October 22, 2018 at 2:19 pm #2204
Our complex has just been hit with a Special Assessment – no calculation of how they arrived at the amount each unit is assessed was shown. The Board’s explanation was “a portion will go to pay down the loan in order to get a better interest rate and a portion will go to the Reserve Fund” Do they not have to show how they arrived at the amount each unit is assessed and do they not have to show how much will be going to pay down the loan and how much will go to the Reserve Fund. This letter came out with the supposedly budget which was a spread sheet and not the proper Budget Package which showed who made the motion and who seconded this. Would appreciate any help with answers to these questions. Aren’t Special Assessments to show itemized accounts of what the money is to be used for???
Originally posted by Anne A
October 22, 2018 at 2:19 pm #2205
Special assessments must be collected based on the unit factors. If your unit factor is 50% of another unit then you pay 50% of what they pay. In our unit we display the unit factors on all budgets so Owners can see we are collecting funds based on the correct ratio.
You can get the unit factors from your Property Manager or your Board. Or go to the land titles web site and pull the condo plan. It shows the unit factors. Costs $2.00. I can help you with this if do not already have the plan (would have come with your lawyer package when you bought your unit).
You can use this info to verify the Board calculated the Special Assessment correctly.
How they came up with the split between Reserve Fund and a loan pay down is a question for the Board.
Shaune I on July 25 2018 at 01:09 PM
October 22, 2018 at 2:19 pm #2206
Thank you for your reply Shaune but I know how the calculation is supposed to work but they have not shown on any documents the amount per unit factor to show how they came to the amount each unit should pay. We have unit factors for units from 58 unit factors up to and including 78 unit factors for some units. Also, they have not given us the amount per unit factor to calculate the condo fees. For two years we have gotten one sheet of paper for the budget package. My question is do they not have to show how much of the Special Assesssment will go to the pay down the loan and how much will go to the Reserve Fund. My understanding of Special Assessments is that you have to show what you are going to do with exactly – not generally.
Anne A on July 25 2018 at 01:39 PM
October 22, 2018 at 2:20 pm #2207
At present there are no legislative requirements about Special Assessments. There are no legislated requirements that Owners be sent a “Budget Package”, even with the annual budget. If there are any requirements they often vary from Corporation to Corporation and are in the Corporation’s Bylaws.
When the proposed Regulations are adopted by Executive Counsel and the related Condominium Property Act sections are enacted, there will be legislated requirements about Special Assessments.
Section 39 of the Condominium Property Act speaks to how each Owner’s portion of contributions is determined. It states:
39(1) In addition to its other powers under this Act, the powers of a corporation include the following:
(c) to raise amounts so determined by levying contributions on the owners
(i) in proportion to the unit factors of the owners’ respective units, or
(ii) if provided for in the bylaws, on a basis other than in proportion to the unit factors of the owners’ respective units;
If you have concerns about the Special Assessment, you should obtain a copy of the minutes at which the Assessment was approved and then if you still have questions, write to your Board members.
Victoria A on July 25 2018 at 01:53 PM
October 22, 2018 at 2:20 pm #2208
Organize a Special Extraordinary ; and vote the board out if required.
Rod P on July 25 2018 at 06:02 PM
October 22, 2018 at 2:20 pm #2209
I am drafting a letter to circulate to the owners in the hopes that we can get enough signatures to either call a Special Extraordinary meeting or stir up enough interest that people willl attend the next AGM so we can vote this Board out and squash the Special Assessment. In the last 3 years they have raised the condo fees by $150.00 and now this. If the Board and the Property Manager knew anything they would be able to use the money much more wisely. Have not seen even one improvement due the rise in fees.
Anne A on July 25 2018 at 07:49 PM
October 22, 2018 at 2:20 pm #2210
My understanding was that a Special Levy was to to be used for capital projects (ie. roof replacement etc.) based on a schedule set out by the reserve fund study, not to pay loans or operating expenses – ? I hope someone who has more in depth knowledge of this issue.will weigh in.
