What is covered by the monthly AOAO maintenance fees varies greatly from one complex to the next. The maintenance fee is the same whether you live in the unit or rent it out. The maintenance fee is determined by vote of the AOAO for purposes of paying all the bills of the Association. Most cover basic hazard, hurricane and liability insurance for the buildings and common areas. However, you need insurance for fire, theft and liability within your unit. It’s called Condo Owner’s Insurance. For a quote, call any of the larger insurance companies listed in the phone book. Most Association maintenance fees also cover, water, management of the Association’s business affairs, landscaping, pool maintenance, roofs and exterior painting and repairs to the common areas as well as common area property taxes. These things are pretty standard. Anything else that is covered varies greatly from complex to complex depending on what the Association of Owners have voted to authorize.
Other inclusions could be basic cable, air conditioning, garbage pick-up, resident manager, and in rare cases, front desk service, electric, propane and solar hot water. Since the people who set the fees are all condo owners, you can be sure they are trying to keep costs to a minimum, and a majority of the owners have approved the budget. And of course, no one is making a profit. The condo Board of Directors positions are elective and unpaid. So no one on the board benefits financially from increasing the maintenance fees. Any excess fees collected go into the Association’s Reserve Fund to cover future, unexpected, expenses. From time to time, if the treasurer reports that the reserve fund is running short, or expenses are rising due to inflation, the association may vote to increase the maintenance fee. This could be every two or three years or even longer; or it could be two or three times a year depending on the need. State law requires a level of reserves to stave off special assessments, but unexpected large repairs could cause exceptions.