You can’t avoid maintenance fees if you buy a condo, but you can reduce the risk of nasty surprises down the road

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the health of the building in order to recognise potentially higher repair costs. This can be done by poring through condo documents, including the status certificate, and also by walking around and looking for potential issues like water damage. “You have to actually go through and do your due diligence,” Herle noted.

The monthly maintenance fee varies depending on several factors, including the location, and the level of services such amenities and landscaping. The details of what exactly is covered by the fee are provided in the status certificate, as it’s known in Ontario. It also covers wealth of other information, including a reserve study which looks at expected costs for the next three decades.

Herle also noted that those shopping for a condo must understand that they will be paying for all the amenities a building offers. “Going into a condo, do not buy a condo with a swimming pool or a concierge if you don’t expect to use them… those are expensive, big ticket items,” she said.

Meanwhile, Sarah Morrey, an associate at Lash Condo Law, advised potential buyers to take a close look at condo documents even if a professional has already done it on your behalf. She noted that any circumstances that may result in an increase in condo expenses, such as higher utilities, will be disclosed in the status certificate. It will also provide the track record for the building, which would give a sense of potential future issues, according to Morrey.

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