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The Co-op prospectus will list the manner in which shares are allocated to each apartment in the complex or building. The board of directors will or has decided on an operating annual budget by which to pay staff members, taxes, insurance, pay for fuel, repairs to common areas, and many other expense items. At that point the annual budget is divided by the total number of shares assigned to all apartments in the building to determine a cost/per/share number. That figure will then be multiplied by the number of shares assigned to your apartment and divided by twelve to determine the monthly maintenance fee(dues)for your unit.

In addition to monthly maintenance fees the governing board may need to allocate charges to pay for capital improvements, or other exceptional costs, such as excess unbudgeted costs from years prior or operating loan repayments. Any mortgage that the co-op corporation has undertaken, such as for major improvements, is normally included in the operating budget of expenses.

The board of directors may impose other fees as income generating devices, such as "flip taxes" (sale and move-out fees), charges for storage areas, club memberships and other optional items.

The governing board is elected by the shareholders of the co-op, and shareholder meetings are scheduled annually to facilitate elections and to discuss issues. As a partial owner of the co-op you are or will be a shareholder and may seek to be a board member by declaring your candidacy. However, keep in mind that being a board member, and especially being an officer can involve many hours of volunteer time.

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Q: How are co-op apartment dues managed and distributed?
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