Re: Common cost surcharges (Shelly DeMeo)
From: Laura Agnew (
Date: Sat, 7 Jun 2008 11:02:29 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Ray.  We live in a condo community, and we pay $45/month/unit for 
maintenance and up-keep.  This money also goes towards paying the salary of 
an employee who maintains the grounds and fixes anything on the outside of our 
structures.  Any maintenance of indoor structures are paid by each owner.  So 
far this fee has been sufficient, but we'll be increasing the fee in July to 
$55/month due to an increase in prices of all goods and fuel. There are 58 
units here.  I think our fee is a little high compared with other communities, 
but we agree it's worth the cost to pay someone to do the difficult work of 
things like trimming trees and bushes, re-roofing, re-painting structures, 
cleaning the pool, etc.
I hope that helps, 
Our community is set up as a condominium.  In addition to monthly common 
charges, based upon square footage of each home, the community imposes 
one-time per square foot surcharges on improvements and additions to 
existing homes.  These surcharges often add a substantial amount to the cost 
of construction or improvement.  While there are several rationales for 
maintaining the surcharges (which were also folded in to the original unit 
construction costs), the main one seems to be that the community needs the 
funds to make future capital improvements.

In anticipation of a community discussion on whether to continue the current 
surcharge policy or modify it, I would be interested to have input from 
other communities on how they deal with this issue.  Are owners surcharged 
when they improve their property?  If so, on what basis?  Is there provision 
for reducing or "sunsetting" these charges over time?

Thanks for your input.

Ray DeMeo 

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