Questions People Ask About Condo/Townhomes
A condo community usually has a management association that is responsible for general repairs and maintenance of the common areas. Generally, all exterior repairs are the responsibility of the management association. Snow removal is also the responsibility of the association. However, it should be noted that there are a number of definitions of snow removal. The association would more than likely be responsible for the roadways. But some associations will shovel the general walkways, steps, and driveways to each condo unit. Other associations leave the sidewalks, steps, and driveways to the condo unit residents. Each condo unit is required to pay a monthly condo fee to cover all the association’s costs and to maintain a reserve for unexpected costs.
Some condos don’t pay any fees. These are usually small condo complexes or duplex homes. In these cases, the residents get together to share expenses.
Ownership of a condo unit means that the interior, usually from the walls to the center, is the responsibility of the homeowner.
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.
This article is subject to errors and omissions. It is the responsibility of the buyer or seller to verify all information.