Condo fees are maintenance fees used to maintain the common areas of a condominium/townhouse complex. Condo fees can equate to what a single-family homeowner should budget each month to maintain their home and property.
Types of Condo fees vary. The cost to maintain the inside of a condo unit, which is the inside wall to the center of the room, is the responsibility of the condo owner. All other costs to maintain the outside of the complex are shared by each condo unit owner – the maintenance fees.
Here are some costs included in the maintenance fee of the common areas:
- Maintaining care and repairing the outside of every building
- Outside pest control
- All utilities of the common areas
- Building insurance
- Pool cleaning and maintenance
- All other amenities shared by all unit owners
- Road maintenance
- Complex employees
- Snow removal
- Maintaining a reserve fund for unexpected repairs
The above list contains most of the costs – there may be more or less. Every condominium complex is different. Also, the above list pertains to large complexes. A small complex, which may be a duplex home or complexes with up to 5 or 10 units, may not pay a maintenance fee at all. If something goes wrong with the complex, everyone shares the cost.
Maintenance fees can be completely different in apartment buildings. The fee may be based on the sq ft of each unit. In a larger complex, end units may have a larger share of the maintenance fee than an interior unit.
Maintenance fees, as important as they are, will vary from unit to unit and from complex to complex. It is very important to know exactly what the maintenance fee of the unit is, the taxes that you will be paying, if the reserve fund is sufficient to handle all costs, and how solvent the management company is.