31 Jan 2013
January 31, 2013

Why are my Condo Fees so High?

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Condo fees are part of the lifestyle when an individual decides to enjoy the ownership of a condominium. Whether it’s an investment property or their own home, the condo fees are used by the condominium corporation to maintain the property and to protect all of the owners’ investment in the corporation. A primary responsibility of the Board is to ensure that the condo fees are used to ensure that the common areas are well maintained, but more importantly to ensure that future major renovations and/or replacements of common property are adequately budgeted.

Condo fees will vary dependant on the type of property.  A hi-rise condominium with underground parking will be at the higher end of the spectrum and  townhomes or carriage style will be at the lower end.  A high-rise building, as opposed to row housing, requires elevators, underground parking, central electrical and heating/cooling systems, higher insurance premiums, on-site maintenance and administrative staff, and a large amount of indoor common area.

The effective age of a condominium and the amenities that are offered are also contributing factors to condo fees. As a property ages, it costs more to maintain, and condominiums are no exception. The maintenance needed as a condominium ages will be more frequent and more intensive, resulting in a higher expense. The number, and type, of amenities that you find within a complex play a role in maintenance costs of the common area.

While the preceding paragraphs provide justification for varied condo fees, they do not precluded the possibility of mismanaged or misappropriated funds. A responsible management company will guide your Board and make suggestions that will relieve costs and possibly lower condo fees.

Finally, the management of your funds should be taken seriously, as it represents the future of your investment in the corporation. Your property management company must be able to explain all finance inquiries to your corporations’ Board and account for all funds when asked to.