Nobody wants to pay condo association fees. However, once you understand where the money goes, you’ll feel better about this expense. There’s no way around it – condo fees are necessary if you want to live in a community you enjoy.
These funds go toward protecting and improving the value of every resident’s investment. Therefore, every dollar goes into a pool of money that’s used for two purposes. One is to protect and preserve the value and appearance of the property. The other is to fund the lifestyle amenities residents value.
Typically, the community’s homeowner’s association (HOA or COA) or board of directors determines the condo association fees. So, the board looks at the short-term and long-term needs of the community first. Then, they put a budget in place to meet those needs. Lastly, the total of that budget is divided among those living in the community and submitted as monthly fees.
In some cases, a community needs large or unexpected emergency repairs. So, the unit owners pay an assessment to cover the expense. For example, a storm may cause damages that exceed the community’s insurance coverage. For this reason, the owners pay an assessment to cover the balance. Also, long-term maintenance issues like roofing might cause an assessment.
Every condominium community differs somewhat on what is and isn’t covered by association fees. They fall into subcategories like insurance, maintenance, and long-term repairs. For this reason, what payments cover depends greatly on the amenities your community provides. Fees can cover:
In some communities, fees may also cover sewer, water, and trash service. There are two areas of focus for most COAs or HOAs. First, they make sure the association has enough coverage on the community at large. Next, they ensure there is insurance to cover board members for negligence. Lastly, the right professional management firm can make a big difference in how well a community receives necessary services.
The only way to know for sure what your community’s COA fees can cover is to review the handbook or membership documentation. In it, you will discover where the responsibility for insurance starts and stops for the association. Thus, you can determine how best to make changes and significant improvements in the community. Most associations want to provide value to the owners. That involves performing due diligence in hiring a property management team that delivers added value.
For professional property management and real estate services in the Atlanta, GA, area, we encourage you to learn more about our team at Ardent Residential. We assist condo owner association boards to get the most out of their condo association fees by providing efficient, professional property management services for communities of all sizes. So, contact us at 844-9-ARDENT to learn more.