Real Estate

Maintenance Fees in Condo Buildings - Toronto

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  • Jul 7th, 2020 5:36 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 8, 2020
4 posts

Maintenance Fees in Condo Buildings - Toronto

I've been looking at a few condo buildings in Toronto, some older builds 10-20 year older builds have amazing maintenance.

Then I just noticed this one condo built in 2017 with $1.07 cents per sqft...

Can anyone that has owned in a high rise condo building can give me there insight on maintenance fees.

Have you seen any decreased in the building, do they stay normally level, if there was a large increase all of a sudden what was the cause?
5 replies
Deal Addict
Nov 13, 2013
3518 posts
2129 upvotes
Ottawa
Look at the status certificate. The budget of a building tells you most of what you need to know. They don’t really ever decrease. They go up as the proper assessment of the needed reserve funds is made. Expensive yet fragile for lack of a better word increase costs. Insurance is also a big expense and a bad hearing system for example can lead to floods and insurance cost explosion. In terms of annual expenses you have utilities and staff as sometimes big expenses. Again probably design more than people wasting thing. Of course they do but not sure this varies by building dramatically. I guess more renters will mean more wastage but usually this is a whole different building. That is to say a different market and not comparable. Some buildings are designed and require 24 hour security. If that is not spread out over sufficient units it will be very expensive especially with the explosion in minimum wage.

The things people think are expensive like pools are really a rounding error. Well unless they add a lot to insurance costs which is possible. The actual maintenance is nothing. Same with gyms and other amenities. Of course expensive landscaping can be an exception. A bunch of poorly insulated planter trees especially on roofs are recipe for spending huge sums replacing them every cold winter or dry summer.
Jr. Member
Oct 31, 2014
119 posts
164 upvotes
Toronto, ON
espressobean wrote: Have you seen any decreased in the building, do they stay normally level, if there was a large increase all of a sudden what was the cause?
It's normal to have a significant rise in the first few years. The builder establishes the initial common expenses fee at the lowest possible amount to entice buyers. Then, once the owners take over and conduct their reserve fund study, the board has to increase the fees in order to meet reserve fund requirements. The reserve fund has to account for the really expensive future things (e.g. redoing cladding, digging up the parking garage to protect it from water) while relying on the meagre interest from CDIC-insured investments.

Decreases in fees will be unusual, unless the building decides to discontinue a service previously provided. Salaries for security guards, cleaning and maintenance staff, and building management will go up. Residents will, understandably, want to see building improvements/renovations over time. Utilities costs can be pretty variable year-to-year, but even if utilities come way under budget one year it's hard to cut the budget for the next year because the costs could swing right back up again.

Take a look at the last few years' maintenance fees. If increases are around the rate of inflation, that's a good sign.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 31, 2008
12757 posts
2845 upvotes
Toronto
Don't forget all the skimming by the crooks lining their own pockets, by over billed family owned businesses.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 7, 2007
9133 posts
5018 upvotes
Many stratas to me some like an additional level of quasi-government in your life. They "tax" you, they create and enforce legislation, etc. Hopefully, the people who end up on the board aren't insane or off the wall with their thinking when it comes to decision making and the criteria (or lack of) used in decisions that affect all residents/owners.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 6, 2011
5960 posts
1422 upvotes
GTA
IMO the location is still key. If your bldg can continue to attract quality tenants/owners, it's primarily due to fixed investments already tied into the address.

Things can deteriorate rapidly in a condo, and there are structural factors would prevent it from a timely turnaround. One example is having a large shared facility with many other corps, or there's high number of units within a corp. The list goes on.

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