Category: Housing Society

Five Quick Tips about Better Apartment Management

quick-tips-271x300 Apartment management is becoming one of the most challenging jobs, with growing sizes of apartment complexes in India. With most of the members offering a voluntary service to their apartment residents as a management committee member, the personal life of an individual gets quite affected in dealing with apartment maintenance issues.

At times it becomes difficult for new management committee members to understand which areas to concentrate on to offer their residents a superior experience of staying in the apartment.  Five quick tips for management committee members for better apartment management are: 

Automate Society Billing & AccountingFinancial matter often becomes a bone of contention between committee members. Accounting and book keeping, income and expense tracking, penalty calculation should be streamlined as soon as possible. Try to reduce your reconciliation efforts and try to 100% automate your billing and collection effort. The best option is to employ a software that incorporates tools such as Income Tracking, Penalty Calculation, Maintenance Charges Payment Reminders, Metered Utilities and Payment Gateway offering significant effort reduction without disturbing your current accounting practices and to help you in better apartment management.

Resolve Resident Complaints Efficiently – Resident complaint management is one of the toughest areas one has to deal with as a management committee member. Ensure you set up a system as soon as possible for central tracking of resident complaints, suggestions and requests. The whole process of residents filing a complaint and committee members resolving and closing the issue needs to be automated. Use a software that will help you track the complaints at various stages with an auto escalation mechanism to escalate unresolved complaints. This will increase the resident satisfaction and enhance their faith in the management committee.  

Communicate effectively with your Community – Effective communication with your community is very important. Use community collaboration tools to post notices and reach out to everyone, securely share photos of community events within the society, have healthy discussion on any topic via discussion forums, send important messages/emails to other committee members or residents. Create and publish articles like Policy on Pets, Waste Management Guidelines, Diwali Celebration Tips, and Monthly Newsletter for residents – the list is just endless. For better apartment management, it will be an intelligent move to use a software that offers the facility to use all these communication tools at one go and create a strong communication link with your community.

Manage Apartment Facilities & Staff Smartly – Residents often complaint about how the apartment facilities are not maintained well by maintenance staff etc. Save yourself from the pain of manually overlooking asset tracking, inventory management, parking lot management, maintenance staff and service staff management. Offer superior experience to residents by empowering them to book an apartment facility online! Maintain a central record of visitors visiting your apartment for security purposes. Managing and keeping a check on all the above mentioned areas is a herculean task. What you need is an apartment management software that does it all for you and help you manage all apartment facilities smartly.

Proficiently manage society data – Maintain directory of owners, residents and flats in your apartment in a systematic manner for reaching out to them easily. Maintain list of office bearers and committee members for communicating with them in an effective manner. Centralize all your society data in one place for your own convenience. Create an online presence for your complex and provide details such as amenities available, directions, location of the complex to visitors or interested parties outside the complex.

It’s time for you to move away from countless number of confusing spreadsheets and remember to become a management committee member you don’t need to learn about accounting and facility management anymore. A good apartment management software can do all that for you. What you need to focus on is creating an inclusive culture so that residents collaborate with you to manage your apartment in a better manner.

Don’t just be a complex, be a smart apartment complex. Get your Society on ApnaComplex.com – Today for free!


Online petition against high security deposits charged from tenants in Bengaluru

petitionLandlords demanding for a 10-months to 1-year security deposit from prospective tenants is quite a common norm in Bengaluru. This practice is often quite shocking for young professionals migrating from other cities to Bangalore since this trend is still not very prevalent in other major Indian cities.

Fresh college graduates who have just joined a job at times have no other option than to borrow money from friends and family. Even though the security deposit is quite exorbitant, most of the tenants have no other option than paying the same.

Rachelle Chandran from Bengaluru has filed an online petition in March protesting against the very high security deposits demanded by the landlords in Bengaluru. She has demanded for implementation of uniform rent law across Bengaluru for security deposits.

It’s a common practice to ask for a high security deposits from tenants and the full amount not being returned by landlords. The owner has the right to deduct security deposits by mentioning random maintenance costs. This is a highly unfair practice and the petition demands an answer to the same.

The petition mentions the Model Tenancy Act 2011, which recommends a set of rules “to balance the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants” with other clauses to protect the tenants’ interest. Another suggestion mentioned in the petition is to reprimand a landlord who charges security deposit 3 times in excess of monthly rent.

