Condo Fees are a misunderstood necessity. If you own a condo, you pay condo fees, but when you’ve never paid condo fees before, it’s essential to know what you’re actually paying for, so we’ve broken them down for you!
Generally speaking, the condo fees you pay cover the cost of building maintenance, building insurance, amenities, and utilities. But it differs from building to building. In NUDE, the condo fees cover;
- Maintenance & Repairs
- Building Insurance
- Utilities: natural gas, water, sewer, garbage, recycling, compost
- Condominium management services
- Contracted services
- Reserve fund contributions
- Misc. expenses, e.g., pest control, supplies, and equipment
We get asked about condo fees a lot and quite rightly so! If you’re a first-time buyer, you wouldn’t have paid condo fees before, and it can feel like an unnecessary expense. Whereas in reality, no matter what type of property you own, you’re going to have these expenses…they’re just called something different. We’ve chosen the most frequently asked questions we get and answered them for you.
What is a condo management company? Condo management companies are chosen and hired by the condo board. The management company appoints a building manager who takes care of day to day tasks associated with running a condominium building. They collect your condo fees, and they organize everything your money covers. They take direction from the board and hire contractors to take care of the building (ie, snow removal, cleaning, security, elevator maintenance, window washing, etc.)
What is a condo board? A condo board is a group of individual volunteers that are responsible for the decisions made in regards to the running of the building. The Board of Directors is made up of 3-7 owners in the building, and they are tasked with giving direction to the management company, reviewing financial statements, and enforcing condo bylaws. Every year the board of directors steps down, and the owners re-elect a new board (which can include previous members) at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Will my fees go up? Like everything, costs can rise. At Battistella, we do everything we can to help keep costs moderate, such as low maintenance amenities, building a quality development, and volunteering for the board. It’s not wholly unselfish; we own in our buildings, which means we pay condo fees too. The perks of moving into a new build are that the building is covered by a warranty, which helps avoid any unexpected rises.
I don’t have to pay condo fees in a house. That’s true, you don’t pay condo fees in a house, but you still have to pay for the majority of things that condo fees cover. Plus, you have to spend time either fixing issues yourself or finding someone to do it for you. In reality, the bills you pay for a house are much of the same as you would pay for your condo.
Why do I need insurance if it’s covered within my condo fees? Required by law, the insurance you pay for in your condo fees is to protect the building, common areas, and condo units against damage or destruction. You, as an owner, are not required to have condo insurance, but when you buy a home, it’s crucial to protect your assets if you can. It would be best if you looked for protection that covers any renovations you have made or plan on making. It should include your contents, and you should think about things such as loss assessment coverage, contingency coverage, third party liability insurance, and additional living expenses coverage. The monthly cost of condo insurance is probably cheaper than you think and pays for itself in peace of mind.
So do I pay property tax if I own a condo? If you own property, you have to pay property tax, whether it is a single-family house, a townhome, or a condo, and each province and city is different. In Calgary, property tax is calculated using the property’s assessed value, which you can look up here. We won’t go into the ins and outs of property tax, but you can find out more information about where your tax dollars go, here.
Do you have more questions about condo fees or buying a property? Get in touch with our team! You can register here, or you can send us an email on email@example.com.