5 things you must know about condo fees

What determines a condo’s fees?


Condo fees are similar costs you would incur if you owned a home, but they’re shared by the entire condominium building.


The condo does all of the landscaping, and then all the owners pay a portion of the cost. It’s a small fraction of what you’d pay for a house. This covers the salaries of anybody employed by the condo.


The cost you pay per month is based on square footage. The larger your unit, the larger your fees.


Individual features, such as parking and Storage lockers, and premium amenities, such as valet parking, gyms, sport courts, movie rooms, and common areas, might up your fees.


A condo’s “reserve fee” is an insurance pool that covers any sudden expenses the condo may need to cover.



Who sets my fees?


Your condo’s board of directors.


You’re entitled, as a unit owner, to vote for your condo board’s directors, or be on the board yourself. By participating, you might be able to lobby for fees that fit your model.


Not all condo fees are bad.


They’re the same as homeowner maintenance costs, for example fixing roof leakages or plumbing issues. They’re cheaper through condo fees than homeowners paying out when it happens.


Are lower fees better over time?


Responsible fees are desirable over artificially low fees.


Developers may estimate condo fees during pre-construction sales, but do not have a contractual obligation to maintain these rates once the building is complete.


Never purchase because of low fees.


What about poor construction?


If you’re concerned about building upkeep, do a search on your developer’s construction history.


Poor construction impacts your investment.


What do they mean for investments?


Condo fees are important sources of income in order to maintain buildings.


If you’re concerned about high fees, make sure you attend your condo’s annual meeting and board of director’s vote so you have a say in who manages your fees.


All unit owners are allowed by law to check documents to see where their condo fees are going at any time.


While your fees might drive up the price of your rental, so will be the same for your neighbors looking for tenants.


In conclusion, lower condo fees are not necessarily good and high condo fees are not necessarily bad. There are a lot more factors to be analyzed and verified which could be find in the minutes of the meeting or financial statement of a condo association.

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