Of all the activities while residing in a condominium, the most important for a unit owner is to attend the annual meeting of the homeowner's association.
Usually, great care is given by the elected administrators and the professional management firm in preparation of the annual meeting.
A notice is sent weeks prior to the annual meeting, and a condo owner has no excuse not to attend.
The administrator usually the president or the secretary of the association will read the minutes of last year's meeting and will then present the report on the state of the building . You will learn what happened during the last year, what is planned for the next year, and if need by a five or ten year plan of capital expenditures will be presented to the owners.
The financial statements will then be presented by an outside, independent firm and you will be able to assess the quality of the management of the funds by the administrators and the manager. It is very important to differentiate the usual expenditures that are covered by the income/expenditures report and the status of the capital expenditures that should be dealt with in the most attentive way. The reports from engineers and contractors listing what has to be done on an on-going basis to ensure the worthiness of the building will give the owners peace-of-mind since it will prevent the unit owners to face unplanned and unforeseen expenses that could prove catastrophic. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. The annual meeting is a unique occasion for unit owners to meet and find out the state of the building and the resources necessary to keep in good shape.
A condo is in many ways a very large part of an owner's net worth. To participate and to inquire during the annual meeting about the state of your asset is the most important responsibility for a conscientious and responsible owner.
Gilles Martin is a Real Estate Agent, accomplished Entrepreneur and long-time businessman. His articles can be read on Musings of a Real Estate Agent .