Riverview condo owner calls for changes
Says reserve fund studies costing too much
A Riverview condo owner is calling on the provincial government to amend a policy change made two years ago that has resulted in increased expenses.
The provincial government now requires condo associations of more than 10 units to have a reserve fund study done every 10 years and a reserve fund update performed every three years.
The reserve funds cover shared expenses for the condominium.
Mike Reade, who lives in a new condo in Amberlea Village, said the extra fees add up quickly.
"It doesn't take long for what used to be $120 a month condominium fee to hit to $250 and in some cases even higher," he said.
Although the condo-living promises convenience at an affordable price, condos lag significantly behind detached and semi-detached dwellings in popularity in the province.
Reade said he believes creeping condo fees may be to blame.
He said he expected to pay condo fees for shared expenses when he moved into a condo in 2005.
But he didn't expect to have to pay for several studies, which will cost an estimated extra $42,000 over 30 years.
He said he's hoping the provincial government will adapt the the study schedule to lessen the impact.
But Phil Williams, the president of the Canadian Condominium Institute in New Brunswick, said the studies are important to make sure the necessities are covered in the long run.
"People should not be afraid of the fees," she said.
"What they should avoid is buildings that advertise low condo fees because it's pretty well a guarantee that within a year those condo fees are going to go up."
Condo buyers can still get a good deal with a bit of care, said Williams.
"Some developments are advertised with low condo fees in order to bring sales," she said.
"But the truth is, the condo fees should reflect what it costs to run the building and if they reflect it well, then there are no surprises for people when they move in. They're not going to have a big hike after one year or whatever."