Saturday, November 18, 2017
Home and Garden

Condo owners should review financial statements

RECOMMENDED READING


Q: I have a condominium in Florida. We have owned the unit for 23 years. Over the years, we have had some heavy assessments. Recently, we found there was money hidden in bank accounts and money market funds since 2002. The sum was over $200,000, and none of the owners knew about the money. We only found the money when one owner took time to read the end-of-year financial report. It seems none of the new board knew that this money was there. I asked for the end-of-year statement from the management company and the figures are in the report for all to see.

The director was unaware of the funds. It appears that no one on the board read the end-of-year statement. So the question is, does the board have the right to conceal these funds and not disclose them to the owners? As owners, we only see the budget for the up and coming year and on that statement nothing is mentioned about these monies. Is the board guilty of improper actions?

A: What you have is a common event in condominiums, financial statements with unaccounted funds or expenses. My guess is that less than 10 percent of the owners know how to read a financial statement. Your directors are part of this group and are volunteers. Chances are good that no one on the board knows how to read financial statements. Is this a problem? Not really, if the board has professionals available to provide help, answer questions, and make suggestions.

Your question is extremely important in that they point out one major problem in associations, most members do not concern themselves with the business of the association. They let others do the work with no oversight. All members have a responsibility to observe and evaluate the business decisions of the association. Members are responsible to attend meetings, follow the decisions of the board and read the financial statements. If it was found in the end-of-year statement, then the oversight was the members' neglect as well as the board.

Conviction could hamper purchase

Q: I am considering buying a condominium in a 55-plus association. Will my having a previous felony conviction prevent me from being able to buy a unit? Who makes these decisions and what are the parameters as to what previous legal problems are forgiven and which are not? Do I have any legal recourse if I am refused?

A: Your first step is to seek legal advice. Many associations have screening committees that review both rentals and new purchases. Some have very strict screening policies. Some will accept new residents if they have only one conviction and have several years of clean living. If otherwise, or a sexual offender, I have no suggestion to help as that record will remain as a black mark. One thing I recommend is not to lie or present false information. Engage a real estate agent to help and have the agent contact the board or screening committee and get their feeling on your conviction. You may want to talk to an attorney to see if you can have your record expunged.

Comments
Why ‘Justice League’ nearly gets it right but still has DC movie problems

Why ‘Justice League’ nearly gets it right but still has DC movie problems

How many superheroes does it take to salvage a comic book universe?Six. Five doing the heavy lifting and the Flash, who’s the lowercase joker DC’s too-serious superhero franchise needs.Justice League assembles two overdone caped/cowled icons, a fresh...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Hometown Hernando for Nov. 17

Hometown Hernando for Nov. 17

Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17
What’s new in theaters this week: ‘Justice League,’ ‘Wonder,’ ‘The Star’

What’s new in theaters this week: ‘Justice League,’ ‘Wonder,’ ‘The Star’

OPENING FRIDAY:JUSTICE LEAGUEHow many superheroes does it take to salvage a comic book universe?Six. Five doing the heavy lifting and the Flash, who’s the lowercase joker DC’s too-serious superhero franchise needs.Justice League assembles two overdon...
Published: 11/15/17
Five cool things to see in ‘Star Wars and the Power of Costume’ in St. Petersburg

Five cool things to see in ‘Star Wars and the Power of Costume’ in St. Petersburg

Do you sense a disturbance in the Force?That would probably be the landing of "Star Wars and the Power of Costume" at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, earlier this week. I got a preview of the blockbuster Smithsonian exhibit (docked in our co...
Published: 11/15/17
Timely Tendings: Use the least toxic option when controlling vegetable pests

Timely Tendings: Use the least toxic option when controlling vegetable pests

Control pests on vegetable plants using least toxic methods Scout your vegetable garden regularly for insect pests. Be sure to look for beneficial insects like lady bugs, green lacewings, and minute pirate bugs. These will help control common pests l...
Published: 11/11/17
Updated: 11/14/17
Disney announces new Star Wars trilogy and TV show as well as ESPN streaming service

Disney announces new Star Wars trilogy and TV show as well as ESPN streaming service

Disney is doubling down on "Star Wars." On a conference call with analysts Thursday, CEO Bob Iger said that the company is planning a brand-new "Star Wars" trilogy as well as a "Star Wars" series for its Disney streaming service coming in 2019. "Star...
Published: 11/09/17
What’s new in theaters: ‘Murder on the Orient Express,’ ‘Daddy’s Home 2’

What’s new in theaters: ‘Murder on the Orient Express,’ ‘Daddy’s Home 2’

OPENING FRIDAY:MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESSAgatha Christie’s signature mystery Murder on the Orient Express gets a classy remake 43 years after Ingrid Bergman won her third Oscar as one of a dozen unusual suspects.Kenneth Branagh and an impressive fa...
Published: 11/08/17
Updated: 11/14/17
A peek at the Star Wars costumes coming to St. Petersburg with ‘Star Wars and the Power of Costume’

A peek at the Star Wars costumes coming to St. Petersburg with ‘Star Wars and the Power of Costume’

A galaxy far, far away just got a lot closer. More than 60 hand-crafted costumes from the Star Wars saga landed this week as part of the Smithsonian traveling exhibit "Star Wars and the Power of Costume," docked at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Peter...
Published: 11/08/17
Updated: 11/13/17
Hometown Hernando for Nov. 10

Hometown Hernando for Nov. 10

We want your news!Hometown Hernando is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it’s snapshots from your family reunion, recreational sporting event, news from your last club meeting or just a few lines thanking someone for a job well done. Yo...
Published: 11/08/17
Updated: 11/09/17
Who killed all the fun in ‘Murder on the Orient Express’?

Who killed all the fun in ‘Murder on the Orient Express’?

Kenneth Branagh’s somnambulant remake of Murder on the Orient Express is a murder mystery Agatha Christie never intended: Who killed her diabolical fun?The answer is right under our noses, like the cake frosting mustache under his. Branagh’s portraya...
Published: 11/08/17