- Forecast annual budget : Forecast annual budget
Definition : Forecast annual budget
Accounting document intended to evaluate the income and expenses necessary for the maintenance and management of the building for the next financial year, based on the amounts of previous years and anticipated developments. Presented in the form of a table, this document compiles, at the beginning of the accounting year, all the planned expenses of a co-ownership and the sums to be paid into the administration fund, the contingency fund and the self-insurance fund. However, if the expenses incurred in previous years are not representative of the real needs of the co-ownership, the estimated budget may be established on the basis of estimated data that may take into account other factors such as comparable data from surrounding buildings, the contingency fund study or the maintenance logbook. The estimated budget must be attached to the notice of calling for the annual meeting of the co-owners. Although article 1087 of the Civil Code of Quebec provides for this obligation only for the annual meeting, it is also required to attach the provisional budget to the notice calling a special meeting. Remember that the board of directors shall consult the meeting of co-owners before deciding on any special contribution to common expenses.
Le budget prévisionnel est essentiel à tout syndicat de copropriétaires, afin que ce dernier puisse assumer ses charges financières annuelles.
At our last Annual 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. Many co-owners did not agree with this decision, but the budget was passed anyway! 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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Expenses related to the maintenance and administration of the common portions of a co-ownerships start from its constitution as a legal person. It is therefore necessary that each co-ownership sets up, upon publication of the declaration of co-ownership, a Board of Directors to administer it. This board of directors is the executive body of the syndicate and its legal representative. Its members act as the mandataries of the syndicate. To ensure the star up of the syndicate, the developer usually designates in the declaration of co-ownership (by-laws of the immovable), one of its representatives to act as the interim director of the syndicate. His role is to accompany the co-owners, manage the co-ownership and see to the organization of the special transition meeting to elect the new directors to constitute the board of directors.
Preparing a forecast annual budget 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 assume this activity free of charge, effectively excluding the collection of any amount of money. But, contrary to popular belief, they can be paid. Usually, the remuneration granted to a director is mainly symbolic and is not similar to a remuneration similar to that paid to a condominium manager.
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.
When the sale concerns a fraction of a divided co-ownership of a residential immovable, the preliminary contract must be accompanied, at the time of its signature, by certain documents (such as forming with it an indivisible whole). This includes the information note on the essential characteristics of the project, whether it is a new co-ownership or under construction, or a building that has undergone major renovations to the point of now being considered new. In addition, the contract of guarantee will complete the preliminary contract. It concerns immovables or projects subject to the Regulation respecting the guarantee plan for new residential buildings, i.e. those with no more than 4 private portions stacked one above the other (apartments).
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.
Before buying the apartment of your dreams, find out about the status of the common expenses associated with it, especially those that may have remained unpaid by the seller. Common expenses, better known as " condo fees", which you will have to pay once you become a homeowner, are an essential component to consider. They correspond to the current expenses that you will have to pay regularly for the operation, the administration of the co-ownership and the maintenance of the common portions. Each co-owner participates and generally pays them at the beginning of each month.
When you buy a unit in divided co-ownership, you do not only acquire an apartment. You also join a group of co-owners responsible for the accounts to be paid to maintain and preserve the building. It is therefore important to be careful and to check, upstream, the financial statements and the good management of the syndicate. To get a clearer picture, the two basic questions to ask are: Have the directors put in place an appropriate management? And do they have a good control of its financial component? To find out, you should ask questions to your vendor and the syndicate. This will allow you to see whether the condominium follows rigorous accounting methods or not.
The desire to encourage owners to opt for a forward-looking management of their assets and to anticipate the completion of major work is not new. Before the Civil Code of Quebec came into force in 1994, it was common for a co-ownership to have a "reserve fund", although the Civil Code of Lower Canada was silent on this issue. The majority of declarations of co-ownership contained provisions on the reserve fund. It was frequently mentioned that the co-ownership budget should include a reserve fund item for the accumulation of reserves for major expenses that are not imminent but foreseeable in the more distant future. However, the Fund was mostly insufficient, owing to the low contributions made to it.