Society maintenance charges that buyers need to be aware of 

September 22, 2022 . Home Buyer's Guide . 10 min read
society maintenance charges

Ownership of one’s home is a source of great pride, but it also entails a long-term financial commitment in the form of monthly mortgage payments or charges to a housing association. It’s important to remember that this isn’t something to worry about but rather an investment in a more pleasant and helpful way of life.  In spite of what you may have read elsewhere, we can tell you that maintenance fees are not only straightforward but also generally reasonable and legal. Let’s take a look at the different types of society maintenance charges and how they are calculated. 

Society maintenance charges types 

Society maintenance charges may be broken down into the following types. It’s important to remember that the regulations only give general guidelines. The exact amount of society maintenance charges that each member must pay is calculated by each society using its own unique method.  

Charges for repairs and upkeep 

Expenses for services and facilities, such as energy for shared spaces, security guards, elevator operators, housekeepers, and gardeners, are included. All members are expected to contribute equally to the cost of services. 

Costs associated with repairing and maintaining the building, including but not limited to the structure itself, its plumbing, electrical systems, elevators, storage tanks, power supplies, lighting, and security systems.  

The annual society maintenance charges is a percentage of the original cost of building each unit, with a floor set by the board of directors of the society at no less than 0.75 percent. 

Parking charges 

This rule only affects car owners. Taxes are set by the community and often vary for different types of vehicles (such as motorcycles and cars). 

Water society maintenance charges 

All tenants must pay these charges, which are calculated by adding up the total number of inlets in their unit and the average size of those inlets. 

Sinking fund 

The governing board of the society is responsible for establishing a contingency fund to cover unforeseen events; this fund must have a minimum contribution of 0.25 percent per year of the total cost of constructing each apartment. 

Non-occupancy charges  

Costs that must be paid even if the tenant is not already dwelling in the home or apartment. These costs, however, should never exceed 10% of the total service fees. 

Interest on unpaid debts 

Interest on overdue balances is owed if payments are made over their due date. Prices fluctuate from community to community, but never more than 21% annually. 

Insurance maintenance charges 

Insurance costs for the building and its contents may also be included in the monthly society maintenance charge (determined by the total square footage of the unit). The insurance price for commercially-used stores and apartments in the building is not included in your monthly dues. 

Lease/rent expenses 

This is calculated based on the total square footage of each apartment or unit. 

Is payment of society maintenance charges necessary? 

There is no yearly or monthly maintenance fee associated with apartment ownership, but all amenities and services are paid for separately by the tenant. If you live in a housing cooperative, you must contribute to the cooperative by paying your share of the monthly maintenance fees. After joining, you and the developer will sign a maintenance agreement that makes you both legally responsible for carrying out your respective responsibilities. 

When a builder turns over responsibility for the society’s operations to the management committee, that committee becomes responsible for coordinating service delivery. Maintenance fees are a reasonable and desirable method of funding shared amenities since they eliminate the need for any one resident to put up a significant sum of money. In addition, there is a fair degree of leeway for members to choose their own payment schedules and methods. 

How are society maintenance charges determined? 

Due to widespread misunderstanding or dissatisfaction with the process by which maintenance fees are set, this issue often sparks heated debate in apartment complexes. As we have seen above, the management team may provide you with the specifics of each fee and its rationale upon request.  

However, the regulation doesn’t address concerns about charging equitably according to factors like dwelling size and service use. Since the cooperative society is a group endeavour, however, every resident’s complaint or pain is heard and addressed fairly, even if it requires a different method of computation. Let’s go further into each of these possibilities. 

Costs based on a per-square-foot basis 

When comparing rents for units of varying sizes, this method is employed. The square footage of your flat is used to calculate your monthly maintenance cost. If the committee chooses to impose a charge of Rs 3 per sq ft and your flat is 600 sq ft, you would be required to pay Rs 1800. 

If, however, your flat is 1200 sq ft, the price would be Rs 3600 per month. The disadvantage of this system is that bigger flats may wind up paying more than smaller ones for the upkeep and maintenance of shared amenities, even if their usefulness and accessibility could be identical. 

Equal fee 

This approach is recommended for determining maintenance fees when all units share the same capacity or are very close in size to one another. With this technique, everyone gets a fair shake since the monthly society maintenance charges are tallied together and then split down the middle.  

While this is easy to compute and eliminates any potential for disagreement, it may not be an unbiased technique if the flat sizes vary much. 

Hybrid fee 

There is no longer any need to pick between the two kinds described above since this approach combines them both. Repair and upkeep charges and a sinking fund, for example, might be combined into a single pooled charge depending on the building’s total square footage.  

In addition, all of the other types of fees, such as service fees and lift costs, are determined in the same manner. In the case of equitable and impartial allocation of upkeep costs, the use of a hybrid approach proves to be quite beneficial. 

How often must you pay society maintenance charges? 

One may choose between yearly, semi-annual, quarterly, or monthly billing periods. Housing societies choose between these payment schedules at the outset and have the flexibility to make modifications as needed. There are a number of considerations that must be made, including the ease of collections and record-keeping, the number of members who are capable of paying upkeep in bulk sums, and the timeliness with which service or utility bills are paid. 

Keeping up with your maintenance payments can help you avoid the penalties associated with paying them late. Timely payment of your maintenance fees also demonstrates that you are a conscientious tenant. If you discover any costs that don’t seem to add up, however, make sure to report them to management immediately so they can be looked into. 

Conclusion  

To sum up, it’s fair to say that all apartment or flat owners are expected to contribute to the common maintenance fund. You can’t afford to ignore these charges in order to enjoy a lifetime of security and comfort in your home, which are all benefits of being the legal owner of the property. It’s certain that your life will be stress-free. 

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