What are Condo HOA Fees?

Owners of condominiums are typically charged monthly “HOA Fees” (Home Owners Association Fees) based on the square footage of their unit, thus larger units pay more in HOA fees than smaller units. These fees are put into an account and used to pay for the common expenses of a condominium development. Common expenses usually include things like building insurance, maintenance, lobby employees and amenities provided to residents.

Luxury high-rises tend to have much higher HOA fees than other condominium developments, as they tend to provide more amenities to their residents. Condominiums in Las Vegas such as Sky Las Vegas, Veer Towers and Panoroma Towers for example all offer amenities like 24/7 Security, Valet Parking, fitness rooms, pools and more. Expenses for offering and maintaining these amenities are shared by condominium owners through monthly HOA fees. HOA fees in Sky Las Vegas for example are approximately $0.50 per sq ft while the HOA fees in the Mandarin Oriental in the MGM City Center are about $1.30 per sq ft. Why the huge difference? Common expenses at the Mandarin Oriental are much higher because the Mandarin Oriental is a much more luxurious high-rise with much more amenities than Sky Las Vegas.
Homeowners Association Fees in various Las Vegas High Rises

High Rises HOA Fees (per SQ Ft.)
Mandarin Oriental ~$1.30
Vdara ~$1.00
Veer Towers ~$1.00
Signature MGM Grand ~$1.00
Palms Place ~$1.00
Trump Towers Las Vegas ~$0.68
Sky Las Vegas ~$0.50
Allure Las Vegas ~$0.45
Panorama Tower North ~$0.42

Who sets these HOA fees?

People who own condominium units do. Every condominium development has a governing body called the “Homeowners Association” where individual unit owners can democratically decide how much money the homeowners association needs to maintain the building and what amenities to provide. Since every unit in the building benefits from security and building maintenance, everyone must pay for it. Let’s say you live in Panoroma Towers North in Las Vegas and want to upgrade all the equipment in the fitness room. You would need to attend the next homeowners association (HOA) meeting and propose your idea to other homeowners. If you can convince enough people that new equipment in the fitness room is a good idea, the homeowners association will pay for it, if it has the money on hand. If the homeowners association doesn’t have the money, it can raise money by increasing the monthly HOA fees. The important thing is that people get to vote on these things.

Homeowners associations typically collect more on a monthly basis in HOA fees than they spend in common expenses. This way, they can put all of the extra money into an emergency fund in case of a large unforeseen expense in the future.

Can my HOA Fees Increase?

They can. But they can decrease too. As mentioned earlier, other condominium owners vote these things. For homeowner association fees to increase, other owners must approve of the extra spending. HOA fees can increase if other unit owners want more amenities. Let’s say people want the homeowners association to provide internet and TV to every unit in the high-rise (Panoroma Towers actually does this). In order to do this, unit owners would have to vote to increase the HOA Fees per square foot. So the only way your HOA fees can increase is if other condominium owners vote to increase spending on various amenities or maintenance.