Frequently Asked Questions
What is a “management company,” what do they do, and how do I reach them?
A management company is contracted by the Board of Directors to provide such services as: Collection of assessments, supervision of subcontractors, obtaining bids for subcontracted services, providing financial statements and collection reports, as well as a general clearing house for problem solving, communications with homeowners and the Board of Directors and to serve in an advisor capacity. The management company reports directly to the Board and all decisions are made by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. The management company may be reached online through the Management Office page on this website or by phone from the numbers listed on the Contact Us page on this site.
What is a Condominium Corporation?
It is a non-profit corporation registered with the Province and managed by a duly elected Board of Directors. Its purpose is to maintain all common areas and to govern the community in accordance with the provision of the legal documents: Declaration, Bylaws, and Rules. The governing legal documents for the Condominium Corporation may be viewed online within the Resource Center page of this site. The corporation is financially supported by all members of the Condominium Corporation. Membership is both automatic and mandatory.
What is the Declaration and Description?
The Declaration and Description are the governing legal documents that set up the guidelines for the operation of the planned community as a non-profit corporation. These documents are registered with the Municipality of Toronto are included in the title to your property. Failure to abide by the Declaration and Description may result in a fine to a homeowner by the Condominium Corporation. The governing legal documents for the Condominium Corporation may be viewed online within the Resource Center page of this site.
What are the Bylaws?
The Bylaws are the guidelines for the operation of the non-profit corporation. The Bylaws define the duties of the various offices of the Board of Directors, the terms of the Directors, the membership’s voting rights, required meetings and notices of meetings, and the principal office of the Condominium Corporation, as well as other specific items that are necessary to run the Corporation as a business. The Bylaws for the Corporation may be viewed online within the Resource Center page of this site.`
What is the Board of Directors?
The Condominium again is a corporation and therefore a governing body that is required to oversee its business. The Board of Directors is elected by the homeowners, or as otherwise specified in the bylaws. The limitations and restrictions of the powers of the Board of Directors is outlined in the Corporation’s governing documents found within the Resource Center page of this site.
Are there any other rules?
Most Corporations have developed Rules and Regulations as provided for in the Declaration and Description adopted by the Board of Directors. Rules are established to provide direction to the homeowners for common courtesies with regard to parking, vehicles, pets and pool use hours, etc. In addition, your Corporation will adopt Architectural Guidelines with procedures for submitting requests to make exterior changes to your home. Such changes may include patio covers, decks, landscaping, exterior color changes or extensive interior changes and additions. These rules and guidelines are set up to maintain the aesthetic value and integrity of the community on behalf of all owners, and hopefully protect the market value of your investment as well. Violations of these rules may result in action by the Board of Directors and a fine. In addition, if you proceed with an exterior improvement or change, without written approval of the Board of Directors, or Architectural Committee, as applicable, you will be required to remove or correct the alteration and/or be fined for the violation.
If I am having a problem with a neighbor for a violation of the Policies and Guidelines, what can I do?
If residents cannot resolve a situation between themselves, then turn to your Condominium Corporation. Should you have a situation that does not appear to be resolved through neighborly means, and you are willing to actively participate in the enforcement provided by the Policies and Guidelines, you may or lodge a complaint directly with management or complete a Covenant Violation form online. The Violation form may be found within the Management Office page on this site. If the situation is deemed in violation of the Policies and Guidelines, the Board of Directors will institute the enforcement policy. Your continued assistance may be required.
How do I communicate directly with the Board of Directors?
It is most efficient and appropriate to contact the Board of Directors via email. They will respond to all meritorious concerns and arrange a meeting if necessary.
If I want to serve on a committee, how do I find out what committees are active and how I can get involved?
The Contact Us page of this website will inform you of the status of current committees organized and committee contact information. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the committee chair or fill out the online volunteer form found on the Management Office page of this site.
What is my Maintenance Fee?
The assessment is the periodic amount due from each homeowner to cover the operating expenses of the common area and provide for reserve funds for replacement of common facilities in future years. Your assessments are due on the first of the month. Statements will be sent for assessments as a reminder of the amount due.
How is the amount of my Maintenance Fee determined?
The Condominium Act requires an initial budget from the developer for each community that a developer proposes to build. This budget is set upon specific guidelines for utilities, landscaping, administration, etc. Reserve funds are monies set aside for future expenses due to the life expectancy of certain items: lighting, street resurfacing, pool equipment, etc. The contribution amounts are stated in the Declaration’s Schedule E: Percentage Contribution to Common Expenses.
