Darlene Barrowman, Sales Representative, HomeLife/Realty One Ltd., Brokerage. What exactly is covered in those mandatory maintenance condo fees?
First, you should know that no two condos are built or managed exactly the same, so it’s important to find out precisely what is covered in your maintenance fees, so there are no surprises.
Every condo owner must pay a portion of maintaining common areas, which may include water, heating, cooling, outside property maintenance in summer and winter, and maintenance of amenities offered, such as a pool. These costs are calculated using the square footage of your unit: divide the maintenance fee by square footage and you will have the fee per square feet.
Another variable is the HVAC system, which is either included or separated from your maintenance fee. You will be responsible for setting up a private account with a service provider if it is not included. Determining maintenance fee costs depends on the age of the building, design and amenities.
A portion of the fee is needed for regular maintenance of cosmetic and working parts of the building: painting, upgrading, or replacing items in shared spaces.
Another portion is reserved for emergency repairs. These could be major or minor, resulting from damages from a flood, for example.
Fees can change, so attend your board meetings to stay informed.