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What Are Condo Fees?

By Bruce Kirkpatrick   Follow me: Bruce Kirkpatrick on Twitter Bruce Kirkpatrick on Facebook
Thu, Mar 13, 2008 at 7:55AM

When you own a condo, you pay a monthly fee, which covers your portion of the operating expenses for common property and part to a reserve fund. The fee is calculated from annual operating cost divided by the percentage of your contribution to the common expenses unit factor in governing documents or local legislation.

Fees may include:
  • Snow removal, landscaping, cleaning common areas, carpets and exterior windows.  Heating/cooling system maintenance.
  • Reserve fund  pays for major repairs/replacement of common area systems providing repair for life of the building
  • Property management fees.
  • Building repair/maintenance
  • Salaries for staff for maintenance, security guards.
  • Pool, recreational facilities, party room.
  • Utilities, Cable and internet access.
  • Corporation’s insurance.


Inclusions and exclusions are outlined in the operating budget. Prior to buying a unit, you can find out more from the property manager, the board of directors, or the developer. When the Board overestimates common expenses, the surplus is applied to future common expenses or paid into the reserve fund.


No refunds are given to unit owners. If your unit sells before the end of the corporation’s fiscal year, you still will not get a refund for common expenses, but these fees could be add to the purchase price to offset your expense.


Condominium fees are neither optional nor negotiable. A lien can be placed on your condo for this unpaid expense and thecorporation may sell your unit to recover the money it is owed.


Only as an owner can you have access to financial statements.

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