This usually occurs when either the co-op has a large windfall, usually related to a commercial property or some other business transaction, such as an insurance settlement, which allows the co-op to have a budget surplus and therefore decrease maintenance in the next year. Also this can occur when a mortgage is paid off or some other large capital program is completed and the budgeted amount for this work or reserves can be decreased.
Expect your maintenance charges to go up every year or two, and expect the increases to be well above inflation.
Maintenance fees cover the costs to run the building, and in recent years a big challenge facing co-op boards has been rising fuel and real estate tax costs–which are rising faster than overall inflation,a year but sometimes boards skip a year and have a larger increase in the second year.
If it’s any consolation, boards hate maintenance increases as much as you do–and not just because part of it comes out of their own pocket or because it could impact the property value of their own apartments.
Beware of the co-op where the monthly maintenance is very low. This can be a sign of a co-op that is not realistically budgeting for necessary expenses which inevitably will put it into financial turmoil.