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October 19, 2022

The success of a condominium complex primarily relies on each individual owner paying their share of the monthly maintenance fees, which go to the building association. These fees pay for the upkeep and repair of communal facilities in condo buildings.

Landscape maintenance, grounds upkeep, snow removal, garbage pickup, exterior wall repair and maintenance, roof maintenance, and other similar services are frequently covered by condo fees. If there are amenities like swimming pools, gyms, and parking lots; condo fees may also cover their upkeep and repairs. Maintenance fees can include paying for insurance for the association, but condo owners are still required to purchase separate homeowner’s insurance from the association’s insurance.

There is no assurance that the maintenance charge will remain constant over time. Depending on how the association’s needs change from year to year, these costs may alter.

The board of directors (BOD) first creates an annual budget before determining condo fees.

The association factors in all anticipated costs, including those for utilities, payroll, property taxes, maintenance and repair, and insurance. Associations must also keep a reserve fund, which functions as a kind of savings account for significant replacements and repairs of the property. The board totals all expenses and divides the total by the number of owners of each unit. While some organizations split the funds equally, others use a percentage breakdown of shares.

The BOD’s will need to find another way to cover the loss if an owner refuses to pay their maintenance costs. Frequently, this entails applying special assessments.

Special Assessments

The board may require extra cash to cover expenses that aren’t covered by regular condo fees. For the purpose of covering the associated additional costs, they may impose a one-time or temporary special assessment.

Special assessments should only be used to pay for unforeseen fees that weren’t predicted in the corporation’s budget or reserve fund.

The board should, if possible, schedule a special meeting before approving a special assessment. This will give the board members time to explain their choice and give homeowners a chance to offer suggestions and offer input.

The actual cost of a personalized assessment varies depending on the specific repairs or maintenance.

For instance, if your building’s roof needs repairs that would cost $40,000, and there are 40 people living there, you may expect to pay around $1,000 each. The larger your property is within the unit, the greater your share of the special assessment will generally be.

Consequences of Unpaid Fees

The BOD cannot carry out its duties if members don’t pay their dues.

Consequently, the common areas of the condo complex will deteriorate. Poor common space care is something you as an owner should be concerned about because it can lower the value of your unit.

The association may opt to add late fees to your unpaid balance if you fail to pay your condo fees. You can even have your privileges suspended, which would prevent you from using the amenities at your discretion. Associations frequently have the power to lien your unit, which would allow them to possibly foreclose on it.

If you have any concerns about your maintenance fees, reach out to the board of directors in your building. It’s best to know the do’s and don’ts before making a mistake that can later harm your condo.