Now that you’ve bought your own condominium and moved-in, you suddenly received a statement of account saying you have to settle your association dues for the month. But what is it exactly and why do you need to pay this? Many first time-time home buyers are not familiar with this monthly fee that is part and parcel of owning a condominium.

Here are the things you need to know about association dues:

1. Why do you need to pay association dues?

Association dues are monthly payments made by the unit owner or tenant to contribute for the overall operational expenses of the entire condominium building. This is mandated by the homeowners’ association.

A home buyer automatically becomes a member once:

  • the unit is turned over to him or her,
  • he or she has signed the Deed of Absolute Sale,
  • or the title is transferred to the buyer’s name.

2. Who collects your payments?

The property management office is responsible for collecting association dues and other condo fees. The condominium developer employs them to manage and to maintain the building. They provide the services that residents need, including security personnel, maintenance personnel, janitorial services, and other necessary services for the building’s upkeep.

3. What do association dues cover?

One of the best things about owning a condominium is that you can take advantage of amenities such as swimming pools and playgrounds and not worry about its upkeep. You can also have a peace of mind knowing your family is comfortable and safe. But someone has to do the maintenance or man the building for you, right? That’s where your association dues come in.

Your association dues are used for building maintenance and repairs, taxes and licenses, wages of condominium employees (property management staff, maintenance staff, security personnel, etc.), utility expenses for common areas, and other miscellaneous fees needed to keep the building and all shared spaces well-maintained and working properly. Whenever the building is in need of repair or repainting, these funds will be taken out from the association dues that you’ve paid for.

4. How much do you need to pay for the association dues?

The cost of association dues vary in every project, depending on the operating expenses of the building. If the building offers more amenities, then it is more likely pricier. It is then computed based on the size (total area in square meters) of your unit. This includes the balcony space, if you have one.

For example, in One Serendra, the association dues cost Php 96 per sqm excluding VAT. Thus, if you own a 70 square meter unit, you have to pay Php 6,720 per month plus tax. So for those who have or are planning to buy a bigger unit (two- or three-bedroom), you would have to shell out more.

5. What are the possible penalties if you fail to pay?

You may be charged a penalty, depending on the condominium developer, when you fail to pay your association dues on time. Some developers charge 3 or 4% interest. And if you continue to not pay at all, developers such as DMCI Homes will consider your account as delinquent. When this happens, the building management will have the right to cut-off or deny your basic utilities. In some cases, they may also prohibit you from using the shared amenities.

6. When do you start to pay?

Once the unit is turned over to the owner, he or she is obliged to pay the association dues. Whether you have moved in or not, or even if no one is occupying the unit, you need to pay the dues. For example, the unit was turned over to you in May, but you only moved in on July, you still have to pay the association dues for May and June.

7. Are association dues subject to tax?

Yes. Earlier this year, the Bureau of Internal Revenue released Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 9-2013 which states that association dues and other fees collected by the homeowner’s association are now subject to Value-Added Tax (VAT). Although this has been contested, BIR noted that the recent rulings remain valid.

8. What will you get if you pay your association dues annually instead of monthly?

There are property developers who offer discount if you pay your annual association dues in lump sum. For DMCI Homes, they deduct one month from your total bill. If your association dues cost Php 1,995 per month (Tivoli Gardens), when you pay the entire amount for a year, you will only pay Php 21,945 instead of Php 23,940.

9. What will happen if I don’t want to become a member of the association and not pay the association dues?

Pursuant to Section 5 of Resolution No. 770 Series of 2004 (Framework for Governance of Homeowners Association), membership should be voluntary unless otherwise stated or stipulated in the contract, Deed of Sale, or property title.

As such, you may opt not to become a member. However, Republic Act 9904, or the Magna Carta for Homeowners and Homeowners’ Association, stipulates that a homeowner will get the

right to enjoy the basic community services and facilities, provided that he/she pays the necessary fees and other pertinent charges.

The operative word here is provided. As long as you pay association dues, you will not be denied the use of the shared amenities and facilities. But if you don’t, then you can’t use them.

Do you think your association dues are used properly for the building’s maintenance? What do you other condominium fees and charges do condominium homeowners or tenants pay? Share them with us by leaving a comment below.

