure and happy to make this your home during your tenancy. We acknowledge that some of you may want to make this your home on a long-term basis so please talk to us about what could be done to make you feel more at home. We will do our best to address your housing needs with the resources we have.

Board of Directors, 961481 Alberta Ltd.

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