Owning a condominium unit has a lot of advantages, the main ones being convenience in location, fewer maintenance duties, and heightened security. It’s important to know, however, that owning or living in a condo comes with responsibilities that should be taken seriously. If you have plans of buying a condo for personal use or as an investment, consider the following first:
Payment of association dues and property taxes
Association dues cover a lot of the maintenance and repair needs of the condo building, which is why it’s important that all condo unit owners pay on time. Delays in payments can impede the performance of maintenance tasks, which can lead to the deterioration of the condo. Some of the expenses paid using the amassed association dues are the salaries of the property management corporation’s employees, contractor’s fees, the monthly bills in common areas, and garbage collection.
Occasionally, association dues are also used to pay for jobs that are done sporadically, but are still required to keep the entire building up and running. These can range from insurance for the condo’s amenities to government permits and license fees. Also, as per BIR’s Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) No. 65-2012, association dues and other membership fees are now subject to VAT so don’t be surprised to find that these fees are higher nowadays.
Property tax is another important money matter in condo ownership. While the condo association is responsible for paying the property tax of the entire building, the Condominium Act of the Philippines stipulates that purchasing a condo unit makes you responsible for paying the property tax of your own unit.
Maintenance of own unit
Association dues pay for the maintenance of the common areas of the condominium building, but you ultimately have the responsibility of taking care of your own unit. This means you have to regularly clean your own unit and catch problems before they worsen so as not to affect the entire building. Cracks and leaks must be addressed immediately before they comprise the building’s structural integrity and infestations must be nipped in the bud or pests could easily spread throughout the entire complex.
Being considerate of your neighbors
Living in very close proximity to your neighbors, you’re bound to rattle some of them with habits that may appear harmless to you. Noise, for instance, is one of the biggest complaints of condo owners, and this can range from using your outdoor voice indoors to doing carpentry at night. Similarly, bad habits like leaving your garbage out in the open or cooking food with strong odors won’t sit well with others. If your condo allows pets, not knowing how to control your pet’s behavior can also be a cause for concern. Seemingly small issues can get out of hand if you don’t deal with them immediately, so learn to be civil and to mind your actions.
Compliance with the rules
As opposed to living in your own house where you have the rule of the roost, condominiums usually have house rules that need to be followed concerning guests, pets, smoking, use of amenities, bringing in or removal of furniture, changes to condo design, laundry on the balcony, and – sometimes – even what color curtains to hang! Avoid penalties, inconvenience, and embarrassment. Make sure that you familiarize yourself with the building administration’s rules and regulations so that you can adjust accordingly.
Condo units don’t automatically come with assigned parking slots. This means you can’t park your vehicle in a slot just because it’s empty. You need to pay for the right to have your own space. Parking slots are available for sale or for rent separately and they can be pretty expensive even if it’s just a small amount of space! Consider bringing in only few to no cars when you move to a condo to cut down on costs. Also, make sure that your condo is centrally located so that you can just walk to major establishments or public transit hubs.
You can only fully experience the benefits of living in a condo if you recognize your responsibilities and do them. Before you seriously consider buying a condo unit, make sure you’re ready for the duties that come with it.