The Planned Community Act and the Condominium Act require most homeowners associations and condominium associations to hold budget ratifications meetings. What are these meetings?
A budget ratification meeting is a meeting of the owners of the association to review the proposed budget that has been adopted by the executive board. The budget ratification meeting has a number of different requirements and provisions that are unlike other meetings of a community association. Notably, a budget ratification meeting does not have a quorum requirement, which is dramatically different from typical annual or special meetings.
In addition, the budget ratification meeting has special notice requirements. First, the budget ratification meeting notice must be provided to all owners within 30 days of the executive board adopting the proposed budget. That notice must include a summary of the budget. Second, the meeting itself must be held within a specific time period after the mailing of the notice and summary, but the requirements for when the meeting must be held differ between homeowners associations and condominium associations. For a homeowners association the budget ratification meeting must be held within 10 to 60 days after the mailing of the notice and summary. In addition, the budget ratification meeting notice and summary for a homeowners association must also include a statement that the budget may be ratified without a quorum being present at the meeting. However for a condominium association, the budget ratification meeting must be held within 14 to 30 days from the mailing of the notice and summary.
These special requirements mean that the budget ratification meeting, for a homeowners association, could be held, at the very latest, 90 days after the adoption of the proposed budget by the executive board (as the notice must be sent within 30 days of the executive board adopting the proposed budget and then the meeting itself must be held within 60 days of the notice being mailed out). For a condominium association, the latest the budget ratification meeting could be held is 60 days from the adoption of the proposed budget by the executive board.
Finally, the ratification of the budget itself at the meeting happens automatically unless a majority of all owners in the association (unless the declaration requires a greater number of owners than a majority of all owners) vote to reject the budget. In most cases, not enough owners will even attend the meeting to potentially reject the budget. However, in the event that the proper number of owners votes to reject the budget, then the association will continue to operate pursuant to the most recently ratified budget until a new budget is approved by the executive board and then ratified by the owners.
Also, frequently the budget ratification meeting is combined with an annual association meeting. Such a combination is permissible.
While these requirements are somewhat complex the three key takeaways regarding budget ratification meetings are: first a special notice is required, second there is no quorum requirement for the meeting, and then finally the budget is ratified unless at least a majority of owners reject the budget. If you need any help with budget ratification meetings or any other association meetings, then do not hesitate to contact Black, Slaughter, and Black PA.