The reluctance to raise fees

        Rob Ford's Gravy Train platform got him elected Mayor of Toronto.

Condo fees are seen as taxes and many owners want them to be as low as possible. There are several reasons for that.

Owners resent paying fees to pay for many of the amenities. An older couple may not use the swimming pool, sauna or aerobatics room so they don’t want to pay for their upkeep. Many never use the guest suites so they resent paying for them. A person living on the ground floor won't care if all the elevators are out of service.

Low incomes
Many owners are on a fixed income. Seniors get hit hard when the fees are increased while the lower-income owner-residents may be on very tight budgets.

Everyone would prefer to spend their money on something else rather than on condo fees whether it is on vacations, booze or a weekly night-out at a casino.

Owners who are “investors” lease their units and they want their costs to be as low as possible so they can make money; at the very least they want a positive cash flow. In many condos, investors make up the majority of the owners.

Selling feature
Finally, low condo fees are a major selling feature. Anyone thinking of selling their unit in the near future, and that can be the majority of owners, have a second reason for wanting the fees to stay low.

The long term
Far too many condo owners have no long-term interest in the corporation. They see their condo as a short-term investment and not as a place where they will live for the next ten to twenty years or more. They see themselves as short-term investors rather than long-term owners.

A promise not to raise fees, or even to reduce them, will give a candidate to the board of directors the support of a lot of the owners. Such a person may be very difficult to defeat.

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