Domestic help/maids have now become a necessity for almost all households in India. Presently, with the average citizen working in the 9-5 shift or more, basic household chores need to be taken care of. It becomes essential that you hire the right person for all these activities that affect your day-to-day lives.
Some of the cities such as Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad have several high-rise apartments with 700+ people residing in the same. The amount of domestic help available in such apartments should also be abundant? But this is not the case and the simple rule of economics that demand generates supply fails here. Finding domestic help is not easy irrespective of where you stay or how much you can pay. Sooner or later you do go through the pain of finding the right domestic help and retaining the same. Essentially, the story remains the same whether you reside in a big apartment or small: demands by the domestic staff for salary hikes are too frequent and largely unaffordable.
How can you tackle this problem?
Tips to standardise domestic help rates:
Prepare a rate card for all the household activities and ask residents to pay only that much.
Every maid needs to carry a No-objection-certificate from her previous employer so that the prospective employer ensures she/he is not switching jobs for money.
Residents are requested not to deviate from the rate card.
Any domestic help asking for more than the agreed rates are penalized.
Pitfalls of standardised rates:
The question that arises from the above pointers is that how easy is it to apply these rules to housing societies. A lot of residents were happy with the above-mentioned resolutions, however, some disagreed to the resolutions claiming that they were quite capitalist in nature and if doctors/engineers can demand their price, why can’t the domestic help do the same? The whole demand and supply economics lies in the scenario that if you can afford a maid for Rs. 8,000 and can very well afford it, it doesn’t matter to you if others in the apartment are paying Rs. 3,000. The others sooner or later will have to succumb to the so-called “market rate” pressure and increase the salary bars.
The resolutions mentioned above can only work if people living in an apartment work as a team with their associations and come to a common resolution wherein neither the domestic help is exploited nor are the employers blackmailed for sudden pay hikes.
Until then people with maids/drivers working with you for more than a year, good luck in maintaining them. For people searching for a good domestic help, best of luck for your quest to find the right domestic help!
Basic Introduction of GST and its Perspective as a Contractor and a Developer
GST (Goods and Services Tax) is one indirect tax for the whole nation, which is meant to be a unified indirect tax across the country on construction services and will make India one unified common market. The present structure of Indirect Taxes is very complex in India. There are so many types of taxes that are levied by the Central and State Governments on Goods & Services. It has been long pending issue to streamline and subsume all the different types of indirect taxes and implement a “single taxation” system called “GST”.
Implementing the GST will ease the compliance, uniform the tax rates and structures, remove the cascading effect of taxes levied by States & Centre, will improve the business competitiveness and will benefit everyone doing trade in some or the other form whether as a contractor or as a developer.
In the current system in India, tax is levied at each stage separately, by the Centre and the State, at varying rates i.e. 10.5% / 6% / 4.5% for service tax and different rates by different States, on the value of construction services. But under the GST system that is set to be introduced, tax will be levied only on the value added at each stage by the sub‐contractors, main contractors and developers or builders. It is a single tax collected at multiple value additions with a full set‐off for taxes paid earlier in the value chain by sub‐contractors and main contractors. It is pertinent to note that the inter credit of different taxes paid in the current regime be a service tax, VAT, CST, etc. to Centre or States are not allowed and thus becomes a part of the cost on the suppliers. Thus, under GST the final buyer / client will bear only the GST charged by the last person i.e. developer or builder or the contractor.
Structure of GST in India
In India, a dual GST is proposed whereby a Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and a State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) will be levied on the taxable value of every transaction of supply of goods and services.
The Dual GST is expected to be a simple and transparent tax with one or two CGST and SGST rates. The structure of the model law comprises of CGST Act, SGST Act and IGST Act. The dual GST model would give adequate flexibility to the States to levy taxes on a comprehensive base of goods and services at all points in the supply chain. Thus, financial liberty of the States would be maintained. GST is a consumption based tax. It is based on the “Destination principle”. GST is applied on goods and services at the place where actual consumption materializes.
