When Glen Hollinger’s mother was living in a seniors setting, he always believed that he could create a better building for seniors to live independently. Glen never forgot his idea that she should have just a little more luxury in her golden years. So, as the owner of Kenmar Homes, he set out to do something about it. He recently completed his most recent project: a 15-unit, three-storey building at 5 West Road with one-bedroom apartments geared to seniors.
Three of the units are fully accessible—doors are wider to accommodate those who use a wheelchair, stoves have knobs at the front rather than the back, and counters are lower for easier access except in the bathroom where a wheelchair can be wheeled right underneath. Additionally, there’s an elevator to access all three floors.
The building is just a short distance away from a grocery store, downtown shops and restaurants, and the Club 55 seniors centre in Town Hall.
When the building was completed, Glen enlisted the help of Nina Semper-Ross and Len Ross at Maplebranch Property Management Ltd. to oversee rentals due to their track record for going above and beyond for their tenants.
“We’ve offered to get groceries or pick up their laundry for them,” says Nina.
“We go out of our way to help our tenants,” adds Len. “We try to work with all of our tenants in a very personal way. We encourage them to talk to us and we’re available 24/7 to address any problems and we’re proud of that. We’re not absentee landlords.” And when it comes to their elderly tenants in particular, he adds, “These are people who have led full and complete lives. I believe we have an obligation to, as much as we can, assist them. That may sound funny coming from a landlord, as we’re often seen as miserable, horrible people, but we’ve worked hard to build our business with the opposite approach.”
Nina and Len founded Maplebranch 15 years ago. “The company was built with the primary goal of providing our clients with a ‘one call does it all’ property management experience,” says Nina.
That means providing stellar service to both tenants and property owners.
Along with a staff of seven, they manage more than 200 individual homes, condominiums, apartments, townhouses and commercial units in the Huntsville and Lake of Bays area. For property owners, they handle all of the banking, paper work, and problem resolution. They have a network of licensed and bonded tradespeople to address any physical property needs like plumbing, electrical, carpentry, and painting, as well as close working relationships with architects and engineers for any special needs that arise. And they seek quality tenants to ensure a minimum of vacancies with few issues.
They also have a solid understanding of the laws that support tenants. “We’re totally in favour of those laws,” says Len, “and we often get into a discussion with our tenants in advance and during the signing of the lease so they understand what is there to protect them, and what they are legally entitled to do.”
For more information about the units at 5 West Road or about Maplebranch Property Management Ltd., visit maplebranch.ca, email [email protected], call 705-635-9632, or stop in at 38-1 King William Street in Huntsville.
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