Condominium association (CA) dues, also known as condo fees or condominium HOA (CHOA) fees, are monthly payments that condominium owners are responsible for. When you purchase a condo, you get access to the shared parts of your building with your neighbors, such as corridors and landscaping. Moreover, you automatically become a member of the association once the title is transferred to your name.
Condo fees cover essential maintenance of the building, security, and utilities. Specific communities may have higher condo fees to cover premium services, such as a pool or fitness center. Essentially, the upkeep and costs of any facility that is shared with other tenants are likely covered by the condo association fee.
Condominium association dues vary by location and the building’s cost of maintenance. According to Trulia, the average housing association fee was $331 per month in 2017. However, your condo fees can vary significantly.
For example, a 1,000-square-foot condo in Des Moines, IA has a condo fee of $100 per month. This fee covers essential utilities, landscaping, and snow removal. The community does not have a pool, spa, clubhouse, or gym.
Alternatively, the famed Hollywood’s Sierra Towers condo building, which has 24-hour concierge service and valet parking, charges $4,000 per month for a 3,400-square-foot condo.
While both recurring monthly fees pay for upkeep, the most significant difference between a condo association fee and a homeowners association (HOA) fee is the scope of ownership.
In a condo, each tenant owns a unit in the building but maintains joint ownership of the building complex and property grounds. You can also imagine that these tenants live in closer vicinity to one another.
On the other hand, in a community with HOA, homeowners own their lots and homes. The HOA owns the common areas.
For example, in a condominium, the condo association would typically be responsible for the siding and roofs of the condominium community. However, in a homeowners association community, the owners are responsible for maintaining the exterior of their respective houses.
In addition to the monthly condominium association fee, the condo association may add “special assessments” to the total amount. These assessments cover major unexpected repairs or other costs, such as if the condo’s roof needs to be replaced. Each owner in the building must share the cost.
Another example is if the condo loses a lawsuit. The amount that is not covered by the condo’s insurance will likely be divided among the owners and added onto their condominium association fees until the assessment is completely paid off.