The Centre and the States would have parallel jurisdiction for the entire value chain and for all taxpayers. The administration of GST under the three components will be as under:
Central GST (CGST) – to be levied on intra state trade and administered by the Centre
State GST (SGST) – to be levied on intra state trade and administered by the State Governments
Inter‐State GST (IGST) – to be levied on inter‐State trade and administered and collected by the Centre.
To the extent feasible, uniform procedure for collection of both Central GST and State GST is prescribed in the respective legislation for Central GST and State GST.
It can be noted that IGST will not be a Tax in addition to the SGST and CGST so one should not presume that IGST is a third tax but it is only a mechanism to monitor the interstate trade of Goods and services and further to ensure that the ultimate SGST is gone to the consumer state since the GST is a destination based tax.
Impact of GST on Co-operative Housing Society as well as Real Estate Sector
Implementation of the GST law will have a positive impact on the Co-operative Housing Society and on the real estate sector with expected reduction in its tax burden. The law will single‐handedly solve many of the challenges faced by the real estate sector. Heavy taxes that are being borne in a non‐transparent manner are expected to be very transparent in GST. It is unclear what would be the rate of GST applicable on construction services, hence it would be difficult to confirm the exact impact on GST on the Co-operative Housing Society. However going by the informal discussion, it is learnt that the rate is expected to be something between 18‐20%, which is what the current rate directly and indirectly being borne by the construction sector. Besides the simplicity in taxation, GST would bring in other advantages like transparency, seamless credits, ease of business by lack of border controls, promoting economic efficiency through a destination based taxation system. Overall Construction costs would be reduced to some extent which would benefit the end consumer. Apart from the advantages, the complexities in the compliance and assessments shall also be greatly reduced as the tax laws would also be unified.
There would be lesser burden of tax on purchases of major inputs like cement and steel, as tax credits would be available for set off at various stages which are currently restricted. The restrictions on credit utilization would be eliminated, thus strengthening the credit chain in the system. If this so happens, there will be increased credits available in the procurement chain and hence better utilization of input tax costs towards output GST Liability.
Since GST may be levied on a single value, the current issue of levying tax on tax (VAT on central excise duty) is likely to be removed. Hence the cascading effect of taxes shall be removed with the resulting transparency which will significantly reduce tax evasion through more efficient transaction‐tracking methods, and improved enforcement and compliance. Hence the implementation of GST will enhance the investment in Housing Societies & real estate sectors.
It is widely expected that GST would reduce the construction cost in the hands of developer and thereby aid in reducing or at least maintaining the current level of prices in the housing societies as well as in the real estate sector.
We are proud to announce the launch of ‘ApnaComplex for Federations‘ – A first of its kind software for Federations.
ApnaComplex for Federations is based on the award winning ApnaComplex used by individual apartment owners associations – customized to suit the needs of Federations. ApnaComplex for Federations will assist Federations conduct their operations easily. Until now there is no software that is dedicated to be used by Federations and now ApnaComplex for Federations fills the gap for the first time.
What is a Federation?
Federation, in this context, is a group of Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) / Apartment Owners Associations / Gated Communities and similar such bodies. The core objective of such federations would typically be to improve the life of residents in the neighborhood by actively participating in local issues.
Forming a federation of multiple Resident Welfare Associations in a neighbourhood is increasingly becoming a common phenomenon in most cities across India. With help of ApnaComplex, Federations can leverage technology to manage their operations easily and focus on their objective instead of spending time on administrative aspects.
ApnaComplex for Federations
As a starting point, ApnaComplex for Federations offers easy way to handle the communication and management needs of federations. Following are the tools offered at a high level:
Add other Resident Welfare Associations as Member Associations or a Federation
Add owners/residents from each RWA as Community Representatives in the Federation.
Discuss among all community representatives with help of Mailing lists & Forums.
Form Sub Groups with their own forums to create specific task forces with in the federation.
Post notices that automatically gets posted on Member RWA portal notice boards.
Maintain all documents of federations in a central place.
