Residing in urban housing societies has become a way of living for most of us in metropolitan cities. Be it their amazing views with lush greens around, hi-tech facilities, or convenient locations from your educational institutions or workplace, these new-age housing societies are bringing up some never-seen-before state-of-the-art amenities for the residents.
But all these resources available for the residents have a certain maintenance charge that is borne by the people residing in these housing societies.
People sometimes have a common query, “why do residents need to pay maintenance charges?” They might think it the sole responsibility of the builder or project developer to repair & maintain their infrastructure, but according to Section 6 of Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016, “Every allottee who has entered into an agreement for sale, to take an apartment, plot or building as the case may be under Section 13, shall be necessary payments in the manner within the time as specified in the said agreement for sale and shall pay at the proper time and place, the share of the registration, municipal taxes, water and electricity charges maintenance charges, ground rent and other charges, if any.”
Therefore every resident who has purchased unit(s) in a housing society arrangement are equally responsible for the maintenance of these amenities and need to pay a housing society maintenance charge to the society committee to enable taking care of these affairs.
There are various aspects of housing society maintenance bill. Let’s have a look at them
- Service Charges: Service charges for housekeeping, security, common area electricity, lobbies, terrace, parks, gyms, swimming pool, recreational areas, equipment, etc are borne by all members and divided equally by the number of flats. These include Expenses on Repairs and maintenance of lift divided equally by all members irrespective of whether they use the lift or don’t.
- Sinking Fund: Apartment maintenance charges are decided by the General Body, subject to a minimum of 0.25% per annum of the construction cost of each flat.
- Non-Occupancy Charges: These charges are supposed to be paid by flats that are rented or not occupied by the apartment owners. It shouldn’t exceed 10% of the total service charges.
- Parking Charges: Depends on the total number of parking slots and size of inlets provided for each flat.
- Property Tax: Not applicable outside Maharashtra as this is paid directly to the Municipality in other states by the owners.
- Water Charges: Water charges are incurred depending upon the actual consumption of each flat or the number of water inlets provided.
- Insurance Charges: These are certain charges paid by the residents for the insurance of the building and equipment used. You can pass on any insurance premium meant for shops/flats used for commercial purposes to the owners of such shops/flats themselves.
- Interest on Defaulted Charges: The society’s general body or committee decides the amount to be paid for the late payment of apartment maintenance charges by charging simple interests not exceeding more than 21% per annum.
- Lease Rent: This is charged based on the per square feet of the built-up area.
- Other Charges: Other charges may include Non-Agriculture Tax, contributions to election funds, or any other charges as decided by the association from time to time as per their specific requirements.
These charges help the committee to maintain things that are necessary for the society’s existence, maintenance, and safety for the people residing in it.
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