Common-area assessments refer to the fees paid by the property owners of a condo project or other multi-unit dwelling for the upkeep of common areas. Common-area assessments are applied to maintaining, repairing, operating and improving these common areas. Common areas can include hallways, stairwells, lobbies and community bathrooms. Owners are obligated to keep common areas in a safe and secure condition. Owners can be liable for residents who are injured in common areas because of their lack of improvements or repair. Common-area assessments are not paid by the residents directly. These are fees that the property owner incurs as one of their costs to maintain the property. Tenants in office buildings may be paying a portion of the common area maintenance in their monthly rent. The exact percentage would be described in the lease agreement.