What Do Most Condo Fees Include?

What Do Most Condo Fees Include?

When purchasing a condominium, you might be surprised to learn that you’re expected to pay a monthly fee in addition to your mortgage. 

This fee – often referred to as a condo fee – covers various shared expenses and amenities within the building or complex. But what exactly do these fees include? And if you run a condo association, how can you make sure that you’re communicating this information clearly and effectively to your residents?

Let’s explore what most condo fees include and answer some common questions about these costs – plus, the best way to ensure condo fees and HOA payments are made easily!

What Is a Condo Fee?

Condo fees are regular payments made by condominium owners to cover the costs of maintaining and operating the complex’s common areas and amenities. 

These fees are typically paid monthly or quarterly using HOA software, separate from your mortgage payment and property taxes. Condo fees ensure that the shared spaces and amenities are well-maintained, safe, and accessible for all residents. While they may seem like an extra expense, condo fees are necessary for the overall upkeep and management of the condominium complex.

 

 

What Is Typically Included in Condo Fees?

While the specific expenses covered by condo fees can vary from one complex to another, there are several common items that are typically included:

  1. Maintenance and repairs: Condo fees often cover the costs of maintaining and repairing common areas, such as lobbies, hallways, elevators, and exteriors of the buildings. This may include regular cleaning, painting, and general upkeep to ensure these spaces remain in good condition.
  2. Landscaping and snow removal: If the condominium complex has shared outdoor spaces, such as gardens, lawns, or walkways, the condo fees will likely cover the costs of landscaping and snow removal to keep these areas attractive and safe.
  3. Amenities: Many condominium complexes offer shared amenities, such as fitness centers, swimming pools, or party rooms. The costs of operating and maintaining these amenities are usually included in the condo fees.
  4. Insurance: Condo fees often include insurance premiums for the common areas of the complex, which protects against damage or liability claims related to these shared spaces. However, this insurance does not typically cover the interior of your individual unit, so you’ll need to purchase separate homeowners insurance for that.
  5. Reserve funds: A portion of the condo fees is usually allocated to a reserve fund, which is set aside for major repairs or replacements of common area components, such as roofs, heating and cooling systems, or elevators. This helps ensure that the complex has sufficient funds to cover these significant expenses when they arise.

Do Condo Fees Include Utilities and Property Taxes?

One common question about condo fees is whether they include utilities and property taxes. The answer can vary depending on the specific condominium complex and its bylaws.

In some cases, certain utilities, such as water, sewer, or garbage collection, may be included in the condo fees. But this is rare, and it’s more common for individual unit owners to be responsible for their own utility bills, such as electricity, gas, and internet/cable.

But what about property taxes? Similarly, these are typically not included in condo fees. As a condominium owner, you are responsible for paying property taxes on your individual unit, while the HOA pays taxes on the common areas. It’s important to factor in the cost of property taxes when budgeting for your overall condominium expenses.

How are condo fees calculated?

A key part of understanding condo fees is knowing how they are calculated. Typically, each condominium complex will have a budget that outlines all of the expenses for the year, such as maintenance costs, insurance premiums, and utilities for common areas.

Based on this budget, the HOA will calculate the total cost of these expenses and divide it by the number of units in the complex. This then becomes your monthly condo fee. Keep in mind that this amount can fluctuate from year to year depending on any changes or unexpected expenses.

  1. The size of your unit: Larger units often pay higher fees, as they typically have a greater share of ownership in the common areas.
  2. The amenities offered: Complexes with more extensive amenities, such as swimming pools, fitness centers, or concierge services, may have higher fees to cover the costs of operating and maintaining these features.
  3. The age and condition of the complex: Older buildings may require more maintenance and repairs, which can result in higher fees.
  4. The location: Condominium complexes in more expensive areas or cities may have higher fees due to higher costs of living and property values.

What’s The Best Way To Pay And Accept Condo Fees?

There are a few different options for paying and accepting condo fees. 

The most common method is automatic withdrawals, where fees are deducted from your bank account each month. This can be convenient as you don’t have to worry about remembering to make payments, but it’s important to ensure that you have enough funds in your account on the designated date.

Another option is to pay by check or money order, either in person or by mail. While this may require more effort on your part, it allows for more flexibility if you prefer to have control over when and how much you pay each month.

Some condominium complexes also offer online payment software that allows you to pay using a credit or debit card via a portal. These robust systems often provide options for setting up recurring payments, viewing payment history, and receiving reminders when fees are due.

It’s important to carefully review your condominium association’s policies and procedures regarding fee payments. 

Help Your Condo Community Grow With Fee Transparency

Understanding what most condo fees include is crucial for potential buyers and current owners alike. By knowing what expenses are covered by these fees, you can better budget for the overall costs of condominium ownership and make informed decisions about your living situation. 

If you run a condo or homeowners association, online payment software can benefit your community. It eliminates the hassle of collecting and processing physical checks, reduces the risk of lost or stolen payments, and makes it easier for residents to make timely payments.

Check out the options available to accept fees – and help give your residents a better, more convenient way to pay. When you can create an easy payment process, everyone benefits!

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