Definition : Contingency fund

Fund dedicated for major repairs and replacements of the common portions of the immovable, distinct from their regular maintenance. This fund should not be used to pay for day to day maintenance. Its aim is to anticipate the long-term financing needs of major work on the common portions, which require a large investment, by staggering them over time. It is for the board of directors, after consultation with the general meeting of the co-owners, to determine the estimated cost of these expenses and the amounts to be paid into the contingency fund.

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13 mars 2022 — Une étude sur le fonds de prévoyance a récemment été réalisée par l’Institut canadien des actuaires. Cette étude a confirmé une appréhension entretenue depuis plusieurs années : l’indiscipline de nombreux syndicats de copropriétaires a pour conséquence que le fonds de prévoyance des copropriétés reste encore trop souvent dégarni ou insuffisant. Il y est mentionné ce qui suit : Malheureusement à ce jour, les niveaux initiaux des sommes accumulées dans le fonds de prévoyance — selon les contributions minimales admissibles au fonds, calculées conformément à la loi — sont insuffisants pour assurer un amortissement raisonnablement uniforme des coûts au fil du temps et, sans surprise pour les personnes informées, se traduiront par une hausse des frais de copropriété ou des fonds insuffisants pour les réparations et les remplacements des parties communes. 
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The juridical personality of the syndicate is distinct from the one of the co-owners and directors. His acts are binding only on himself, besides for the exceptions provided by law. The faults committed by the syndicate have consequences only on its own civil liability and not on the directors. Under these conditions, they are held harmless by the syndicate and assume no responsibility for any costs, expenses, charges or losses they have incurred for the administration of the building and the syndicate. This is the basic principle, but it is important to bring several nuances to it. Indeed, a director must never lose sight of the interest of the community of co-owners.
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A syndicate of co-owners has the obligation to account for its operations by funds. The Civil Code of Québec requires the creation of a general fund, a contingency fund and in April 2022, the creation of the self-insurance fund. The creation of the early self-insurance fund is recommended. The general fund for current operations is also sometimes referred to as an administration fund or an administration fund.
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Le fonds d’auto assurance est affecté au paiement des franchises prévues par les assurances souscrites par le syndicat et d'un montant additionnel raisonnable Questions : Qu'est-ce qu'un montant additionnel raisonnable? Comment fait-on pour connaitre la somme additionnelle? On doit se fier sur quoi exactement pour définir la somme additionnelle?
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At our last annual co-owner's meeting, the board of directors informed us that it was going to take $10,000 from our contingency fund to set up a self-insurance fund. To justify their decision, the directors said that this will allow to avoid putting up a special assessment. Several co-owners seemed to agree. Question: Can the board unilaterally decide to use part of the sums accumulated in the contingency fund to set up a self-insurance fund without consulting or obtaining the approval of the co-owners? And if so is this a good way to manage the funds of our co-ownership?
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Almost every insurance policy includes deductibles, in varying amounts according to the insured risk (e.g. fire and water damage). In co-ownerships, deductibles are a factor in the Building insurance, and in the third party liability insurance of the syndicate, directors, general meeting officers, co-ownership manager (gérant) and of the condo manager (gestionnaire). Regarding co-owner’s insurance, generally each home insurance policy contains one or more deductibles for various amounts according with the nature of the loss.  
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The Self-Insurance Fund is mandatory since April 15, 2022 following the adoption of the Bill 141, in 2018, which notably created section 1071.1 of the Civil Code of Québec. It had become necessary due to a substantial increase in insurance deductibles. Most of the time, the amount of these deductibles was formerly negligible, whereas today, it can reach tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars.  
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Le fonds de prévoyance est le "bas de laine" d'une copropriété. Il sera indispensable lorsque viendra le temps d'engager des travaux majeurs dans l'immeuble, ou qu'il faudra remplacer des parties communes arrivées à échéance.
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The Contingency Fund is to be used strictly for major repairs and replacements of common portions. It should not be used to fund their maintenance.
