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What You Must Know About Condo Maintenance Fees

Condo maintenance is great for homeowners who are looking for an easier solution to home owning. Typically condo maintenance fees cover a lot of maintenance required which means less responsibility for a condo owner.

So how much are maintenance fees and how are they calculated? Who is responsible for maintaining a condo?  This post will cover these topics on condo maintenance and related fees.

What are condo maintenance fees and how are they calculated?

Condo maintenance fees are a monthly fee that condo owners must pay to the strata which covers certain maintenances and utilities. The specific type of coverage depends on the building and what they have decided.

The amount of your condo maintenance fees depends on the size of your home. Each condo has separate fee amounts that vary throughout the building. If you have a bigger condo, your fees will be higher than other units and vice versa.

Condo maintenance fees change overtime and could increase for several reasons. For example, fees could increase if there is work being done to the building. Otherwise, building repair costs and other unique maintenance could also be paid for by special levies or special assessments.

What is a contingency reserve fund?

Condo buildings with stratas typically have a Contingency Reserve Fund (CRF). This reserve fund builds up over time. A certain amount of your strata fees go towards the CRF.

The CRF goes towards maintenance and building updates over time. These kinds of building issues and repairs are covered by the reserve fund depending on the size of the CRF and repair costs needed. However, the reserve fund is not always used to cover maintenance. As mentioned before, special levies may be used instead for certain building repairs.

Who is responsible for condo maintenance?

The management company and strata board are responsible for condo maintenance. The company that manages the area and development is responsible for maintaining it as a whole. Additionally, the strata board takes on responsibility for regular maintenance that the building needs.

The owners in the building and strata vote to elect strata board members. The strata board holds regular meetings and has a good understanding of the current situation of the condominium. Any issues in the building can be brought up to the strata board and they work to keep up the maintenance throughout the year.

The management company works alongside the strata board to help maintain the building. The two groups work hand in hand to make sure all maintenance is kept up regularly. This includes running regular engineering reports, depreciation reports and warranty reports to get a better understanding of the condition of the building.

Do condo owners need to do any condo maintenance?

Condo owners must maintain their personal condo. This includes maintaining the interior of the home and not doing any significant damage inside the home. 

The bylaws of the strata state everything the homeowner is responsible for. It is important that condo owners read through these documents carefully. This ensures that owners are aware of their responsibilities in terms of condo maintenance.

Strata fees may include maintenance of the exterior of the building, in which case the management company is responsible for that maintenance.

Are renters responsible for condo maintenance?

If you are renting a condo, your responsibilities are not much less than a regular condo owner. As a renter, you assume the responsibilities laid out in the bylaws regarding maintenance. Your landlord should provide you with a copy to read and understand before renting the condo.

Renters must be aware of the bylaws and follow them accordingly. Depending on the agreement with the landlord, some landlords may help out with condo maintenance when needed. For example, landlords may have a system ready to go to help their tenants when significant damages occur in the condo. However, this is not always the case and renters may be responsible for assuming all damages that occur.

Benefits of condo living and condo maintenance fees

Whether you live in a condo or single family home, maintenance has a cost for everything. One benefit of living in a condo is that your maintenance fees come in a set straightforward monthly fee. You know exactly how much you pay in a year. This differs from the maintenance fees of a single family home or other types of home where expenses can come up suddenly and unexpectedly.

Additionally with condo living, you are not responsible for all of the home maintenance. Many condos come with the benefit of maintenance included in your strata fees. Also, compared to a traditional home, you pay for a certain lifestyle in low home maintenance required.

You still have to maintain your home of course. However, the burden of maintenance is not solely on your own.

For more information on real estate market in Vancouver, current trends, buying a home or selling a home, contact Leo Wilk – Your Top Vancouver Realtor

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