Having a condominium unit may provide the additional benefits of maintenance and many conveniences to all the benefits of standard home ownership. Condominium may apply to many different home types including free-standing houses, and is a form of possession, not an architectural style. Anyone purchasing a condo unit automatically becomes part of a homeowners association, subject to its own rules, regulations and fees, and should investigate how much the condo fees are and what they pay.
Establishing Condo Fees
Condo owners share ownership of these common elements as roads and recreation facilities. Membership fees, or dues, are established based on a budget that the HOA board of directors sets. The budget is based on expenses, and fees are generally prorated according to the percentage of ownership of each unit. California condo developments are all regulated under the Davis-Stirling Act, which specifies homeowners institutions are”responsible for repairing, replacing, or maintaining the common areas, and owners are responsible for maintaining their distinct interests.” Unit, or Another interest, is the distance bound floor by walls, ceilings, doors and windows.
Condo fees fluctuate widely according to the structure of each development. Based on the character of the condominium, the monthly fees may cover sewer and water fees, garbage and recycling collection, insurance for shared places, vendor services, condo management services, recreational services such as pool maintenance, common area lighting, legal fees, and contributions to a reserve account to cover unanticipated expenses.
Condo fees may also be employed to grass cutting and seasonal landscaping, snow plowing and walkway shoveling, exterior painting, roof and chimney inspection and repair, hallway and elevator maintenance and laundry room service.
What the Fees Do Not Cover
Unit owners are responsible for the repair and replacement such as appliances and wallpaper; toilets, tubs and showers; and carpeting. Liability insurance covering the elements is carried by an HOA, and a portion of membership fees go toward the cost of that insurance. However, individual unit owners should carry their condo policy covering loss in case of burglary, fire or other damage; a few HOAs require annual proof of such insurance.