I received a letter in the mail today from the property management company for my building. The strata council has proposed a resolution to allow repairs to be made to the building envelope. This isn’t too much of a surprise to me because I knew we had hired engineers to look at damage to the building with regard to the envelope. I also knew that there was going to be some work required or else we’d face massive problem further down the road.
Bids were requested and strata went with the cheapest bid I believe. The total bill comes to around $2M, to be paid partially from the contingency fund and the rest from special assessment from the owners. My share is a non-trivial amount of $6,000. Owners of the larger apartments in the building will pay over $12,000.
I gotta admit, I wasn’t expecting a $6k expense this year but I was lucky enough that my employer gave me a decent bonus a few months ago and I did not spend much of it yet. I could pay the $6k tomorrow if I wanted to but it doesn’t make the sting of the bill any less. If my memory serves me correctly, this is only the second special assessment ever in the history of this building, which is about twelve years old now. The first one was about a third of this one, so reasonable by most standards.
A few years into owning my apartment, I thought about enacting this strategy whereby I wouldn’t live in a building that was older than say, about seven years. Pricey special assessments usually only happen in the older buildings and if I kept owning an apartment in newer buildings, I would never get tagged by a special assessment. Of course, that’s a really naive strategy. First, you have to find a newer building to move into. Admittedly, this wouldn’t have been too difficult in my neighbourhood as new buildings have been popping up every few years without fail. Second, the hassle and the cost (both time and money) of having to purchase and move into an apartment every few years probably would have exceeded the cost of the two special assessments that have popped up so far.
Of course, the owners still need to vote on the resolution. It could be that this gets voted down and we kick the can down the road but I don’t think that’s ever turned out well. Also, it will be interesting to see if this is the start of many repairs that will be required as the building ages. How well is the building holding up? I think there will be lots of questions in early August when we meet to vote on this.