Maintenance-Association Expenses vs Personal Expenses

Along the lines of what we discussed here last week regarding the maintenance person, it’s sometimes necessary to enlighten some owners as to what the association pays for and what you are obligated to pay for in terms of work done to your unit.

In most condominium associations, as a unit owner you are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the drywall finish coat inward, meaning the association will pay to install and finish the drywall but if your walls have special knock down coatings, you are responsible for that item. For specifics for your condominium, consult your association documents.  But that’s not necessarily what we’re talking about here. What we’re talking about is those nit-picky items-broken toilet valves, door handles that are broken, clogged toilets, etc.  Things that you have to call a repairman for in your own home.

If your condominium has a maintenance person it is possible that he or she can do those little “honey-do” things for you.  The important thing however, is that you pay them for their services.  A portion of your monthly maintenance fees goes for the upkeep and maintenance of the common areas, shared by all owners.  Those maintenance fees do not go for changing out your leaky toilet valve or moving your furniture.

Some maintenance people do not like discussing payment for these “honey-do” items. When this is the case, find out if your maintenance person purchased materials for the project and how long it took to make the repair. If they say “don’t worry about it” pay them anyway.  Twenty dollars goes a long way to developing and maintaining a good working relationship.  Even if they’re key holders for your unit and need to let another vendor in or supervise a project for you, always pay them.  Another point, don’t be offended if he/she can’t get to your project, there could be a good reason.  It could be beyond what they’re comfortable with, they could be super busy with other things. One thing’s for sure, always pay your maintenance guy for projects inside your unit, no matter how large or small.


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