Will my Maintenance Fee go up?
There is no concrete answer to this. Typically there are marginal annual increases. The Board of Directors may approve an increased budget, increasing your assessment up to this percentage in order to cover increased costs of operating and maintaining the common area and sufficient reserve funds.
What happens if I don’t pay my Maintenance Fees?
The maintenance and management services incurred by the Association are dependent upon timely receipt of the assessments due from each homeowner. Late payments will result in a late charge as Maintenance Fees are due on the first of the month. In addition, the Declaration and Description allows the Condominium Corporation to charge late charges and interest and proceed with a lien on your property, or foreclosure proceeding for nonpayment of assessments.
Condominium Corporation Terminology
- Advise and provide administrative, managerial, and operational counsel to the association governing body
- Exhibit professionalism and loyalty to the principal (the Board)
- Exercise diligence in performing duties on the principals behalf
- Account for financial activities covered by the Management Agreement
- Perform onsite property inspections
- Solicit and evaluate bids for association services
- Supervise maintenance activities and contractor performance
- Oversee and authorize payment for primary association services
- Know and abide by The Condominium Act, Corporation’s Declaration and Bylaws
The Board of Directors
Depending on the management agreement, some of the following responsibilities can be turned over to a managing company
- Chief executive officer and leader of the Condominium Corporation
- Presides at all meetings of the board and membership
- Executes legal documents on behalf of the association
- Sets meeting agendas and controls all meetings
- Represents the board before the residents
- May have nominating, if not appointment, responsibility for all committees
Performs all of the duties of the president in his/her absence
Typically shares some of the burden of the president regarding appearances, liaison, public hearings, etc.
Usually assigned liaison responsibility to specific staff or contractors, and to specific committees
- Prepares and distributes board and membership meeting agendas, minutes, and materials referred to in minutes
- Maintains minutes and book on all meetings
- Maintains book of resolutions
- Maintains all official records, including official correspondence, contracts, membership roster, etc.
- Receives, verifies, and maintains all proxies
- Attests, by signature, to the legitimacy of certain documents
- Works with appropriate staff, contractors, and committees to develop and submit annual operating budget for approval
- Maintains adequate records of all association financial transactions
- Maintains roster of disbursement of funds, as authorized
- Prepares period financial reports
- Arranges, subject to board approval, an independent audit of financial affairs
PERSPECTIVES OF BOARD, HOMEOWNER, AND MANAGER
Board of Directors Perspective
- Maintaining the value of the property and a good quality of life for the residential community
- Governing smoothly
- Enforces rules
- Establishing and keeping budget
- Most care a great deal about residences
- Will want service from manager and decisions from Board that will provide a good quality of life
- Problems may arise when expectations are too high or not realistic; this can occur when interests are too specialized or unique
- Working in balance with homeowners, board, and realities of management companies business(possible friction)
- Multi-task oriented
- All documents that regulate the community life
- Documents may vary depending on type of Corporation (condo, townhome, etc.)
- Condominuim Act
- Declaration & Description or Title/Deed
- Rules and Regulations
- Plats of Survey and Easement Agreements (may be separate, often included in the declaration)
Accrual Method of Accounting – keeps track of all financial activities, including revenue as it is earned (as opposed to when it is received) and expenses as the obligation is incurred (as opposed to when it is paid). This makes possible a more accurate determination of the financial condition of the association at any point in time. Also, this is a better method for multi-year tracking of capital reserves credits and deficiencies. The primary disadvantage is the greater complexity and technical knowledge that is needed to maintain the records, understand the reports, etc.
Reserve Fund Study – the Board has the obligation to repair and replace major capital facilities, buildings, and equipment of the association. The ideal method of providing for these future expenses is the establishment of a capital reserves system and budget to assure that such funds are available when needed. With knowledge that the future holds predictable major expenditures for repair and replacement of facilities and equipment, the association could begin the gradual accumulation of funds through a reserve account to meet all or a portion of that expense when it comes due.
Our management model is a performance-based approach. We believe that condominium corporations are entitled to receive the maximum level of service along with an assurance it will be provided on an on-going basis.
The Board’s guarantee is reflected in the fact that our standard contract carries a termination clause of 30 days whereas the industry standard is typically 60 to 90 days. This allows the Board the opportunity to assess the efficiency and productivity of our services with minimal risk. In addition, Horizon encourages its clients to undertake annual evaluations of its services by soliciting feedback from Owners.
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