Schedule Meetings with unlimited Email/SMS Reminders to all invitees. Capture Meeting Minutes, Action Items etc.
Photo Gallery to upload pictures of Federation organized events.
Maintaining list of Office Bearers / Committee Members with election dates and history
Dedicated Homepage for the Federation
As always, the feature set will evolve as more federations use.
What does ApnaComplex for Federations Cost?
Here’s the best news! ApnaComplex for Federations is offered FREE at zero cost to the Federations!
How to sign up my federation for this?
If you are part of a federation or planning to start one – get started with ApnaComplex for Federations! Contact us with your federation details and we would be glad to set it up for you!
A seemingly simple but complex issue in every apartment association is on how to arrive at the maintenance charges to be levied on the members. The issue is complex enough that it is impossible to please all the members with a single way of calculating the maintenance charges.
As discussed in the “Popular methods of calculating Maintenance charges” – societies have option of charging Per Square Feet (PSF) or Per Flat (PF) basis. While the regulations in most states is not very clear (or not enforced with necessary rigor), the model bye-laws of Maharashtra state provide a relatively clear answer to this debate. The answer at a high level is simple – follow a combination of per sft and per flat for various heads.
The same can be adopted by societies of all states (as most model bye-laws are derived works of the model bye-laws from Maharashtra State).
Types of Charges
There are quite a few types of charges that can be levied on members. The periodicity of levying these charges can be decided by the General Body of the Association. Usually charges like ‘Sinking Fund’ will be levied once in an year – and Maintenance Dues will be charged once in a month. Brief explanation of various charges is given below.
Service Charges (a.k.a Maintenance Charges in most societies)
This charge needs to be levied on per flat basis. This charge needs to be levied based on the expenses incurred by the society towards procurement of services. This includes all Staff Salaries (including society office staff, maintenance staff, security staff, housekeeping staff, technical staff etc.), Administration Expenses (internet, telephone, printing, stationary etc.), Auditor Expenses, Common Area Electricity Bill (excluding bill for Lift operations), Conveyance / Travel Expenses, Legal Expenses, Membership to local federations / bodies etc.
Expenses on repairs and maintenance of building of Society
These charges may be decided by General Body subject to minimum 0.75 percent (0.75%) of the cost of construction of flat/shop per annum. For example, if the construction cost is Rs. 1200/- per sft, this charge will be Rs. 9,000/- per annum for a 1000 sft flat. This is calculated on per sft basis and can be levied once in a year. This excludes Lift related repair & maintenance.
Expenses for lift repair, maintenance and for running the lift
This charge should be based on expenses incurred for Lift Repair, Lift Maintenance and Running of Lift, including Electricity Charges for Lift oeprations. This needs to be charged equally on all Members of the building where in lift is provided.
Sinking Fund (a.k.a Corpus Fund)
The exact amount may be decided by General Body subject to minimum of 0.25% of the cost of construction of flat per annum. This is calculated on per sft basis and can be levied once in a year. This is to be collected if the builder has not collected this amount at the time of selling the flats and handed over the corpus to the association.
This charge is to be levied based on number of parking lots in a flat. The fee per parking lot may be as decided by General Body of the Society.
This is applicable only in states where societies are authorized to collect property tax on behalf of Govt. The tax to be collected is determined by the state.
This charge is to be levied based on number of water inlets into a flat. The fee per water inlet may be as decided by General Body of the Society. In modern apartments / layouts, this charge can be calculated based on the reading from the water meters that measure consumption of the water by a flat.
Interest on defaulted Charges
This is the late payment penalty. The penalty scheme / amount is as decided by General Body. Most common practice is to levy simple interest not exceeding 21% p.a. But General body can decide a different way of calculating late payment fees that works best for them.
Non Occupancy Charges (NOC)
This is an additional charge on flats that are rented out. As per the law, this charge cannot exceed 10% of the Maintenance / Service Charges levied. You can refer to this article to get more details. The NOC cannot be charged if the licensee(tenant) is family member(Family Members includes husband, wife, father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, son in law, daughter in law, sister in law, brother in law, grandson and granddaughter).
