Explaining Condo Maintenance Fees
Owning a condo unit always involves maintenance fees that are above and beyond the purchase price. These fees, paid monthly by the owners of every unit, go towards the building’s reserve fund to pay for maintenance and operation of the condo building & shared amenities. The monthly fees are based on projections of what it will cost to maintain the building in future, such as replacing windows, roofs, utilities & shared spaces. One advantage of maintenance fees is that they roll multiple bills into one easy payment.
What does my condo building use maintenance fees used for?
What building maintenance fees pay for vary from one condo corporation to another. Generally, the maintenance fees cover common elements, shared amenities and building insurance. Fees also cover condo staff — concierge, window cleaners and janitorial services – as well as outside maintenance such as snow removal, garbage removal, landscaping, grass cutting and care for the property around the building.
Some of the condo fees go toward utilities — most include water, and many include heat or natural gas, and a few include hydro & air conditioning. Some buildings even include internet & TV services with their fees!
What Should Maintenance Fees cost for my Condo?
Since the services and utilities vary between condo corporations, there is not a standard rate in the condo industry. Generally, maintenance fees are calculated per square foot of condo space, so the monthly costs depend on the size of the unit and the costs vary based on what utilities & amenities are available to residents.
For example, a condo that only has a gym should have lower maintenance fees than a condo that includes a gym, pool, sauna, BBQ area, screening room, party room & meeting rooms, as the additional amenities all require maintenance and staff to run them.
Learn about your Condo Board & Condo’s Finances.
To ensure that you are informed about your condo’s finances, take the opportunity to learn about your condo board and look at the reserve fund to see if it is healthy enough to cover the planned maintenance expenses on the building. In the rare case that a condo’s reserve fund is underfunded or if the building needs unplanned repairs, maintenance fees may rise, or owners could be charged a special assessment to make up for the funding shortfall.
All in all, maintenance fees are a convenient way to pay for multiple utility bills at once and they pay for the peace of mind that your condo building is being taken care of by professionals.