Financial plan of a co-ownership prepared at the beginning of the financial year, fixing the amounts required to cover the current expenses for the next budgetary year along with those to be deposited in the contingency fund for the same period. It is generally prepared based on the expenses of the preceding years (for the current expenses) and based on the contingency fund report (for the expenses of the contingency fund).
Preparing a budget forecast is an unavoidable task in co ownership. Its preparation, preliminary examination and adoption will ensure the proper functioning of the syndicate of co-owners. It is up to the Board of Directors to define its terms, in view of the expenses that will have to be paid to allow a syndicate to meet its obligations. The budget also makes it possible to fix the amount of the contributions of each co-owner to the expenses of the co-ownership.
It will be prepared by the Board of Directors or property manager, based on the amounts spent in preceding financial periods, as well as anticipated non-recurring expenses. The preparation of the budget forecast requires time and rigor.
Most co-ownership directors perform their function as volunteers. But, contrary to popular belief, they can be paid. Their remuneration takes various forms: salary, honorariums and attendance fees, just to name a few. This financial compensation, a part of the administrative expenses of the co-ownership, may also include the reimbursement of some expenses incurred by a director.
The Civil Code provides, in specific cases, that it is compulsory to annex to the preliminary contract documents which become an integral part of the contract.
Co-ownership work is of the utmost importance. Yet, they are more often than not overlooked by the syndicates of co-owners. Work that needs to be done in common portions can be minor or major in scope. Yet one needs money to pay for them. Good financial planning is therefore advisable in the medium and long term, so that the community of co-owners can adequately protect its real estate investment.
Replacing windows, the roof or rehabilitating the underground parking slabs, to name just a few examples, is usually very expensive. Three options are available to the syndicate to pay for this work:
Common expenses or “condo fees”; you will have to pay them once you become an co-owner. They are an important element to consider before your purchase.
To avoid financial problems, it is important to verify, before your purchase, that the co-ownership has implemented sound management practices and controls of its expenses. To do so, you should ask questions to your vendor to find out if the syndicate keeps adequate financial records.
At our last Annual General Meeting, the Board of Directors presented the estimated budget for the coming year. This budget provided for a substantial increase of the common expenses, as significant work was to be carried out during the year to upgrade the elevator. Everyone did not agree with this decision, and the budget was passed! I really had the impression that during this meeting, the will of a majority of co-owners was not taken into consideration.
Question: What is the power of the co-owners meeting with respect to the vote on the budget? Can it vote against an increase in common charges?
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