- Financial statements : Financial statements
Definition : Financial statements
The complete set of financial reports, prepared at the end of each financial exercise, which shows the financial and accounting situation of the co-ownership. They include a balance sheet, the income statement for the preceding financial period, the statement of debts and claims. There are three types of accounting engagements to which the financial statements of a syndicate may be subjected, being an audit, a review, or a compilation (notice to reader). These documents are part of the register of co-ownership and shall be made available to any co-owner upon request.
The developer, who often acts as a interim director as long as he holds the majority of the votes of a co-ownership, will eventually have to transfer power to the future board of directors. The latter will be elected at a special transitional meeting, which must be held when the same developer loses the majority of votes in the building.
As soon as the co-ownership is born, that is to say when the declaration of co-ownership is published in the Quebec Land Register, the Therrien Couture Joli-Coeur team offers to take charge of all the steps relating to the start of the syndicate and the complete organization of the first meeting of co-owners during which the transitional administration is terminated. Our firm can, as part of this service provision, guide the transitional director and the co-owners through each step of the start-up of your syndicate of co-ownership, and give you all the necessary advice to ensure an effective start of the co-ownership.
The presence of a Board of Directors is mandatory in a co-ownership. It is the executive body of the syndicate and its legal representative. Its members act as the mandataries of the syndicate. When a co-ownership is newly constituted, the declaration of co-ownership generally provides for the appointment of a interim director, who exercises the functions of the Board of Directors until the Meeting of co-owners appoints a new board of directors. This transitional period is generally delicate because of the necessarily numerous and complex problems relating to defects in workmanship, latent defects and construction defects. And this is not to mention that the transitional administrator set up by the developer may have a negative role: protect the developer and transfer to the co-ownership of charges incumbent in principle on the developer.
Usually, it is the developer who designates him, in accordance with a provision in the declaration of co-ownership (By-laws of the Immovable). Often he appoints one of his representatives to act as the interim director of the syndicate.
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.
The law provides that the syndicate must keep a register available to the co-owners. Article 342 of the Civil Code of Quebec specifies that the board of directors shall keep the list of members, as well as the books and registers necessary for the proper functioning of the legal person. This register represents the memory of the building for those who administer it. It constitutes the history of the experience of the condominium from its conception, and this by specifying its maintenance and the work undertaken, while listing the contractors and suppliers who intervened. In this sense, it is invaluable. The syndicate must preserve for organizational and management purposes, or for legal protection and evidence purposes, all documents and information relating to the operation of the co-ownership. That is why "preservation", "access" and "archives" are the hallmarks of this register.
Your condo does not necessarily need a Chartered Professional Accountant to present its financial information, whether it is the financial statements, financial forecasts or funding requests. Competent administrators or contractors supervised by the directors could do the job and present the required financial information.
The need however could however be felt if the owners have doubts about the work done, the skills or the honesty of the current administration. Internal reporting to co-owners may also be absent or deficient. It is also possible that the general by-laws require the production of certified financial statements.
January 27th, 2016. Among the various obligations imposed upon each and every Syndicate of co-ownership, there is a particular one worthy of note. It is the obligation to keep the list of the Syndicate’s co-owners and the books and registers necessary for the proper functioning of the Syndicate. This is easily understandable, since the Syndicate, as a moral person distinct from its members, has its own “corporate life” which must be properly documented. The Code also tells us that these documents are the Syndicate’s property and that the co-owners have access to them (Article 342 of the Quebec Civil Code).
For the promising buyer, the offer to purchase is a way to reserve a property on conditions that he sets himself. When signing an offer to purchase, it may be that certain aspects surrounding the sale are beyond its control. This will happen, for example, if they have to sell their principal residence before buying, or if they need to get a mortgage before acquiring the new property. To this could be added another imponderable, that is to say that it may lack information to carry out a due diligence verification before the purchase. For this reason, offers to purchase generally include an obligation that is described as conditional, which is recorded as a suspensive condition.
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.
As a result of the loss of control of the developer, we have just held the first meeting of co-owners to replace the director who had been appointed by the developer and elect a new board of directors. However, this director has not reported on his administration since the publication of the declaration of co-ownership! Even worse, we don't know what he did with the condo fees he collected. Question: What rights do we have against it?
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Question: We would like to know if the law requires having our syndicate’s financial statements audited by an accountant.
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