Ruth G on July 25 2018 at 09:24 PM
October 22, 2018 at 2:20 pm #2211
Thanks Ruth – I am also hoping for that also,
Anne A on July 26 2018 at 07:46 AM
October 22, 2018 at 2:20 pm #2212
Hello everyone. I am on a board of directors. Last year our new finance board member pointed out to us that our reserve fund and finances were way behind. We had several studies done saying that we needed work done on our balconies, pipes in the parkade, eavestroughs needed to be replaced and other work needed to be done. After many meetings and deliberations we decided to ask for a large assessment. In conjunction with our property manager we wrote a letter of explanation with an assessment notice for 30 to 40 thousand dollars. There was a huge uproar ! We decided to cut it in half and raise the condo fees. The money was really needed. However those who opposed the decision hired a lawyer. The board was hated by some and admired by others.
A very important meeting was held with lawyers from both sides. People voted and the assessment
remained. Several lessons were learned from this!! We should have had a meeting at first to explain the situation. Owners should have asked the board not yelled at them ! Now we have a building committee, a finance committee, and a management committee. People have become more involved than ever before. Communication is so important. Talk to your board.
shirley g on July 26 2018 at 08:36 AM
October 22, 2018 at 2:20 pm #2213
You are so right. If owners are informed about the Revenue and expenses on a regular basis, the majority would not be surprised, or against getting the Corporation finances in order. Most of us want our Corporation to be “healthy financially “. After all, it is our home and our investment.
Our Corporation also just received a special assessment, and we Owners have not really got a good explanation as to why, and what it is needed for.
I’m in total agreement that for Condo Corporations to be successful, the owners need to be involved and knowledgeable. Boards need to be accessible and open communication is extremely important. If owners are kept involved and in the know, the sense of community grows and everyone is happy. It’s easier to be supportive if you are aware of the issues. Secrets and surprises just makes everyone suspicious and angry.
Jeanette B on July 27 2018 at 08:40 AM
October 22, 2018 at 2:21 pm #2214
We had all the work required done – with the loan. There is no work to be done with this Special Assessment and they have raised the condo fees by $150.00 a month over the last three years.
Anne A on July 27 2018 at 04:35 PM
October 22, 2018 at 2:21 pm #2215
If they received a loan, maybe they are using the extra condo fees to pay it down. Is it a new board? Every board will approach finances differently. I’m happy that ours is approaching it the way we have.
shirley g on July 28 2018 at 08:37 AM
October 22, 2018 at 2:21 pm #2216
Have you contacted your management company as I am sure they will have all the answers for you.
Cindy S on August 08 2018 at 09:38 PM
October 22, 2018 at 2:21 pm #2217
If the Management Company and the Board gave out all of the pertinent information regarding the Special Assessment in the first place, ther would be no need for the owners to be worried about what is going on. Our Management Company and our Board do not communicate with the owners very well. They don’t seem to understand that the Corporation is the owners and the owners are entitled to know what is going on in the complex.
Anne A on August 08 2018 at 09:58 PM
October 22, 2018 at 2:21 pm #2218
I agree with you Anne A, the owners are the corporation. Refer to section 25 of the Condominium Property Act. The owners should be selecting and electing individuals whom they feel have the skills to manage the complex and whom they trust. The Board is authorized to hire a responsible property manager whom the board is required to supervise. It seems the owners should be reminding the Board every six months by way of a special meeting as to who is serving whom and what is expected of them and the property manager by way of full transparency. The owners must take an interest and to take charge.
Ron K on August 09 2018 at 07:08 AM
October 22, 2018 at 2:21 pm #2219
If loading up with proxies was not allowed, the AGMs would be a lot better. When a few collect enough proxies to over rule the attendees at the meeting they control who gets on the Board and who doesn’t. I hope under the new regulations that owners are only allowed 1/2 proxies each so meetings would be much fairer.
Anne A on August 09 2018 at 08:13 AM
October 22, 2018 at 2:21 pm #2220
To overcome that situation is to secretly canvass owners that one can trust and obtain enough proxies or their interest to attend and to control the AGM that belongs to the Owners. Trust would be key.
Ron K on August 09 2018 at 09:10 AM
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