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Safety and Security System
A building system that assists in preserving the well-being of a building’s occupants and preventing damage to or loss of property.

Sanction (Condominium)
A penalty imposed for violating a condominium bylaw.

Sanction (Professional Conduct Review)
A disciplinary outcome that RECA issues to an industry professional as a result of the industry professional’s conduct failing to comply with the Real Estate Act, the Rules, the Regulations or the Bylaws.

A supplementary form completed and included with the real estate purchase contract for the benefit of a buyer in a real estate transaction.

Schedule of Unit Factors and Unit Areas
A table that includes the legal number for each unit, the number of unit factors assigned to each unit and the approximate floor space of each unit within the condominium.

Scope of Work
Refers to the type and extent of research and analyses performed in an appraisal assignment.

Second Home
A condominium that consists of units that owners and/or occupants visit from time to time as a weekend or vacation destination.

Second Mortgage
A mortgage registered against a property which is already encumbered with a first mortgage, that mortgage having been registered at a date and time that precedes the second mortgage. Also see Equitable Mortgage.

Secondary Mortgage Market
The segment of the mortgage market where the buying and selling of existing mortgages occur.  They are often pooled and traded as mortgage backed securities.  Also see Mortgage-Backed Securities.

Secret Profit 
The receipt of any monetary or non-monetary benefit by an industry professional as a result of a referral which is not disclosed to the client. 

The individual on the Board of Directors who is responsible for maintaining and preserving the official records of the condominium corporation and Board of Directors (e.g. owner lists, correspondence to unit owners) as well as recording or supervising the recording of the meeting minutes of the Board of Directors and condominium corporation.

A geographic reference for a parcel of land measuring one square mile, containing 640 acres.

The process of converting loans or other assets into financial securities which are sold in the capital markets, providing investors with an interest in the pool of loans or assets underlying the security.

A property or properties which has or have been pledged as collateral for a loan.

Security Agreement
An agreement that charges the borrower’s personal property identified in the agreement as security for a loan. A lender may take security on personal property in order to enhance the extent of their security for a loan. This may be the case when borrower’s real property is insufficient for a lender to proceed with the loan.

Self-Employed Borrower
A borrower who owns/operates his or her own business and must provide alternate forms of documentation (e.g. series of tax returns) to substantiate income levels and other required verifications in place of the traditional forms of income validation (e.g. pay stubs, employment letters).

The process by which the Board of Directors of a condominium carry out the duties related to the operation of the condominium or enlist volunteers from the community or hire staff and/or service providers to perform the duties.

Refers to industry professionals collectively working together to support and promote responsible and accountable professional behaviour in a manner that is in the public interest and, therefore, in the best interest of consumers and their own best interests.

The owner of real estate who is in the process of disposing of his or her property through a sale to a buyer. The property may be for sale through a real estate industry professional or for sale by the owner.

Sellers’ Market
A real estate market condition where buyer demand is strong and property supply is weak.

Semi-Attached Condominium
A style of residential condominium consisting of 2 units placed side-by-side that share a common wall

Service Agreement (see Written Service Agreement)

Service Alberta
A provincial department that has the responsibility for a number of provincial statutes (e.g. Real Estate Act, Condominium Property Act, Land Titles Act, Residential Tenancies Act). The department is headed by the Minister of Service Alberta, who is an elected member of the provincial legislature.

Service Fee
Compensation paid to, and disclosed by, an industry professional as a result of providing business services to a client.

A scheduled appointment for a real estate professional to view a property that is for sale to a prospective buyer.

Simple Interest
A method of calculating the cost of borrowing by applying an interest rate to the principal amount. It does not include interest from previous periods.

Single-Family Condominium
A style of residential condominium that has stand-alone, separate units.

A parcel of land which is improved to the extent that it is ready to be used for its intended purpose.

Site Analysis
The identification and analysis of the characteristics that create, enhance or detract from the utility and marketability of a site.

Site-Built Construction
A construction system in which a building is created by cutting and joining together pieces of lumber on a building site. In site-built construction, all materials and labourers must be transported to the building site.

A building system that is similar to a window but is installed in the roof of a building. Skylights may also be referred to as sun tunnels, sun tubes, solar day lighting devices and light tubes.

Slab-On-Grade Foundation
A type of foundation consisting of footings or grade beams and a poured concrete slab.

Sole Ownership
A form of ownership of land/property where only one individual (or company) is registered. Although generally considered absolute ownership, it is still subject to the restrictions imposed by government. The rights of the sole owner may also be impacted by the rights of an untitled spouse. Also see Dower Act.

