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Senior Buzzer
reply 2299 vote 171

Condos charging Realtors to put up lock boxes?!

I just saw a tweet from @Mark Savel saying the following:

"Here's a first... $25/month to put up a lockbox in a building! I think I'll use the free fence instead!"

Then, "ANNND this is a new building - you'd think the younger owners would understand this. I'm moving to Calgary!"

And, then... he released that the condo is @Vibe at Liberty Village.

Has anyone seen this before? This seems completely insane, and doing a dis-service to the owners of the building who are selling.

Does anyone know anything about this? And, what the money generated is being used for? And, if anyone is actually paying, opposed to putting the lock-box outside?  
Ontario / Resale Discussions
reply 143 vote 26
The best part of this building is that the concierge does participate in exchanging lockboxes BUT only after the $25 fee/month is paid.  I spray paint my lockboxes bright colours, so there shouldn't be any mixup with finding the key no matter where I put it!

reply 143 vote 26
The above quotes are all correct, with the exception of me moving to Calgary... apparently they too have buildings that charge a rental fee for lockboxes.
reply 2 vote 1
If the building does not have a 24 hr concierge or does have one but is not willing to deal with key exchanges then they leave no other choice then to utilize a lockbox. Stairwells are commonplace for lockbox placement but that too is being swatted down by some buildings. Then there is of course the fence or bike rack option but I have to say that I have played the lockbox game far too many times on both of these while my client waits helplessly watching (laughing of course as we make the best of it) but frustrating nonetheless.

Like everything else it won't apply to all but will catch the eye of many who will follow suit and the reality will be that there will be buildings that will charge and we will have to pay or risk having our "illegally placed" lock boxes cut off and thrown away. Lovely!!

Questions I have:
1) Where will they be placed? Will we have placement options available? (Will it be inside in a warm room accessible only by the concierge or on the fence outside the building along with the 24 other lock boxes and snow banks)
2) What will the proceeds be used for? A lockbox vigilance fund??

I can understand the risks and issues related to lockbox use but does paying to be able to use them solve these???

I should probably forewarn Michael Polzler about this as I understand he has just introduced Re/max Europe to the lockbox and they are THRILLED with them....
reply 2 vote 1
Nice colour choice Mark!!!....when you're looking at one unit in a building it's not as bad but in a newer development where I'm doing 6 to 10 units a time it's tedious to say the least. If it is concierge assisted and provides assurance that there wont be some of the usual mix-ups with unsupervised lockboxes like keys not returned, wrong keys returned and other agents calling to say they can't find he lockbox, then there are some pro's but still it's an additional cost for us to do business.
Senior Buzzer
reply 2299 vote 171
I do not remember the exact details, but when I was selling my condo there were a whole bunch of fees that the condo board charged me.

I found this really frustrating, because it seemed like a simple cash grab from the condo, at a time when they know that the owner will not be able to do anything about it because we are leaving, and as such have little say.

Really annoying.  
reply 60 vote 11
@Mark Savel great idea with painting the boxes! I've used coloured tape on mine but may have to try spray paint next time. Any tips? Specific type of paint/types of boxes?

Actually I'm curious if anyone has a suggestion on the best place to buy lock boxes? They can get pricey at Canadian Tire, etc.
reply 75 vote 10
Best places that I know are TREB 1400 Don Mills ($22) and MFS online ($19.99). The problem for me is that I am in high park and don't know of anything in this area in that price range...
reply 84 vote 9
If they install Supra  boxes which are more secure than the traditional ones and which maintain a log of who accesses the key and if the fee charged is a nominal one and if the lockbox is in a secure area, I say go ahead and charge us for the amenity.
reply 192 vote 54
I lived in a condo which many homeowners keep a lockbox for themselves as the door to each unit locks behind you automatically, so being accidently locked out is a common occurrence. Over a holiday long weekend someone gained access into the building and broke open all of the lockboxes that were locked in the stairwells and managed to get access into three units stealing various items including down to the wine and steaks in their fridges. Since that happened the Property Manager set up a lockbox wall located in one of the janitor's closet which is accessible to everyone but discrete enough that it's not known by most outsiders. There were eye-bolts that were securely anchored into the concrete wall and each labeled A-Z. They were free to use by any resident or real estate agent, but you have to register with the management company which eye-bolt you secured your lockbox to and there shouldn't be any labels or tags on the keys to identify which unit it belongs to. This worked really well.    

I have no problem with paying a fee to keep a lockbox in the building as long as there is some kind of security control or monitoring so that it doesn't compromise the security of the building and its residents.
I personally don't like to see lockboxes used outside because it's unsafe to other residences and they look unattractive if there are too many of them or they left abandoned like bicycles.

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