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Le certificat d’état d’immeuble correspond à un « bilan » de l’immeuble : il constate la qualité du bâtiment, à un moment précis. Il comprend l’inventaire des composantes de l’immeuble (espaces extérieurs, bâtiments, logements, équipements, etc.) qui feront l’objet d’une évaluation pour les fins du fonds de prévoyance. Bien il n’y ait pas d’obligation légale à cet effet, ce document devrait être préparé par un technologue professionnel, ingénieur, architecte.
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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.  
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Question:  We have accumulated significant sums for the repair of the roof, which is to take place in ten years. As part of the sale of my apartment, can I ask the buyer or the syndicate for a refund of the contributions I have paid to the contingency fund?
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The tax status of a syndicate of co-ownership As with any legal person, a syndicate of co-owners has tax obligations to respect under penalty of consequences that could have a significant impact on the financial situation of the co-ownership and the co-owners. Although governed by specific rules set out in article 1039 of the Civil Code of Quebec, a co-ownership syndicate is considered by the tax authorities of Quebec and Canada respectively as: An enterprise under the Taxation Act; A corporation with the status of a non-profit organization under the Income Tax Act  
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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:
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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.  
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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.
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In the case of contingency funds, a syndicate of co-owners must have guidelines for the investment of the sums accumulated in the fund. It must  clearly define the return and risk objectives for a given period while taking into account constraints such as liquidity needs, the legal context and exceptional circumstances. This task is delicate, because a syndicate of co-owners acts asadministratorofthe property of others. That is why  it must submit to restrictive and precautionary rules on placement. The syndicate is thus subject to the rules of presumed safe investments  provided for in articles 1339 to 1344 of the Civil Code of Quebec.
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The management of a real estate asset requires the implementation of high-performance IT solutions to ensure a perfect knowledge of the building.   The appropriate IT tools allow efficient and economical management of the condition of the building, but also facilitate the consultation and rapid updating of information concerning the components of the building (e.g. the directory of existing equipment, its condition, the operations carried out, the maintenance and corrections to be carried out, etc.).
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Le plan de gestion d’actifs décrit et chiffre les mesures prises par le conseil d’administration relativement au fonds de prévoyance, afin d’assurer la conservation et l’entretien du patrimoine immobilier. Ce plan définit le scénario d’intervention visant à maintenir l’actif, quantifie le coût de sa mise en œuvre et établit la stratégie de financement. Il précise donc : Le niveau d’entretien; Les correctifs à apporter à l’immeuble; L’estimation du montant du fonds de prévoyance et de l’entretien; Le scénario choisi par le conseil d’administration.
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L’étude du fonds de prévoyance doit-elle être réévaluée régulièrement?
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In Quebec, about half of the syndicates of co-owners do not have any management tools to adequately provision the contingency fund for major repairs or the replacement of common elements. This problem, which sometimes has disastrous financial consequences for some co-owners, should soon be solved by the obligation to obtain a contingency fund study to which the Syndicates of co-owners will be subject by the upcoming amendments to the Civil Code of Québec following the adoption of Bill 16  in December 2019.  
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I am a recent co-owner. The building I live in has 10 units. The contribution to contingency fund is substantial. In fact, it represents 20% of the budget of the co-ownership! That seems excessive. Question: Is there a ceiling to the amounts to be paid in the contingency fund   
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With the adoption of the Civil Code of Québec in 1994, to fill a void in the Law, the Quebec legislature introduced the obligation upon a syndicate of co-owners to fund a "contingency fund”. This obligation was intended to fill a gap in the previous law. Prior to the enactment of the Civil Code, it was a frequent occurrence for co-ownerships to have a "reserve fund", although the Civil Code of Lower Canada was mute on this issue. Most of the time, this fund was inadequate, due to the low level of contributions paid into it. Moreover, declarations of co-ownership often included a contribution limit (for example$ 50,000), beyond which it was no longer required to contribute the co-owners.
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  I have been living for a year in a condo I bought in a recently built building. To my surprise, there is still no contingency fund being funded. We pay the common expenses of the immovable monthly (maintenance, snow removal, condo insurance), but no 5% of the budget contribution to "Contingency fund". Yet, a lawyer friend told me it was mandatory! Question: Is this normal?
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