As Haus Financial Services processes Draft Budge Packages for our clients this budget season. we are noting large increases to gas, electric and water expenses over 2021 figures.
The City of Chicago adjusts water rates every June based on rates of inflation. The most recent increase in June 2022 was 5%.
Natural gas prices have climbed in 2022. The cost per therm is about 50% over last year's rates.
Electricity supply charges are currently about double the 2021 rate (0.09941/kWh vs. 0.05470/kWh in 2021).
Board members should be prepared to build these increases into their projected expenses for 2023. Rates will likely not double again, but further increases (rather than decreases) should be anticipated.
The violation process can be tricky and is full of nuances. Be sure to review your Association’s governing documents regarding this process.
HausFS has begun preparing 2023 Draft Budget Packages for our clients.
Here are some items to keep in mind as you plan for 2023:
- Does your association have snow removal services in place? We got hit hard in the winter of 2021. Many companies are finalizing their routes now. Find your vendors now - not after 2 feet of snow has fallen!
- Have you included regular plumbing maintenance in your annual budget? Pipes need to be rodded annually from the builidng to the street to ensure that water continues to flow away from, and not into, your building.
- Has your insurance expense skyrocketed? This is a line item that can always be reviewed with another broker for cost savings.
- Do you need to beef up your reserves? Many HausFS clients are facing big repair and maintenance projects that are necessitating large Special Assessments. It's always easier to put away more monthly than to collect a large lump sum from owners. Don't forget to include a reasonable Reserves Contribution in your annual budget.
- Have you reviewed your waste removal costs lately? This is an expense that constantly climbs higher. Do you know when your contract expires so you can make a change when the timing is right?
- All owners must receive a copy of the Proposed Budget at least 25 days prior to the board meeting at which the budget will be approved. Get your meeting scheduled now
- The annual budget is voted on only by the board, not by all unit owners. Owners can petition for a vote, however, if a proposed budget shows more than a 15% increase over the prior year.
Need guidance in preparing your budget? View our Educational Video "Budgeting Made Easy". (Available to CCR Board Member Subscribers.)
Many condo and community associations are starting to receive frequent requests from residents to keep dogs and other “assistance animals” in communities that do not allow pets.
Within associations that do allow pets, requests may be for dogs that are larger than the maximum weight limit and/or are for a prohibited breed.
Whether your association’s restrictions are based on provisions in the declaration, or are included in the rules adopted by the board, those restrictions may not apply if a proper request for an assistance animal is made.
While understanding and navigating this area of the law may seem complex, you can check out this article to learn what steps to take the next time you receive one of these requests.
You likely expected to receive your 2021 second installment tax bill by now since they are typically mailed in July, but don't worry - you didn't miss it. They are still not out yet due to a very delayed appeal season.
While no official statements have been made, its possible tax bills will still be sent out before the end of the year. To receive your tax bill as soon as it’s available, you can enroll in electronic billing through the Treasurer’s office.