I would like to know what condo association you are speaking of and what location
I would like to know what the rate increase actually was inorder to know if this is truly an issue.
I live in Florida and our Florida Statutes state that all matters concerning the Associations budget must be presented to the Owners for approval. Owners also have a right of appeal and to request a separate meeting for such matters. Additional our state statutes require the Board to maintain a full funded Budget, no matter what the impact to the owners, a fully funded budget is required. This being said, we still have the Budget approved by the owners first, it is after all there building, not the Boards.
Download the following for your answer. Be sure to select county in which your consdo is located
All states have some form of a condominium law. Universally they require a majority vote of the unit owners to adopt a budget. Many however permit the unit owners to delegate the responsibility for budget preparation and adoption to the Board of Directors but such delegation authority must be approved by a majority vote of the unit owners and such vote results have to appear in the official minutes where that action was finalized. The actual adoption is usually accomplished at an open meeting after ,usually rancorous discussions. Adopting a budget in a secret board meeting is illegal!!!
Chances are, you would not have been able to do anything, even if the meeting had been open to all the unit owners. It is the Directors who get to make the decision, and so it really makes little/no difference what others think.
I live in a 52-unit condo in IL. We recently had a meeting to approve the new budget (and fee increase). About 20 owners (in addition to the five Board members) showed up and and everyone said that we really should not increase the fees when the country is in a recession and everyone else is reducing the budget. (The proposed increase was just to build the reserves.) After all the owners had spoken, the Board passed the budget, as if it heard nothing.
I am not aware of any means to appeal this action by the Board.
Call the Florida Department ofBusiness/Professional Development.Upon your request they will mail you,free of any charge or shipping costs,a CD titled-"Condominium Educational and Reference Material rev 06/2010.
Scan through this CD and you'll know far more than any of your baord members and be in a much better oposition to challenge their actions. When you can cite a provision in your state law that the board action violatesd and they take no correctyive action they can be held legally responsible and be subject to legal penalties. The act in question being illegal under state law, removes their colak of immunity usually granted in the bylaws. It is amazing how quickly Boards respond when they learm their actions can affect thioer personal checking accounts.
I'm on a condo board, and we just went thru our budgeting process. Out of over 200 units, 10 people showed up at the budget meeting.
Yeah, everyone wants their dues/fees reduced. OK, how? Do you want to cut back on landscaping maintenance? Can't do that -- grounds need to look good.
How about cutting out lighting at the tennis courts (reduces electric bill)? What happens if I want to play after I get home from work?
Don't fully fund the reserves? Not a good idea, because sooner or later it will require a special assessment.
There are certain ongoing expenses that must be paid. Where does the money come from to pay them?
Good business practices apply to condominiums. All contracts must be bid competati9vely evn including the management contract. The final coice of the selected winner is a matter for board decision and certainly never should be the choice of the management company. To do this selection process otherwise could lead to gross abuse by the board and the management company.
Most state condominium acts have a l;isting of conditions that have to me met before the board may hold a closed meeting. Develponing and adopting a budget is not a cause for holding a closed (secret) meeting. Any budget adopted in this matter is illegal and relief shoukld be sought with your State Attorney General's offioce. You do not need a alwyer to file such a complaint. There are established procedures for same available-call your Attorney General's office.
i am sorry to disagree with some of the opinion expressed here regarding the authority in Florida to pass a Condo association budget. The board passes the budget.Unit owners do not get to vote on it; period!
The board is required by Florida law to propose adopting 'full ' reserves
( however 'full' can be so defined! ) but the reserves funding, whether to be full or partial,is the only budget element of the year's budget that unit owners can vote on. The board must facilitate the reserves fund vote and provide the correct information to the owners with a reserves spending schedule showing the amounts and items budgeted for spending from the reserves fund in the coming year, to help the voters to decide.
The meeting for the passing of the budget by the board and the reserves voting by the owners must be properly noticed at least 14 days in advance along with a meeting agenda.
