Condo maintenance charges — a tale of zero transparency and huge loss of value
Whilst travelling across California, I was struck by how much condo owners are required to pay each month in condo service charges. A common complaint from the condo owners I spoke to is the lack of transparency and the huge disparity in charges.
In one condo association, owners are required to pay around $380 each month to cover property maintenance charges. However, just across the road, in a very comparable condo community, the charges are on average over $600 each month. What justifies this disparity?
When I brought up this issue with a couple of the residents in the two condo associations, their first reaction was surprise. The second reaction was that they had no idea whether the service they were receiving from their property management agent actually represented fair market value. Furthermore, most residents did not even know when or where their condo owners association meetings took place, let alone whether they were aware of the governance or management decisions the association was making on their behalf.
In the age of ever advancing technology, social media and the blockchain this is a serious situation with inadequate consumer protections. It is also a problem faced by hundreds of millions of condo owners worldwide and it results in the loss of tens of billions of dollars of value.
We believe it is time that technology is brought to bear to address this problem. A solution that enables a higher standard of trust, transparency and fairness into the world of condo ownership.