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  • Marlon L. Ampo

    Hi there, nice to chance upon this blog. Very informative, keep up the good work! Anyways, I am a homeowner of Suntrust Adriatico Gardens in Malate, Manila. When the unit was turned over to me last 2011, I paid PHP30/sqm. They doubled the amount in 2013 and 2014 at PHP60/sqm. In 2015, they once again raised the association dues to PHP65/sqm. The notice of condo dues adjustment was received 08-Jan-2015 but effective already 01-Jan-2015. Suntrust is a subsidiary of Megaworld which caters to the affordable market. I believe the condo dues is exorbitant as Suntrust does not come close to DMCI with condo dues as low as PHP40/sqm. Suntrust amenities do not even compare to that of DMCI’s. Besides, there was no concensus among majority of the homeowners. Even the members of the board do not represent the homeowners being 2 homeowners and 5 representatives of Suntrust. Also, we have not convene as a general assembly since 2012. They did not even secured concensus of the simple majority of the homeowners. I wonder how I can put this to stop.

    • Rizza Estoconing Sta Ana

      Hi Marlon! Thanks for sharing this with us! I am very interested about your story and would like to know more about this. Could you email me at Thanks!

  • jasmin

    Aside form the balcony, you also include the parking space you own for the association dues computation. Note that aside from association dues, you also pay real property tax for the amenities ( on top of the RPT you pay for your unit) and insurance for the common areas.

    • Rizza Estoconing Sta Ana

      thanks for the informative comment @disqus_AvgWgOIB2O:disqus!

    • Dung

      Hi Jasmin,
      Do the association fees cover building insurance, repairs and maintenance? Also is the land normally free hold?

  • Rizza Estoconing Sta Ana

    Hi @disqus_QoZGss2l7l:disqus! Homeowner’s association should provide some sort of explanation on why the increase should be implemented. And yes, you’re right: increase in dues should be supported by a particular project or any significant expense that a residential project should spend, especially if it warrants it (ex. maintenance).

    Moreover, you should have been aware of such plans as proposals like these should go through voting and that a majority vote should have supported this increase.

    I am not aware of any laws that would support the increase, but you can demand a document of sorts on why the increase is implemented and where the money would be going to. Usually, the association can explain this in a memo. If not, ask them to draft one.

  • turko cturero

    In relation to monthly dues, I would like to seek your opinion/advice on this matter. We have a residential lot in sta. rosa, laguna. Although, the monthly amortization is paid in full, we have not got the TCT yet, because we haven;t paid it yet.
    The developer sent us a letter regarding unpaid monthly dues for one year. We have spoken to them, asking for explanation. But they only told us, it is our obligation to pay the monthly dues.
    While, we know it is our obligation, it is also our right to know, why we need to pay for monthly dues. This is just a residential lot and we are not using any of their facilities.
    I would appreciate any kind advice.

    • Rizza Estoconing Sta Ana

      Hi turko cturero! I assume that the residential lot is located on a subdivision, correct?

      As per Republic Act 9904, Rule 3, unless it is dictated in your Contract to Sell, Deed of Sale or any legal document that proves your purchase transaction with the developer, membership of a homeowners’ association is only optional. But the law’s intention to promote the formation of homeowner associations is quite noble: promoting and protecting members’ (and even non-members’) mutual interest and assist in their community development.

      If this provision is present in your legal document, you as an owner of the residential lot and as a qualified voting member of the HOA, can pay the monthly dues and demand financial documents, and even review the homeowners’ association’s books and annual reports. You can also demand in the receipt the breakdown of the dues. If you wish to opt out,

      For due diligence, you can also do the following if you need to escalate the issue further:

      >check if the association is registered with HLURB
      >or check if they were previously registered with Home Guaranty Corporation or the Securities and Exchange Commission

      hope this helps!

      • turko cturero

        thank u very much for your reply..
        i will follow your advice..

  • Ces Cuenca

    Can I get a discount for the association dues if I have PWD (Person with Disability) card?

    • Hi @cescuenca:disqus. As far as I know, a unit owner or tenant can only qualify for a discount if he or she pays the full yearly association dues in lump sum. But rules may vary per project developer. The best thing you can do is inquire directly with the property management of the condo you are looking into. They may have a special policy. Hope this helps! :)

  • MissCel

    Hi Zip. I have a condo unit. It was bare when we bought it. We have fully paid our unit two years ago but haven’t renovated the unit therefore never used it as our family situation changed. Now that we have finally decided to renovate and use the unit, we found out about the monthly association dues. Unfortunately no one mentioned this to us not even our agent who disappeared months after we signed the contract. We do not receive any bill or any notice about this. Can we contest this? Your reply will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    • Hi MissCel. As I’ve mentioned in the article, regardless if the unit owner moves in or not, the unit owner has to pay the association dues once the unit has been accepted or deemed accepted.

      In some condos, it is deemed that you have automatically accepted the unit if you fail to inspect and accept the unit within a specific period from the date of notice that the unit is ready for turnover.

