Your Guide To Condo Maintenance Fee In Singapore
Whether you’re considering buying a condominium as your principal residence or an investment, you will be required to pay more than just the home loan and daily expenses. Another cost for people owning condos in Singapore is the condo maintenance fees. These cover the cost of maintaining the grounds, buildings, and shared amenities.
The monthly cost can be as low as S$50 or as high as S$1,000 per month, based on the location, number of units, and size of the condo. Location can definitely be a major driver of the overall costs of owning a condo and its monthly charges, especially if the development is located in a highly desirable area near top amenities and transport networks.
What Is Condominium Maintenance Fees?
The condominium maintenance fees per month are one of the most misunderstood and neglected costs when couples start saving for a down payment for a condo in Singapore.
The maintenance fee for condo is a monthly charge that owners must pay to manage, maintain, and upkeep the whole strata property. The monthly costs will cover managing and maintaining gardening, garbage collection, common areas, recreation facilities, management as well as a certain portion channeled into the contingency fund.
To know exactly what this covers, you should check with your property agent or mortgage broker since these fees will vary between properties. One point to note is that the monthly costs may also change year after year, often increasing as the structure ages due to the extra upkeep required to maintain the building.
With an HDB flat, you’re required to pay the monthly conservancy fees that are determined by your town council. For a private condo or Executive Condominium (EC) in Singapore, you’re going to pay condo maintenance fees each month to your property management.
While you may be required to pay $100 or even less each month for your HDB conservancy charges, the fees per month range from an average of S$300 to up to $1,000. These fees will depend on the number of people in your condominium, the size of the flat, the type of condo you live in (e.g. luxury condos typically have the highest fees), and the facilities that the properties provide.
With such a huge difference in monthly fees (which can add up over time), this ‘hidden cost’ is definitely something you’ll want to take seriously when machining the decision to purchase a more luxurious property.
For private condo units, the condo maintenance fees typically cover the upkeep of facilities such as swimming pools, grounds, cleaning of common areas, gardening, and paying the many condo staff members like cleaning contractors, security guards, etc.
Generally, a part of the condo maintenance fees is put into the sinking fund of condos, which is often used for improvement – including painting of communal spaces, replacement of shared fixtures and fittings, gym equipment, and so on.
The maintenance fees payable will depend on the floor area, type of condo facilities available, location, age, and quality of the development. It is typically calculated depending on the share value of each unit.
What Is Share Value?
The Singapore condo maintenance fee is dependent on the share value. But what is ‘share value’? Well, share value is the share entitlement allocated to each residential unit in a property.  The average range of monthly payments can start from a few hundred to more than a thousand dollars. Simply put, the greater the shared value, the higher you need to pay.
The share value is typically used to determine the maintenance costs you have to pay every month. If you are thinking of buying a building under construction (BUC), you will only need to pay after the project is completed and acquired the Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP).
Payment is typically collected by the managing agent or management corporation (MC) chosen by the developer, whose responsibility is to maintain and manage the development. They are usually channeled into the sinking and management fund.
The management fund is used for the day-to-day upkeep of the property units while the sinking fund condo is used for any future and unexpected expenditure, including roof pairs and paint works, which are normally not regular but occasional tasks. The contribution to each fund will vary depending on the share value of each strata unit.
Finally, your share value will determine your voting rights for AGM (Annual General Meeting) where council members are elected, and/or in case of an en-bloc sale.
You just need to meet at least 30 percent of the overall share value to set new rules for the property. For developments older than ten years, an en bloc sale requires shareholders to agree by a majority of at least 80%.
Monthly Maintenance Fees
Who Determines The Monthly Maintenance Fees?
The condominium association is responsible for managing the maintenance of the property and community. All condo owners automatically qualify for membership of the association, which convenes meetings to decide on improvements for the development of new projects.
Those who buy a condo must make payment to the condo association, which is then channeled into the various funds to pay different expenses.
The association maintains a sinking fund to help pay for any unexpected costs. In other words, when you pay the condo maintenance fees, you are also saving some cash that will help with repairs and maintenance of the common areas and amenities in the properties.
What Do The Monthly Maintenance Fees Cover?
When buying a condo in Singapore, you should not only consider the condo management fees payable but also the facilities and building insurance covered by the cost. These may cover a wide range of amenities, including but not limited to the following:
- Common grounds
- Swimming pool
- Tennis courts
- Garbage collection
- Sewage lines
- The physical exterior
It’s important to note here that the condo maintenance fee Singapore may vary from location to location. Apart from the general maintenance and upkeep of the building, the amount could vary based on factors like the cost of services such as enhanced security, clubhouse, penthouse, concierge, covered parking, and more, especially when it comes to luxury condos.
Some of these additional fees may be optional to the residents, depending on the property developers, which implies that you may pay a lower amount by foregoing usage of such facilities. For example, if you don’t have access to a swimming pool or fitness center, your amount may be lower.
What Do The Monthly Maintenance Fees Not Cover?
One major demerit of owning a condo unit is that although condo buyers pay a certain amount per month, individuals will be required to cover the cost of any replacements or repairs inside their own residential units.
For instance, if the tiles of a unit start disintegrating, homeowners would be required to cover the costs. On the other hand, rent-paying tenants would not need to pay because the landlord would cater to the cost of repairs, assuming the tenant is not to blame for the damage.
On the contrary, apartment and condo owners won’t have to worry about landscaping or cleaning the walkway. Although the amount per month can be an additional expense, the homeowner will be able to enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle in most cases.
If you’re thinking of buying a condo in Singapore, first make sure to factor in the monthly fee that you will need to pay and check out the management of both the sinking and maintenance fund.
If you want to buy a resale unit, finding more information may go a long way in showing you any hidden issues with regards to management, allowing you to make an informed purchase decision in order to avoid headaches in the future.
So do your research and keep in mind all your rights and obligations. Determining your share value and knowing the required amount per month is helpful before buying condo in Singapore as is learning how to buy a condo in Singapore and considering other things like location and knowing who your neighbors are.
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