Fire the management company. They work for you. File a complaint with the DBPR. State regulatory agency.
You did not state what type of accrual reports your PM sent you, so it's difficult to answer your question. Did he send you an income statement?
What do you mean by "wanting to know where you stand?" I would guess that you want to know the cash available in each bank account (this statement assumes that you maintain one bank account for operating expenses and a second bank account for your reserve funds). Ask to see the check register for each account for all of 2012, and also ask to see the bank statements for each period. As an aside, I download my HOA's bank statements each month from my bank's web site. You should do the same.
Have you read your contract with your PM? The contract should explain the services to be provided for the fee paid. Your PM should also provide you a price list for special services not covered by your basic fee. I have not heard of a PM charging a board member for providing basic financial information each month. It seems to me that he should have emailed the information requested to you and you could have printed it yourself.
This seems extremely unreasonalbe to me. We post the minutes of each Board meeting for public viewing along with the complete financial statement each month. Of course we don't post each individual bill just the amount that was paid for each line item. i.e. utilities line item includes heat, water, and electricity.
In my opinion the Board should never depend completely on the PM for information.
My (late) husband went to a nursing home after a hospital stay in 2004. I was a ltthle relieved thinking that he would be "taken care" of. WIthout going into detail it was a nightmare experience for him and to this day I can start crying thinking about it.
So I would advise never never to depend on any one or any company to take on the responsiblity that you should be taking on.
No, you are not being unreasonable in the least. You should have full access to all money matters, it is your duty and responsibility. Our FL association is run as well as one can be and this is what we do: Our secretary records and publishes the minutes (she runs them by the other board members first), makes them available to board members and the property manager - not the other way around, and posts on the bulletin board for owners. By the way, FL condo statues require that association minutes only record what is done - actions taken, matters voted on - not what is said. Our management company sends complete financial statements to board members each month and a summary report is posted on the bulletin board for owners. The complete reports that we directors get includes all month/year-to-date budget/actual info, all income, all checks written to whom and for what. We know exactly how our money is spent and the balances of our various accounts because copies of all monthly bank statements are part of the report. Complete. There is a line item for the monthly service fee we pay our property management company (financial statements are included in what is provided to us for our monthly fee) and when we have additional requests, they charge the association (not the individual requester) a fee - copying & administrative - which for us amounts to on average $200 a month. In FL - maybe everywhere - the board members run a corporation, the property manager works for the association. It’s possible that your property manager has in past years needed to prop up the board, since many volunteer and are elected without the slightest clue as to what is required and are happy to sleep-walk through their term in office. We have very active and attentive owners, so we do not need propping up. Get a copy of the management company contract and see what you are paying for. Talk with the other board members and lay down the law for your property manager. If you meet resistance, look for a new management company.
You say you are a member of the board, the same board where you live. You should have access to all paper work without charge for copies. Who runs the board?
Forget the DBPR in FL. They do NOTHING. We have had over $2.2 million stolen from the past 2 boards and they have no idea what to do. They cannot even come in and remove some of the board members who have been 'serving' on the board for over 15 years - serving themselves a heaping portion of our bank account. Call the state representative in your particular area, and mention to them about the Hallandale police department's course on condo fraud. Get them to bring it to your local police jurisdiction. They arrested a CAM (certified association manager) who was pulling the same stuff, not giving up financial reports, falsifying figures on paper that does not match up to what was actually in the bank accounts, and he got 20 years in prison.
If you detect how furious I am, you'd be correct. We will not stop in our condo until that pit bull bitch in our office is sitting in the same jail cell as the other board members on our board who are enabling her and hiding everything from the unit owners.
Be glad you don't live in MA. There is no oversight except a state statute with no enforceability. Florida has a state agency with strong condominium oversight. Report this matter to them.
"1) Am I being unreasonable requesting actual cash balance sheets? For these five pages I was also sent a bill for $8.80. This seems excessive especially since I am a board member.
2)Is there a law that pertains to the amount of customary charge for these items?"
I believe Larry Davis had the best comments on this. To understand what reports your Board is entitled to you MUST read your contract with the Property Manager. Within the contract it should also state that you will be charged for reports outside the terms of the contract as well as any off cycle reports.