      This is a good time to revisit your contract to sell and check for a clause that discusses the dues. I’m surprised though that nobody informed you beforehand or contacted you for failure of paying since this is usually billed monthly.

      You may raise this with your developer’s property management, and see if they would give some considerations. But there’s no guarantee that they will approve. In the event that the management maintains their stand, you have to prepare yourself with paying the entire amount due.

      Hope this helps!

      • MissCel

        Hi Zip. Thank you so much for your reply. I went through my condo papers when I read your message and tried to find a document that discusses the monthly dues. I reviewed the contract to sell and I saw only a clause that binds to pay for water and electric bills wether I moved in or not. Is this enough for me to argue not to pay for the association dues.

        I also looked into the association handbook and not a single line in the handbook discusses the monthly dues, its cost, how to pay for it, or the manner I should be informed about it.

        My main problem is, I’m doing this on my own as the agent who sold me the unit could not be contacted anymore when I finished paying my down payment.

        Thanks for your help.

        • Good day, @misscel:disqus! Based on my research, being a member of a homeowners’ association is really optional (refer to Republic Act 9904 (Section 22) and HLURB Resolution No. 770 (Section 5)) unless stated in your contract. However, the law also states that to enjoy the basic community services and facilities provided, homeowners must pay the necessary fees and charges.

          If you have not moved in to the unit until recently, maybe you can contest it in the defense that you really were not informed about the dues and have not received any notice about a delinquent account/membership, which they should have sent you if you haven’t paid anything since the unit was turned over to you. But you may have to require the assistance of a legal person who is more knowledgeable about the law.

          I hope your issue will be settled soon. Hope this helps!

          • MissCel

            Hi Zip. Thanks for your quick reply. I’ll be calling the property manager to inform him that payment for the association is not stated in my contract to sell or any other document I signed from the developer or property management. Neither did I receive any notice for such bill.

            Thanks a lot!

          • It was my pleasure to help you, @misscel:disqus! Hope things will be well. God bless! :)

  • Ryan Goquingco Rodrigo

    Hi Zip!
    Good morning!
    Our condominium admin is already asking us to pay a big amount (88.++) for a unit in Ortigas. The building is still under construction, although mentioned above that the fees is due once we moved in and/or signed the absolute deed, the amenities are not yet available to use.
    Let alone the construction debris limits the use of the pool and other facilities such as parking and elevator.
    Do we have a say on charging us the full amount if the amenities is not yet fully available?
    Hoping you can shed light to my inquiry.

    • Hi @ryangoquingcorodrigo:disqus! Good day to you, too. First off, the cost of association dues vary per developer hence the P88+/sqm cost.

      As for being charged the full amount although some amenities are not yet fully available, am not sure if they can cut the cost since association dues are generally for the building’s overall operational expenses. You may want to raise it with your property management to see if you can negotiate. Hope this helps!

  • tin

    Hi! I know the discussion above is focused on condo owners, but Im still hoping that you can also answer my query. =P I just want to ask if renters or lessees are also required to pay HOA fees? I already read the RA 9904 but it doesn’t clearly states that they are required. Though lessees are also treated as members (as what I’ve understand in that RA) and it is one of the duties of a member to pay fees, still, it is somehow hard for me to explain these things to the landlords since renters are literally not “home owners”. thanks in advance for your help! =)

    • Hi @tin. I believe this will depend on the agreement between the lessor and the lessee. But more often than not, HOA or association fees are included or shoulder by the lessor. My brother owns a condo and he includes it in the rental price, so that the lessee won’t have to worry about it. Hope this helps!

    • ßiG ß@ð ®eÐ (Red)

      hi @disqus_qHLR28vwby:disqus

      ideally, in the lease agreement/contract, the association dues are already tucked in the monthly fee. some lessors, however, opt to make their lessees/tenants pay the association dues separately. so it really depends on your agreement in the contract.

      you’re correct, though, that you’re not technically the “homeowners”, but as the legal dweller of the unit, the “ownership” is partly shared with you by the rightful owner/lessor. and since you’ll be using the amenities or enjoying the services provided by the association (e.g. security, airconditioning in the lobby/hallway, uninterrupted power supply in the elevators and common areas, etc), you are expected to pay the dues.

      hope that helps. :)

  • Rachelle Nicodemus Waters

    ask kolang po, we bought a house and lot in pag ibig acquired asset, then the house that we bought has delinquency in monthly dues, 55k. The HOA is forcing us to pay the said amount, wala pa pong tumira dun since 2000, are we required to pay the said amount? Thanks

    • Rizza Estoconing Sta Ana

      Hi Rachelle Nicodemus Waters!

