Q&A: Calculating Maintenance Costs

Q Do you have any advice as to how co-op maintenance is calculated per unit? I am on the market for a co-op apartment and I would like to know how the corporation arrives or calculates the maintenance that a unit must pay per month. I asked this question to several brokers and they don't seem to know.

—Potential Shareholder

A “Maintenance for all co-op units, and any assessments imposed must be based on the share allocation for each apartment,” says attorney Abbey Goldstein of the New York firm of Goldstein & Greenlaw, LLP. “Share allocation, itself, is typically based on such objective factors as size and, often, the location in the building. For example, an apartment on the fifth floor of a walk-up may have less shares than an apartment on the first or second floor of the same size, whereas an apartment on the top floor of an elevator building may have more shares than those on the lower floors. Ultimately the share allocation reflects the relative value of each apartment (the apartment's level of renovation would not have been a relevant factor).

“Share allocation, whether or not done logically, cannot be changed. That is to say, allocation which is done at the time of the conversion to cooperative ownership cannot be amended, even if it reflects mistakes, once the conversion process is complete.”

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