Condominium owners pay HOA fees to cover the cost of maintaining and improving common areas, such as pools, walking trails, lobbies, club houses and green spaces. HOA fees also go towards insurance premiums on the buildings themselves, whether it be damages from weather events or visitors to the property.
Condominium owners may be surprised to learn how little they actually "own". In general, condo owners are responsible for the air between the walls of their units in a complex. Every other area may be considered common, which means all condo owners contribute towards repairs, maintenance and insurance. HOA fees may be included in monthly mortgage payments or be paid directly by the unit owner to the HOA board.
One of the advantages of a condominium over a traditional home for potential condo owners is no required yard maintenance. HOA fees pay for the services of local landscapers and yard maintenance professionals. Pest control may also be covered through HOA fees, along with snow and leaf removal. If a fence is damaged or falls into disrepair, the home owners' association should arrange for repairs.
HOA fees also cover any repairs or renovations to the condo units themselves, such as new paint, safety or health hazards, garbage collection and utility repairs. If an unexpected repair or upgrade becomes necessary, the HOA board may approve "special assessments" from individual condo owners to cover the added expense. Insurance against weather damage and personal liability claims is also collected from HOA fees assessed to individual condo unit owners.