How much is the ideal condominium association fee?

QUESTION: Rltr. John, I am a foreigner who owns a 1BR Condo Unit. My Association Due is P3,000. My friend owns a unit also but just a studio type and he pays P1,500 only. In your opinion, do you think it is fair?

ANSWER: Thanks for the question, Frank. In one of my blogs in the past, I remember I expressed an opinion in a blog that Condo Association Dues should be EQUAL regardless of unit size because owners have equal access to the "same amount" of common areas, amenities, facilities, janitorial and security services of the Condo Admin. So, big unit or small unit, ideally, everyone in the building must be paying the same amount of condominium association fee.

The ideal condominium association fee must be FAIR, and it should follow a formula of Total Condo Association Cost divided by Number of Unit Owners. The ideal rate should not be divided by Square Meter of unit owned.

JOHNJAY NUBLA: Hi john I agree w/u but if a 3br against a studio, 3br has 5-6 occupants vs a studio has 1-2 occupants how do you rate the association dues as the 3br has more uses for the common area.

Rltr John R Petalcorin: It does not really follow that the 3BR condo has more occupants than a 1BR condo. In fact, I just called up the condo Admin a while ago and they said bigger units owned by the rich have lesser occupants than smaller units owned by middle-income group.

Common areas are mostly hallways and lobby and these are not consumable "pies" like water wherein the greater the number of unit residents eat the greater amount of the pie. Condo also don't assign "more" security guards on the hallways of bigger units.

However, your logic could well be applied in a user-fee system wherein fees will be charged per head of registered resident or they can charge per entrance per head like a movie house.

Moreover, it gave me an idea that under the current set-up wherein Condo Fees are based on square meters of ownership, I think the corporation should behave like stockholders (one sqM is equivalent to one share of stock) wherein vote points in a condo corporation will be based on area owned. If you have 20 sqM unit, your vote has 20 points. If you have 100 sqM unit, your vote is equivalent to 100 points.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: CONDO owners and tenants must read http://petalcorin.blogspot.com/2013/07/a-law-exempting-homeowners-association.html.

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