I am thinking of buying a condo but at the one I like the owner is paying what I think are very high strata fees. If I buy the condo, do I inherit the strata fees or can I renegotiate them with the strata?
Auntie’s answer: I’m afraid you are stuck in this instance. I ran your question by a local realtor knowledgeable about all things strata-related and probably found out more than most people need to know. But I am happy to pass on the information.
To start with, strata fees are usually set by the governing executive committee that comprises a group of owners elected by all the owners. Their mandate is to represent the interests of the strata.
The committee annually reviews the fees, which are adjusted as needed based on the next year’s budget, and both are presented for approval at the annual general meeting.
Stratas are run as non-profit organisations and the fees are set to cover the operating and maintenance costs of the property.
And all that leads to the salient point for you: Strata fees therefore cannot be renegotiated individually. If you decide to buy the condo and feel the fees are too high, you can ask for a breakdown of the expenses to decide if the cost is acceptable based on provided amenities and services, such as security, landscaping, a pool, gym or tennis court. The fee is calculated on a per-square-foot-basis, so if the units are different sizes, the smaller the condo, the lower the amount charged.
But while all that will give you more information, it won’t get your fees reduced.