Spatial Information System
The Land Titles online database that allows searches of a wide range of property related documents such as titles, plans, registered interests, historical titles, condominium bylaws.  The online system is accessible 7 days a week and is run by Alberta Registries as part of Service Alberta. This online system is often referred to as SPIN.

Special Assessment
A financial obligation in addition to a unit owner’s monthly contributions. The portion of the special assessment owed by each unit owner is calculated based on unit factors. Special assessments may be paid as a lump sum or in periodic installments, depending on the payment schedule established by the condominium corporation, by a specific date.

Special Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney that grants specific or limited powers to the attorney to make decisions or act on behalf of the donor.  In Alberta, a Special Power of Attorney is required in order for an individual to be able to handle real property transactions on behalf of another.  Also see Power of Attorney.

Special Resolution
A resolution for which a vote is conducted and a unit owner’s proportional share of unit factors establishes the weight assigned to his or her vote. A majority consists of 75% of all individuals entitled to vote as long as no less than 7,500 unit factors are being represented.

Special Tax
A levy imposed by a municipality on property owners to fund construction of a project that will benefit a defined area.

Specific Authority
Limited power given to an agent by a principal to provide one specific service or limited range of specific services on the principal’s behalf.

Specific Performance
The party in breach of the contract can be compelled by the court to carry out the promise, especially where damages for the breach are inadequate. It is a discretionary remedy, which the court may or may not grant depending upon the circumstances. However, the court would not grant specific performance where it would be unfair or unjust to do so.

SPIN (see Spatial Information System)              

Standard of Care
A legal concept that establishes the attention and caution that a reasonable and prudent person would exercise under a particular set of circumstances.

Standards of Practice
Refers to the minimum requirements for industry professionals’ conduct and include the responsibilities and prohibitions that they must comply with as established in the Real Estate Act Rules.

Statement of Claim
A printed or written statement by the plaintiff which commences the legal proceedings and shows the facts relied on to support any claim against the defendant and the remedy of relief sought.

Statement of Defence
A brief, written statement by the defendant affirming or denying certain matters of fact in the statement of claim.  Also see Statement of Claim.

Statute Law
The accumulated legislation and regulations within a jurisdiction that are enacted by the various levels of government (i.e. municipal, provincial, federal).

Statute of Frauds
A common law concept requiring that certain contracts be in writing and be signed by all parties who will be bound by that contract.

The term used in British Columbia for a condominium. In Alberta, strata refers to the volumetric space located below, above or below and above the surface of land or occupied by a structure that is shown on a Strata Space Plan.

Strata Plan
A plan defining the boundaries and subdividing volumetric space into strata (layered) space that may be registered at the land Titles Office. This space is typically over alleyways and buildings.

Straw Buyer
A person who is paid by a fraudster to act on behalf of the fraudster, and whose name and credit are used for processing mortgage applications and title transfers.

A benefit given by the government to groups or individuals usually in the form of a cash payment or tax reduction. The subsidy is usually given to remove some type of burden and is often considered to be in the interest of the public.

Substantial Completion
When a property has been developed to the point that is can be used for its intended purpose.

Substantial Interest
Ownership interest in real estate of more than 25%.

A requirement in the authorization process that RECA’s Executive Director undertakes to assess an individual’s character and to determine if it is in the public’s interest that the individual be issued a licence to trade in real estate, deal in mortgages or provide real estate appraisal services. 

Suitability Review 
A request made by an applicant for licensing to have the Executive Director of RECA determine and provide an opinion as to whether certain situations from the applicant’s past may affect his or her ability to be licensed.

Supporting Documents
The information and communications provided to the lender by the borrower, and/or other parties, concerning verification of the borrower’s identity, employment, equity and property details. Retained copies of the supporting documentation form part of the loan file. If legibility or authenticity is a concern, best efforts must be made to view original supporting documents.

Surface Rights
The rights to the physical ground, the air space above the ground, and any materials from the top layer of land that can be excavated, as sand or gravel, but does not typically include rights to minerals beneath the land.

Supporting Documents
The information and communications provided to the lender by the borrower, and/or other parties, concerning verification of the borrower’s identity, employment, equity and property details. Retained copies of the supporting documentation form part of the loan file. If legibility or authenticity is a concern, best efforts must be made to view original supporting documents.

Survey Plans
An illustrative plan used to layout most municipal land and some acreage subdivisions. The land is surveyed, subdivided and registered at Land Titles in accordance with the Municipal Government Act. The legal description of these lands changes to a legal land description that includes the plan, block and lot number.

The technique and science of accurately determining and recording the measurements of boundaries and elevations of land or structures.  

Syndicated Mortgage
A mortgage in which 2 or more people participate, directly or indirectly, as lenders in a debt obligation that is secured by a mortgage.

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