Laura Florencia
October 15, 2023

Sinking Fund in Apartments: Everything You Need to Know

Have you ever wondered what happens to your monthly maintenance fees in an apartment building? Some of it may go towards paying for the day-to-day operations of the building, such as cleaning and landscaping. But another portion of it goes into a sinking fund.

In this blog post, we will take a closer look at sinking funds in apartments. We will discuss what they are, how much you pay, and how they differ from service charges. So, keep reading!

What is a sinking fund?

A sinking fund is a reserve of money that is set aside to cover the cost of major repairs and maintenance to the building and its common areas. This can include things like replacing the roof, updating the elevators, and repairing the parking garage.

Sinking funds are important because they ensure that there is money available to cover the cost of major repairs and maintenance without having to assess special fees to apartment owners.

This helps to keep the cost of living in the apartment building affordable and predictable.

What is a sinking fund in apartments?

A sinking fund in an apartment is a reserve of money that is set aside by the owner's corporation or strata council to cover the cost of major repairs and maintenance to the building and its common areas.

Sinking funds are typically funded by monthly contributions from each apartment owner.

For example, apartment owners may pay a monthly contribution to the sinking fund to cover the cost of future repairs to the building.

The amount of the contribution is based on the size and value of the apartment.

How much do you pay in sinking funds?

The amount you pay in sinking funds will vary depending on the size and value of your apartment, as well as the condition of the building and its common areas. In general, however, you can expect to pay around 10% of your monthly maintenance fee in sinking funds.

For example, if your monthly maintenance fee is $500, you can expect to pay around $50 per month in sinking funds.

What is the difference between a sinking fund and a service charge in apartments?

The main difference between a sinking fund and a service charge in apartments is that a sinking fund is used to cover the cost of major repairs and maintenance, while a service charge is used to cover the day-to-day costs of running the building.

Service charges typically cover things like:

  • Cleaning and maintaining the common areas of the building, such as the lobby, hallways, and elevators
  • Landscaping and maintaining the grounds
  • Utilities, such as water, gas, and electricity
  • Insurance for the building and its common areas
  • Salaries for staff, such as the building manager and maintenance workers

Service charges are typically paid monthly by apartment owners. The amount of the service charge is based on the size and value of the apartment.

In some cases, the service charge may also include a contribution to the sinking fund. However, it is important to note that the two funds are separate and should be used for different purposes.

FeatureSinking fundService charge
PurposeTo cover the cost of major repairs and maintenanceTo cover the day-to-day costs of running the building
Examples of covered expensesReplacing the roof, updating the elevators, repairing the parking garage, painting the exterior of the building, upgrading the security systemCleaning and maintaining the common areas of the building, landscaping and maintaining the grounds, utilities, insurance for the building and its common areas, salaries for staff
Frequency of paymentTypically monthly, but may vary depending on the owner's corporation or strata councilTypically monthly
Calculation of amountBased on the size and value of the apartmentTypically based on the size and value of the apartment

Example of how sinking funds are used

Here is an example of how sinking funds are used:

A 100-unit apartment building needs a new roof. The cost of the new roof is $1 million. The owner's corporation decides to use the sinking fund to pay for the new roof.

The sinking fund has a balance of $500,000. The owner's corporation assesses each apartment owner a special fee of $5,000 to cover the remaining cost of the new roof.

Benefits of having a sinking fund

There are several benefits to having a sinking fund in an apartment building:

  • It helps to ensure that the building is well-maintained and that its value is preserved.
  • It can help to avoid special assessments to apartment owners for major repairs and maintenance.
  • It can make the apartment building more attractive to potential buyers and renters.
  • It can help to protect apartment owners from financial hardship if a major repair or maintenance issue arises.

Conclusion

Sinking funds are an important part of maintaining and preserving apartment buildings. By setting aside a small amount of money each month, apartment owners can ensure that their building is well-maintained and that they are not hit with unexpected expenses for major repairs and maintenance.


This article is provided by Nextlivin, For more information on how Nextlivin can assist you in efficiently managing your property, visit our website.

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