Unfortunately,too many condo boards continue to try to pass operating budgets which include disguised or incomplete expenses info as they do not like their decidsions to be revealed.
From Florida state law Section 718.112(2)(f)2.,F.S.
Unless documents call for unit owners to adopt the budget,the board must adopt a budget with fully funded reserves (unless reserves have been properly waived or reduced by unit owners after mailing of proposed budget,but before budget meeting.
CUSTOMER CONTACT CENTER
For additional information concerning the Condominium or Cooperatives Acts and to request copies of educational materials available to condominium and cooperative unit owners you may contact the Depart,ent's Customer Contact Center at 1-800-226-9101 (Florida only) or 850.488.1122
You may also e-mail the Deaoartyjment at
Statutes and other information concerning the Division are available on the World Wide WQeb at www.mtfloridalicense.com/bpr/lsc/index.html
The board is elected by the owners to govern the affairs of the corporation, which includes establishing the annual operating budget. Why should individual owners have any right whatsoever to vote on the adoption of an operating budget? They are not privy to the same information the board is, nor are they involved in the daily operation of the property. Some properties adopt the custom of presenting the budget at annual meetings, but this is not a necessity. Owners do, however, vote on the annual contribution to the reserve fund, which is separate from the contributions to the operating fund.
If all owners had legitimate input into a budget, budgets would not be passed: "My cousin Dave is a painter and he says he could paint the building for much less than you guys are budgeting" ad infinitum.
What usually happens is the board knows little to nothing about budgeting, and defers the work to the manager. The manager persuades the board to accept a modest increase, (usually not enough), and the board passes it. Notification of a fee increase must be presented to all owners in advance (usually a month) before it goes into effect.
To summarize the host of comments on this page--Why should the unit owners have a voice in adopting the budget?? Simple
IT's Our Money and we demand to say how it shall be spent!!!
That's the total summation of all these words!
FLA Condo Assoc.
It's budget meeting time, As a concerned homeowner and a former board member, over the last several months I have taken the time to review financials, (mostly due to the fact that I have little faith in the present board who have very little experience or knowledge regarding all things 718) During my review process I have found numerous errors in the financials, for amounts that are large (thousands of dollars) as well as continuous coding errors by management. This same problem happened when I was on the board and I brought it to the attention of the management & board so that it could be corrected. Unfortunately I don't have that ability at this time. However, I have also discovered my association has not had a audit and or financial review since 2005! Every year since then it has been waived by the members, (I am aware of the financial reporting statutes and partial or fully funding reserve waiver). Homeowners were sent their financial packets recently and again waiving finacial reporting as well as fully funding reserves were on the proxy. With a statement that we would be due in 2012 for a Financial review. This information is incorrect!! When the question was posed to Management when the last year was that we had a financial audit and/or review he stated "I don't know", Now that the mistakes that I have uncovered as well as the fact that we have not had the financial review have come to light, Can membership petition for an audit? Especially since the financials are not correct? I read the comment about "appealing" I would like to know under what circumstances you can do that also?
Seeking advice... thank you
The Ultimate comment here is usually it is the people who do not participate in their condo's activities that are unhappy because they wind up knowing less than those who do. However, for those that do participate and are still unhappy with the way their Board performs, although there may be a "waiting period" until the end of any of the Directors terms, the ultimate response is that if you are unhappy about the way the Board (or any Director)performs, be ready at the next election to VOTE THEM OUT by speaking to enough people who are as unhappy as you are. This make take time but time (and the Florida condo law)is on your side!!!
Howard County, MD Condominium;
Can a board of directors, pass a budget at a budget meeting with an increase of 7% without a quorum? The attendance at the meeting was around 38 units owners.
Also, the president had handouts of quarterly figures that was incorrect, when questioned by some unit owners that are in the financial industry, his response was he's not a numbers person.
What rights does units owners have if any, to remove the said president and was it correct for the board to vote and approve an increase although the unit owners with the non-transparancy of the budget?