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When you buy a condo in Japan, you have to pay two monthly management fees for as long as you live there. The first is a normal maintenance fee for things like cleaning in and around the common areas and keeping the elevators running properly, ranging anywhere from ¥15,000 to ¥40,000 a month. The second is a “repair” fee, for when more extensive maintenance work, such as painting and remodeling, of common areas are required–normally, ¥6,000 to ¥20,000 a month. Usually, the developer of the condominium selects a building management company at the time of construction, which means the eventual buyers have no say in who looks after these payments and orders up the work. It’s not like a coop in the US. After all the homeowners move in they form an association and appoint one of their members as the representative to deal with the management company. The potential for abuse is ripe, as shown by a recent news item. Read More