Finances and budget
The revenues for the condo are collected mostly through maintenance fees, also sometimes known as “common element fees” and sometimes “common expenses.” These are determined on an annual basis through the corporation budget. The fiscal (financial) year begins each January 1.
For spending the revenues, there is a division into two large categories: the operating budget and the Reserve Fund. The operating budget is for all regular, daily, monthly, ordinary running and maintenance of the building, including utilities, staffing and management, etc.
The Reserve Fund is mostly for “big ticket” items that are repairs and replacements of basic structures which wear out over time. Examples are the expansion joints replaced in 2010 and 2011 to prevent leaking into the basements, and the roof repair of 2010-2011. Replacing the elevators and refurbishing the hallways will also be Reserve Fund expenditures when they occur. The Reserve Fund budgets are reviewed every three years by engineers who look at all the major infrastructure of the building and garage and set forth a 30-year-plan.
Of the total annual monies, about $2,000,000 is “operating” and about $500,000 is “reserve.” In addition, there is the much smaller component, the garage, which is a financially separate entity with its own operating and reserve budgets, and its income is from parking, not from maintenance fees.
Monthly maintenance fees are due on the first day of each and every month.
Monthly maintenance fees 2019
Reserve Fund Studies
According to the Condo Act, a condo is obliged to have a reserve fund study update every three years. Alternate times, the study includes on-side investigations by an engineer; the other times a simpler update is required. The Reserve Fund Study lays out the expected longevity of major pieces of the condo’s infrastructure and estimated costs for repair and replacement and then a plan for refurbishing the fund each year to meet the costs coming up. Our last Study (an on-site one) was in 2012, so we will need to do an update in 2015. Following are the Building and Garage Reserve Fund Studies from 2012.
Building Reserve Fund Study, 2012
Building Reserve Fund Study, 2018
Garage Reserve Fund Study, 2012
Paying for our use of electricity
One of our budget’s biggest costs is what we pay for electricity (hydro). Partly this is because hydro doesn’t come cheap, but it’s also because our building is heated by electricity.