      I’m afraid that comes with the territory of purchasing a foreclosed property. I have written an article about this last week:

      However, it doesn’t mean that your house and lot is not a great steal. You can address a letter with the homeowners’ association and ask for these bills to be reduced.

      Hope this helps.

  • Hayden Antiporda

    Hello, Kumusta? I rented a condo for 6 years now. In 2012, Maynilad discontinue their water service due to unpaid bills amounting to almost half million. Some tenants vacated their units but I opted to stay. The Homeowners Association was dissolved and after a week, no one is collecting our monthly dues, no one is collecting our garbage, sometimes there was no guard and finally, MERALCO cut off our electricity. Ang dilim ng hallways pag gabi. Then, in February 2015, a unit owner negotiated Maynilad at naibalik ang tubig namin ngayon. He hired people as guard, janitor and got a line for our lights. Then, in May, there was an election of officers and they revived the homeowners association. Lately, Ive noticed that he instructed his men to open few unoccupied units. They told me na “inaanay” daw. Is this legal? Is the Homeowners Association has the right to open unoccupied (abandoned?) units? This morning, I read in the bulletin board calling all owners and renters to submit to the HOA their contrats with the lessor’s address and phone #. Failure to do so means that we are illegal occupants and they may not allow us to enter our units and may padlock our units. Is this legal? Do they have rights to do it? And the most shocking part is the other notice that there are vacant units for rent. One unit is beside me and the owner vacated the place after Maynilad cut off their water service. Is this legal? Please help me to understand. Salamat

    • Rizza Estoconing Sta Ana

      Hi Hayden Antiporda! I can’t really say whether they’ve done it illegally or not. But you can always raise your concerns to the proper channels.

      Is there a property management to consult with about these concerns? Have you asked these questions directly with the HOA, most particularly why the need to show all of your contracts?

      One assumption is that they’re trying to make sure that all tenants in the property are legal tenants. But again, this is only an assumption.

      On the other hand, there is a possibility that the HOA might have partnered with the owners of the units to encourage livability of the property, para hindi rin madevalue yung mga condo units sa building na yun.

      If it helps, you can read the Magna Carta for homeowners’ association to be informed about your rights as a tenant/homeowner:

      Hope this helps!

  • Mike John F. Clemena

    Hi! Is it lawful to collect Hoa fees kahit wala pa namang homeowners association? Kami pa lang ang nakatira sa condo kung saan kami nag rerent.

  • Manjo Perez

    Hi there, I purchased a residential lot in a gated village 3 years ago. Until today, the only document I have on hand is the Deed of Conveyance. The Transfer of Certificate Title will only be furnished by next year. The HOA is charging association dues for 2015. My argument is that the ownership is not yet officially under my name. Am I really obliged to pay the association dues even if TCT is not yet handed? If not, which points can I use to argue? Thank you in advance for your valuable advice.

  • Luis Santos

    HI is RA 9904 applicable to condominium owners where they have a condo corporation as the homeowners association? Is due process required in declaring an owner who is remiss in paying his condo dues because of defects in the unit. The owner has continuously filed a Concern Slip to no avail. Her toilet ceiling is leaking water from above her unit. The property management has not rectified the defect for almost 2 years now.

  • Yhaje

    Hi! Just want to ask on what are the standard monthly dues and taxes to be paid when you own a condo unit? I just had my 1st condo unit turned-over early this year and i was surprised of the dues and yearly taxes we paid. We paid for three (3) different RPT’s (unit RPT, Bdlg., & Amenities and land RPT). Are these bills really common in condominiums?

  • Maria Anna Ramos

    Thanks for this. I was searching the web for affordable condo in pasig and came to this. I guess I would be paying attention to this situation as well.

    • Glad you found this helpful, @mariaannaramos:disqus! Since a home is one of the most expensive purchases one will make, you really have to know the ins and outs of owning a property and the expenses that go with it.

  • Barry Edwardsen

    My HOA calculates the average of the past years monthly electric usage and adds that amount to the following years monthly HOA dues payment. I would rather be provided a monthly electric bill. Can I demand a monthly electric bill? Do you have any legal references?

  • ßiG ß@ð ®eÐ (Red)

    question: so if there are minor repairs needed to be done inside the unit (e.g. leaking toilet bowl tank, any electrical works, etc.), that isn’t covered by the association dues anymore (i.e. which the maintenance people can or cannot do)? just double checking as some condos do it freely as part of their service, while others don’t.