15 Things To Know Before Buying A Condominium Continued…
11. What are Common Expenses? (Monthly Maintenance Fees)
These fees provide the condominium with the cash necessary to maintain the common elements, fund the reserve accounts, pay for property management and generally operate the Corporation. Upon purchasing your unit, you will be responsible for making common expense payments to the condominium corporation. The amount can vary depending on the size of the condo and the amenities.
12. What is a Reserve Fund?
The Reserve Fund is a trust fund established by the condominium corporations to anticipate costs for major repairs to the capital components of the condominium’s common elements.
13. Do you need Insurance?
The condominium corporation is responsible for insuring the common element areas and the unit. This insurance coverage includes public liability for those areas, however, you are responsible for obtaining your own insurance for your contents and any improvements that have been made to the unit since it was first constructed. You are also responsible for obtaining personal liability insurance for your unit – make sure you obtain a proper condominium unit insurance package and NOT a tenant package.
14. Can you make changes to your unit and the common areas around it?
You can decorate or renovate your unit, although the condominium may have rules about the time of day that such renovations can take place. In some cases, you may need permission from the Board of Directors in advance.
15. What else should you ask about?
- Utilities: In some condominiums, utility charges and cable t.v are included in the common expense – ask the Vendor or the Manager of the building what might be included.
- Parking: Almost all condominiums have restrictions on the availability of parking. Ask the Vendor, Manager or someone on the board.
- Pets: Some condominiums prohibit owners from having pets or have rules governing the number, type or size of pets. If you have pets, ask your lawyer or realtor to verify that pets are allowed.
- Maintenance and Repair: In most condominiums the corporation is fully responsible for the maintenance and repair of the common elements. In some, however, these duties may be shifted back to the homeowner to some extent.