The Meter is Running
The Habitat Article Archive includes the full text of all of our
magazine articles dating back to 2002. You can view 3 articles per
month for free. (Repeat views of the same article don’t count
against your monthly limit.)
To read more, purchase a print subscription or a daily or yearly All-Access Pass
and get unlimited access to the Archive. Prices start at 1.95.
You've reached your free article limit for this month.
To read this article and gain unlimited access to the Habitat Article
Archive, which includes the full text of all our magazine articles
dating back to 2002, purchase an All-Access Pass.
AUTHORGeorgia Lombardo-Barton, President
PAGE #p. 32
THE BIG PICTURE
So many things go on in buildings – new owners coming in, old owners moving out – but an important focus for a new board member, particularly in smaller buildings, should be to take a look at the property’s finances. In particular, I would recommend examining the corporation’s reserve accounts.
Because your co-op or condo is made up of many owners with different income levels, funding projects can be challenging. Just as you would in your own home, you want to put some money on the side for special projects.
As a new board member, you could gather input from the other board members concerning projects and necessary work. You could meet with the managing agent and the super and build a spreadsheet of the estimated costs for these projects and/or repairs, and then discuss with the board the most prudent way to raise money to pay for them. If it looks like an assessment is needed, you could help fashion a sensible one so that all the owners can manage these payments.
Maybe a smaller steady assessment over a longer period of time would serve all the unit-owners best, particularly those who are on fixed incomes. If the goal is to pay for your building’s projects, you really have to be aware that there are different levels of income among the shareholders or unit-owners. This means that large sums gathered over short time frames might not work.
So if you know of a special project that’s coming up, or some repairs that may be more costly than what was expected, take a look at your reserve account and discuss funding options with the other board members. It might be better to implement an assessment over a longer time frame – 12 to 18 months – rather than putting a strain on your building’s residents with a large assessment over a short time.