Alberta real estate professionals must use the Residential Measurement Standard (RMS) when measuring residential properties. This measurement standard helps consumers easily and accurately compare different types of residential properties.
The RMS offers a consistent means of representing the property’s above grade space. Among other things, the RMS sets out what parts of a property can be included in its measured-area. For example, if a room has a dormer with a ceiling height of only 4 feet, is it included as floor space? What about finished basements that are entirely below grade? The RMS information benefits consumers because:
- sellers want their property size accurately described
- buyers want to ensure the property size meets their needs
- buyers and sellers want to be able to compare the size of different types of properties
- landlords want to accurately describe their rental property’s size
- tenants want accurate information regarding their leased space size
When stating a residential property’s area, your real estate representative must follow the RMS principles:
- Real estate professionals must use the RMS.
- Identify if the measurement system is metric or imperial and apply it consistently. Measurements must be calculated to within 2% of the RMS size.
- For detached properties, measure the property using the exterior wall at the foundation.
- For properties with common walls, such as half-duplexes, townhouses, and apartments, measure the interior perimeter walls (paint-to-paint) at floor level. An additional area representation may be made assuming exterior measurements.
- Include floor levels that are entirely above grade and exclude floor levels if any portion is below grade. Below grade levels may be measure, but the area must not be included in the RMS area.
- Include all additions to the main structure and conversions of above grade areas within the structure of they are weatherproof and suitable for year-round use.
- The property must have a minimum floor-to-ceiling height of 2.13 metres (7 feet). If the ceiling is sloped, the area with a floor-to-ceiling- height of at least 1.52 metres (5 feet) is included in the RMS area, provided there is a ceiling height of 2.13 metres (7 feet) somewhere in the room.
- Included extensions from the main structure that have a minimum floor-to-ceiling height of 1.5 metres (5 feet), such as cantilevers, bay and bow window, and dormers.
- Exclude open areas that have no floor, such as vaulted areas.
Your real estate professional also has a responsibility to ensure you understand the RMS and its implications and is required to discuss it with you. This discussion will help you make informed decisions about the size and suitability of properties.