The expenses spent on insurance of the building and equipment can be levied on the members in proportion to built up area of their flats. Extra premium charged by insurance on account of storage of specified goods in flat/shop should be collected from those flats/ shops whose storage of specific goods was the reason for extra premium.
This is levied based on per sft for the builtup area of the flat/shop.
Any other charges
As decided by General Body from time to time.
Following is a table indicating a comprehensive list of charges that can be levied by the Society / Apartment Association on the members. All charges levied must be derived from the expenses of the society. The table also indicates the correct way of arriving at these charges from the expenses and if they need to levied on per sft basis or per flat basis – as recommended by Model Bye Laws.
The article provides a framework for arriving at dues to be levied that is fair to all its members. A Housing Society that is ‘well managed’ needs to avoid taking the easy way out – by charging per flat or per sft basis. This is especially true for societies where there is no uniformity in size of the flats. Though at a first glance, it looks like there is much work and many heads for the amounts to be charged to adopt this, it is not really so. Once you get started you realize that its not as difficult as it appears. If you are new society, you can put this in practice right from day one. if you are an old society, but not following this model – its never too late for you to adopt this.
Get your Society on ApnaComplex.com – Today! ApnaComplex is India’s most comprehensive web based housing society accounting, management and communication software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners a lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out the features of ApnaComplex and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer a free 30-day trial as well so that you can try before you buy!
In order to buy your own apartment and become a member of the apartment association, there are a few steps and legal processes that you’ll need to know about.
It’s wise to be well versed in all the legalities involved while buying an apartment in the state of Karnataka. Although a real estate lawyer can take care of the half the issues in this regard for you, being aware of your rights and your position in the entire setting can help you make better and faster decisions. There are many deeds and declarations that you will have to go through while buying an apartment in a city like Bangalore.
Talking to the members of your apartment association can help you get a clear idea. Senior members of the apartment association will guide you through the legalities involved.
The Karnataka Apartment Owners Act 1972
This act deals exclusively with apartments that are residential in nature. Apartments are termed as transferable properties that are also heritable under this act. In order to register the apartment complex under this act, all apartment owners will need to come together and sign the particulars, which can be quite an ordeal.
Know your State Rules
The Registration Procedure:
Given below are a few facets that you’ll need to know while getting your apartment registered under the Karnataka Government:
The Declaration should be registered properly under the Registration Act of 1908.
The deeds involved with the house will also need to be registered with the Registration Act of 1908.
The floor plan of the particular building should also be duly registered under the Registration Act of 1908.
Along with the registration of the building’s Declaration, extensive details about the building should also be filed along. These details should include the building’s layout, the location of the building, and the number of the particular apartment. The apartment’s dimensions will also have to be accurately mentioned in the details. This is very important.
The building’s name should also be specified in the details provided. If the particular building has no specific name, it should be mentioned that the building does not have a name.
All these above mentioned details should be properly verified by an architect, who will need to release a statement mentioning that the specified details are correct.
This statement should then be run through some local authorities under whose jurisdiction the particular building falls, who will, in turn, verify the same and approve it.
If the submitted plans do not include the verified seal of a practicing architect, then the plans should have an amendment attached to them when they are submitted. This amendment should certify that the floor plan mentioned in the documents, the name of the house specified and the dimensions of the building are all accurate and true. This is also very important.
The registrar or sub registrar will then register the declaration and deeds involved under the Karnataka Government through an act that was made effective in 1908.
This is the general registration procedure involved in registering an apartment and the apartment association under the Karnataka Government.
This article aims at collating and providing information for benefit of ApnaComplex customers and blog readers. While ApnaComplex has taken every care to ensure the information is accurate, we suggest to please use it only as a guidance for further discussion and action with help of relevant professionals. If you need professional advise on this topic and any other property related matters, please send your request through our contact us form. You may post your questions/inputs in the Comments section below and we will try and get them answered through relevant subject matter experts.