Our Board had some financial challenges with our previous Community Management company, similar to yours but in addition the same monthly expenses were continually being charged to the wrong line item and we could not get any financial reports until the third week of a month because they had too many customers. We dumped them and moved to another Community Management company that provides a hardcopy to each Director of the standard financial reports or any other we request that Quicken Books is capable of. In addition they send us a spreadsheet version of each report which I use to create spreadsheets that give me a better idea of our financial position month to month.
As far as the laws in your state, I have never seen a state with laws pertaining to the services offered by a Property Manager or Community Management company. North Carolina attempted to pass a law for all of them to be certified and licensed but that never made it for a vote and from what I have been told probably never will be.
Start shopping for a replacement Property Manager. Look at your contract for the length of notice you have to provide and terminate them. We did it and we have never been happier.
Start by calling the local office of the Condo Ombudsman in Florida. They will start an investigation report. They will send necessary letters and advise you. If it fails, start a legal fund and get an attorney. You will eventually retrieve your investment from the Association. It's a shame we have to go through all this.
There seems to be much "saber rattling" here over a simple financial statement. Instead, how about sitting down with the PM to determine what he can provide and what you need. That alone may solve your concern. Remember that PMs are not accountants. If they pay your bills accurately and are not stealing your money, you are in good shape. Don't expect them to deliver financial analysis.
I am the one who posted the original post. Thanks for all your responses. I cannot go to the remainder of the BoD because the Pres. does whatever the Prop. Mgt. says and vice versa while the other members just agree to anything she says. At our last meeting, someone asked how the board gave prop. mgt. approval to use reserves or something other than intended purposes without owner votes. The Pres. said, "You voted me in this office and that gives me and the board the right to vote to use reserves for whatever we want." I immediately, ask to speak and when recognized, I very openly said Florida law says a board cannot vote on using reserve funds for whatever without majority owner votes and I was not aware that the BoD had even made such a decision. Upon that, she throws her hands us and says," That doesn't surprise me that you don't know you weren't at the last meeting." I wasn't because I had herniated two discs. The reserve funds were used before this meeting occurred. So, I plan to contact the ombudsman in Florida and see what must be done. There are more and more owners that are expressing concerns especially since another assessment is being talked about to pay back the reserves and also payback operational funds because they were used to expand the pool even though we cannot afford to meet our budged. Prop. Mgt. is the only one on the checking account and he takes the minutes since the board voted me out of the office of secretary / treasurer when I began to question some of the procedures. I stayed on the board because everyone wanted to make sure the Pres. did not get another "clone" to take my place. Also, we have never had an audit--another Florida violation. We will have a busy New Year. It gives many of us encouragement to know that we must move forward with this immediately. Thanks
I live in a Condo in Fl and filed a complaint against the Board with the DBPR after an investigation the Board won and then sent out a flyer to all of the unit owners with my name on it. You must know that when you file a complaint in FL it is a public record and everyone has access to it. By the by, the Accountant came in and did our audit and he questioned the same thing I did and they did not give that part of the Audit to the unit owners. I was right but that is not the point...we have a Board that only does what it wants, no meetings, no minutes and the people here do not question it. I will be back on the board in January, 2013 and see if I/we can clean up the mess.
Clean house. Rally owners and get rid of the puppet board and property manager.
Stonewalling on financial reports is a big red flag. The following link has links to many FL condo fraud cases, a great education for owners or board members on different ways to steal from your neighbors.
To Needs Some Help:
Originally, you said that your PM would not provide you with the financial information you requested and your second posting discusses what you believe to be the improper use of your reserve fund. Before you seek help from a third party, especially a government office, YOU and your fellow owners need to assess where you stand financially. Right now, you don't seem to know, and a third party can't necessarily get the answers for you. You make no mention of whether you have asked for an accounting of spending from your board. Send them a letter outlining your concerns along with the information you want to review.
In short, you haven't done enough to help yourself before asking for help from governmental agencies.
Thanks, Larry Davis. Other owners and I have reviewed our gov. docs, Ch. 718 of Condo Act., and FL condo adm. code and found the board and PM have lots of violations. We will be composing a letter to the BoD and PM stating our concerns and to view certain items suggested above and go from there. Thanks again everyone.
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