Cost of Deferred Maintenance – $520,000 for failing to adhere to one reserve fund study recommendation

June 2019

Many have written about the cost of deferring condo maintenance.  Here is one experience.

Buildings were to be repainted at a cost of $135,000.  The project was delayed for six years as one conservative director felt extending the life of an existing paint job was fiscally prudent.

For six years this work was delayed.  During this time the cost of repainting increased.  In the sixth year, a special assessment was necessary to raise $520,000 for repair of rotten wood plus $156,000 for repainting.

This fiscally conservative director cost the corporation about $535,000 by failing to adhere to a preventative maintenance schedule as provided in their reserve fund study.

The consequence of this and similar ill-considered decisions is paid by all owners, often without a complete understanding of factors resulting in condo fee increases or special assessments.

Savings from adhering to a preventative maintenance schedule can be hard to quantify since it prevents more major expenses from occurring.  Arguments against preventative maintenance focusing on short-term savings present a distorted picture of condo corporation finances.