In a condo, all co-owners are required to pay for their share of the common condo expenses, also known as condo fees. Generally payable monthly, these fees are used to deal with all the expenses and fees related to the condominium and the building. They must be paid to the syndicate of co-owners, which may be represented, if necessary, by a paid professional manager.
The common condo expenses include many costs
Section 1064 of the Civil Code of Quebec states that co-owners must contribute to the general common expenses in proportion to the relative value of their fractions. Paying these fees helps deal with various condominium expenses, such as:
Expenses related to the routine maintenance of the building
These expenses include the maintenance and repair costs for the common areas. They fall under building maintenance management and may include:
- Repairing the front door of the building
- The elevator maintenance contract
- Spare parts replaced during equipment maintenance visits
Expenses related to utilities and staff
The costs related to utilities and the expenses related to people who work on behalf of the condominium (concierges, security guards, porters, etc.) can also be found in this category. These include:
- Expenses arising from electricity consumption in the common areas (automatic garage doors, elevators, lighting in the common areas, etc.)
- Gas or fuel bills for the central heating system, when this is common
- Water charges for cleaning the common areas and watering the common gardens
- Compensation and mandatory government contributions or invoices from service providers if the condominium outsources the maintenance and security of the building.
The case of specific common expenses and other expenses
In condos, there may also be common condominium expenses called specific expenses. These only apply to some of the co-owners or even a single co-owner, because they involve portions that are still common, but for restricted use. In other words, one or more co-owners have exclusive use of certain common areas. For example, these may include:
- Repair costs for the entry door to an apartment;
- Landscaping expenses for a patio for exclusive use;
- Building architect intervention costs to turn a balcony into a loggia, as well as any fees charged by the manager, since this type of service is not included in the usual mission of the complete management of the condo syndicate.
Private expenses confused with common expenses
Other expenses aimed at private areas are frequently mistaken for common condo expenses. These are expenses related to agreements concluded by the syndicate with suppliers for operations of common interest (as defined by Section 1039 of the Civil Code of Quebec). For example, these include television or internet services for which the co-owners benefit from the advantages of a collective contract. However, these are not common expenses and the rules specific to common expenses, such as the distribution percentage, do not apply.