Condo Maintenance: What Repairs Are Condo Owners Responsible For?
From dreamy condos on the beach to luxury penthouses downtown, buying a condo is of the best ways to invest in real estate. One of the main differences between buying a condo and renting is that condo owners have increased maintenance responsibilities. However, the payoff of these condo maintenance responsibilities is the pride of ownership and the freedom to personalize the condo for your lifestyle needs.
What Maintenance Does a Condo Owners Association Do?
What is a condo owners association? These organizations oversee maintenance and other interests on behalf of all condo owners in a given community. Even though what COAs handle varies depending on the bylaws of that specific community, they are often responsible for the maintenance and repair of common areas and exterior parts of the condo unit. Generally, most condo associations are expected to inspect common areas at least once every three years, investigate and fix maintenance issues as soon as possible. That means, in most condo communities, the association is often responsible for:
- Landscaping and debris removal from trails, walkways, and sidewalks
- Cleaning and maintenance of shared pools and hot tubs
- Cleaning, furnishing, and overall maintenance of community lobbies, clubhouses, or other shared hangout spaces
- Trash removal
As for the exterior parts of the unit, the condo association often handles the maintenance and repairs of things like the roof, siding, exterior paint job, or even yard maintenance. However, in some communities, the association only handles exterior maintenance of parts of common interest or that are directly linked to the structure of the condo building.
In some instances, condo owners may have to pay out of pocket for none structural items, such as the roof over their private unit. However, if the entire building's roof needs repairs or maintenance, the association will handle the task. The same might apply to plumbing. Again, check out the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&R) to determine what precisely the association of the community you're considering will handle.
What Maintenance is a Condo Owner Responsible For?
While being part of an association-run condo community generally means fewer maintenance responsibilities, that doesn't mean you'll never have to worry about a plumber again. Typically, condo owners are responsible for the repairs and maintenance of the interior parts of their units. This includes maintenance of things like the condo's internal plumbing and electricity.
Condo owners are also expected to shoulder the repairs of exclusive common areas. These usually range from balconies, patio to parking lots designed for the exclusive use of one or more condo owners but not all of them. In most communities, a condo owner will also be required to maintain separate interest properties.
These are usually areas or properties within the condo community, such as a parking lot exclusively owned by one member of the neighborhood.
How is Condo Maintenance Paid For?
Although the condo association is typically responsible for the maintenance tasks, condo maintenance is often paid for by the unit owners through monthly or annual condo fees. This fee is often used to cover trash removal, lawn landscaping, and general maintenance. At the same time, the remaining amount is channeled towards insurance, the development of the neighborhood, and other maintenance costs.
Although it might seem like an additional expense for the owners, condo maintenance fees are usually reasonable. In most condo communities, the overall amount each condo owner pays is often determined by the association's board of directors. The committee typically comprises other condo owners chosen by other residents in the neighborhood.
Besides, the amount is often collected and saved into the condo's association official reserves. Any unit owner can access the documents and track the monthly expenditure of the association to ensure the community's funds aren't misused. And if a resident feels that common areas aren't maintained as they should, they're also free to complain and have the association review the issue.
How to Address Condo Repairs
When it comes to condo repairs, the first step is to confirm whose responsibility it is. If the repair is the responsibility of the COA, then make sure they're aware of the issue and that it gets resolved promptly. If there are repeated problems, unit owners may need to bring up maintenance in board meetings.
If the condo owner is responsible for the fix, then they'll need to determine if they can fix it themselves or if they need to hire a professional. Some easy condo repairs include fixing a leaky faucet, replacing a door handle, and applying caulking. Regardless of who's responsible for the maintenance, addressing repairs efficiently is essential for maintaining the value of the individual unit and community.
Do Condo Owners Have to Pay for Insurance?
Every COA is expected to ensure all common areas of a condo community, such as shared picnic areas and building patios, are well kept. The association can swiftly manage the situation without necessarily tapping into the community's funds when any risk occurs.
Similarly, condo owners are expected to pay for insurance covering all their personal property and interior parts, including appliances and the unit's built-in appliances, cabinetry, or even flooring. That essentially means if the roof is leaking, the association may handle the roof repair, but the homeowners will be responsible for the damage the leak might have caused to their unit. They might also require an insurance policy that covers liability costs should guests be injured inside one's unit.
Get Ready to Enjoy Condo Living
Buying condos is appealing to many homebuyers, whether they're looking for a vacation home, first home, or just a change of scenery. Many condo residents enjoy the convenience of condo living, such as fewer maintenance tasks. But before you excitedly close the deal, it's essential to determine the exact functions the condo owners association handles and the maintenance tasks expected of a condo owner. Staying aware of condo maintenance responsibilities and utilizing interior design tips to maximize space can make condo living a breeze.