Having an Annual Meeting

We’re in the midst of the annual meeting cycle for co-ops and condominiums as most associations hold their meeting in May or June.  This is a good time to look at some aspects of the gathering while it is fresh in the minds of the boards and residents who have just met and for those preparing for theirs.

The co-op or condo annual meeting is much like that of public companies when shareholders, both big and small, gather to hear about the company’s performance and its future prospects from the chairman and president and vote on board members and other issues.  These meetings, on which many companies spend considerable time and expense, are usually held in the spring of the year for companies whose fiscal year ends on December 31.

While far from as elaborate or attention-grabbing as the meetings of the public companies, the annual meetings of co-op and condos are for many of the shareholders and unit-owners at least of equal importance.  For many, the investment in their home is their largest asset. While each meeting has its own rhythm and tone, the basic structure and requirements are similar, and, in fact, mirror to a great extent the corporate sessions.

Annual meetings help inform shareholders and unit owner

There are three main purposes for the annual meeting: to update shareholders and unit-owners on the operations and finances of the property; elect the board as well as vote on other issues, such as amendments to the building’s by-laws; and provide an opportunity for residents to ask questions.

The annual meeting, as with all regulations and rules in a co-op or condominium, is governed by the building’s by-laws. While these are unique to each building, they all call for an annual meeting according to Business Corporate Law of New York State, which govern co-ops and condominiums.

Most meetings follow a standard agenda.  A management report is given, usually by the president or managing agent, describing operations in the past year and specific changes and improvements that were made as well as current issues and future plans.   The treasurer, and or accountant, describes the financial condition of the building and the accountant presents the audit report certifying that the financial records are in order.  The treasurer, president or managing agent also may discuss capital improvement requirements and whether these can be funded from the reserve fund or will require a special assessment or other financial arrangement.

Some co-ops and condominiums require a vote on capital improvements, and some, mainly smaller ones, require a vote on the annual budget.

Why are the meetings usually scheduled in May and June, when most fiscal years end on December 31? One reason is that it takes the accountants time to review and certify the financial statements.  As we all know, accountants are usually immersed in taxes through April, and May and June are the earliest they can complete the financial statements.

The financial reports should be provided to the shareholders or unit-owners sufficiently in advance of the meeting for them to review the document.  They should also receive the text of items to be voted on, if any, and any potential rules changes.

The managing agent usually organizes and sets the agenda for the annual meeting in conjunction with the board president and in some cases directions from the by-laws. 

Attendance varies from building to building and we at Matthew Adam Properties make certain we collect proxies from those who will not attend, or are uncertain, so a quorum is guaranteed.  By the way, a quorum is needed only for votes, so meetings can start on time and votes taken when more residents arrive and a quorum is achieved.

We’re in the midst of the annual meeting cycle for co-ops and condominiums as most associations hold their meeting in May or June.  This is a good time to look at some aspects of the gathering while it is fresh in the minds of the boards and residents who have just met and for those preparing for theirs.

The co-op or condo annual meeting is much like that of public companies when shareholders, both big and small, gather to hear about the company’s performance and its future prospects from the chairman and president and vote on board members and other issues.  These meetings, on which many companies spend considerable time and expense, are usually held in the spring of the year for companies whose fiscal year ends on December 31.

While far from as elaborate or attention-grabbing as the meetings of the public companies, the annual meetings of co-op and condos are for many of the shareholders and unit-owners at least of equal importance.  For many, the investment in their home is their largest asset. While each meeting has its own rhythm and tone, the basic structure and requirements are similar, and, in fact, mirror to a great extent the corporate sessions.

Annual meetings help inform shareholders and unit owners

There are three main purposes for the annual meeting: to update shareholders and unit-owners on the operations and finances of the property; elect the board as well as vote on other issues, such as amendments to the building’s by-laws; and provide an opportunity for residents to ask questions.

The annual meeting, as with all regulations and rules in a co-op or condominium, is governed by the building’s by-laws. While these are unique to each building, they all call for an annual meeting according to Business Corporate Law of New York State, which govern co-ops and condominiums.

Most meetings follow a standard agenda.  A management report is given, usually by the president or managing agent, describing operations in the past year and specific changes and improvements that were made as well as current issues and future plans.   The treasurer, and or accountant, describes the financial condition of the building and the accountant presents the audit report certifying that the financial records are in order.  The treasurer, president or managing agent also may discuss capital improvement requirements and whether these can be funded from the reserve fund or will require a special assessment or other financial arrangement.

Some co-ops and condominiums require a vote on capital improvements, and some, mainly smaller ones, require a vote on the annual budget.

Why are the meetings usually scheduled in May and June, when most fiscal years end on December 31? One reason is that it takes the accountants time to review and certify the financial statements.  As we all know, accountants are usually immersed in taxes through April, and May and June are the earliest they can complete the financial statements.

The financial reports should be provided to the shareholders or unit-owners sufficiently in advance of the meeting for them to review the document.  They should also receive the text of items to be voted on, if any, and any potential rules changes.

The managing agent usually organizes and sets the agenda for the annual meeting in conjunction with the board president and in some cases directions from the by-laws. 

Attendance varies from building to building and we at Matthew Adam Properties make certain we collect proxies from those who will not attend, or are uncertain, so a quorum is guaranteed.  By the way, a quorum is needed only for votes, so meetings can start on time and votes taken when more residents arrive and a quorum is achieved.

While most buildings have one meeting a year, there are some that have periodic informational meetings to keep the shareholders or unit-owners current on building operations and issues.  Some buildings also have a pre-annual meeting session where the residents can get to know potential candidates for the board of directors and receive an update on building activities.  Additionally, when a major issue arises during the year, such as a capital improvement project, a special meeting may be called.

While most buildings have one meeting a year, there are some that have periodic informational meetings to keep the shareholders or unit-owners current on building operations and issues.  Some buildings also have a pre-annual meeting session where the residents can get to know potential candidates for the board of directors and receive an update on building activities.  Additionally, when a major issue arises during the year, such as a capital improvement project, a special meeting may be called.

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