How can I get an idea of what typical expenses and reserves are for a condo that has about 12 units and a few garage spaces are? Please help me figure out if my condo's assessment hikes are reasonable.
I own a unit in a condo, but I had to move away out of state and rent it out, so I don't know what's going on there, except for what I hear from my tenants and from emails from the condo association. They raise assessments every year, citing a budget.
However, I can't tell if some of the items in the budget are reasonable or not. For example, they pay $1000 a year for a phone line that connects an intercom at the front door to units' phone numbers and an alarm line. That's as expensive as a data-heavy smart phone bill, which I guess could be typical, but I have no idea. It would be great if I had a reference to which to compare.
The part of the budget I have to most trouble sizing up, however, is the reserve. How much should be there? I've seen some search results say a minimum of 10% of operating expenses, but what is a good, reasonable average? Getting a reserve study
done sounds like the answer, but they appear to be expensive, and I'd have to convince the board to do it.
Another confusing aspect of this situation is that whenever I try to discuss the budget with the rest of the condo members over email, board members discourage me and others from doing so, citing that there'll be a meeting at which this it will be discussed. I can't be at this meeting since I live out-of-state, and even if I could, discussing it only at the meeting means there's very little discussion before it is voted on. This makes me suspicious. Is this reasonable of them?
Guidance appreciated! I need something to go on here.