The petition also demands for a “fast-track rent tribunal” to solve the issues between landlords and tenants and the ability of tenants to file FIR against landlords in case of any money fraud.

About 3,000 people have already signed the petition and are voicing their anguish while supporting the petition.

Although the petition is a great initiative and if action taken, it will help the tenants and save them from depositing a large sum of money in the name of security deposit, another fact cannot be left unnoticed that the rights of the landlords also need to be protected while making new laws as there are also situations wherein tenants refuse to pay for maintenance charges or repair work that occur due to their negligence! The amends to the law needs to a balanced one, protecting the interest of both the landlord and the tenants.

Source: The News Minute

Don’t just be a complex, be a smart apartment complex. Get your Society on ApnaComplex.com – Today for free!


Habit #5: Effective management committees implement smart financial control

In this blog post, we are going to emphasize on the fifth habit of effective management committees of implementing smart financial control. Smart financial management is the key to success for any management committee. In our earlier blog post, we talked about Habit 4: How effective management committees are highly disciplined. Read more…

Pointers for the committee members to practice smart financial control:

Treasurers need to do more than just signing cheques – In most of the apartments, the role of a treasurer is restricted to signing cheques and issuing receipts. This is not the right practice. The role of a treasurer is a very important one and both the committee and treasurer has to understand that. As a treasurer, ensure you have a budget in place at the start of the financial year. There may be undue pressure on you from other committee members or residents to spend on various new initiatives but do stick to your budget. Always remember it’s easy to spend but more difficult to stick to the pre-decided budget and as a treasurer if you are able to do that, you are certainly doing a good job.

Do not approve ad-hoc expenses – Committee members or residents always come up with new initiatives and every new initiative has an additional cost attached to it. As committee members spend more time with each other, you develop a certain level of friendship and comfort with your co-committee members. The problem arises when you are not able to say “NO” to a co-committee member for an expense, which is out of your budget. As a treasurer, learn to say no to the ad-hoc expenses, which makes a hole in your budget. At times the treasurers need to be ruthless to spend their finances judiciously. For instance, in one of the apartments, one of the committee members suggested a sliding gate, which would have looked great and would have been easier to access, but the treasurer did not approve the budget for the same. Was it a good decision? Yes, because one needs to understand the difference between “feel good things” vs. “necessities”.

Set a strict approval process for payments – As a treasurer, it is both your duty and right to question each and every expense. Keep a strict check on the new expenses being incurred. Set your budget and set a process for slab approvals for fool proofing the system. Create a rule or mechanism for payments approvals, provide the same to the entire committee and ensure it is followed by the whole committee. Do not go easy on the slab approvals and try going around it. Ensure you yourself follow it for making the entire committee follow the same.

Publish monthly reports on budget variance – Show the same enthusiasm to calculate dues as well as expenses. Most of committee treasurers show a lot of enthusiasm while calculating and collecting the dues or maintenance charges from residents. However, when it comes to calculating the expenses or the budget overflow, one loses enthusiasm and the budget variance calculation is always delayed. Ensure budget variance report is published in a timely manner on a monthly basis. Also, publish the report on how much was the overflow every month. This will help you analyse where exactly did you go wrong and will help you and the committee balance it out the next month itself. Otherwise, at the year end audit, one can only realize the mistake of overspending but will have no time to correct it.

Committees and especially treasurers need to understand that the resident welfare cannot be achieved by overspending on “feel good” things instead spend the resident money carefully and judiciously on the necessities and try to achieve small objectives, which are in-sync with your pre-decided budget. This will lead to a higher level of resident satisfaction.

Do you think the management committee in your apartment complex practices smart financial control? Do let us know by commenting on our blog. Log onto www.apnacomplex.com regularly for the post on next habit of effective management committees.


Summer Tips For Housing Society Members – Giving Your Interiors A Summer Makeover

The summer brings along bright colors and brighter moods into a housing society, and you should get your house ready and tweaked just for the season. You can give your flat a neat summer makeover without going through the expense of redesigning your interiors.

Keeping Home Cool During Summer

Here are some makeover tips for housing society members, to bring in the summer feel into the house.

Walls


  • If your walls are painted in dark colors, relieve them by putting up bright cheerful wall hangings.
  • If you can, try painting one wall in a warm color that sets off the other walls, and has the effect of brightening up the room.

Cushions and Covers



Throw some warm colored cushions on the sofa. Change the upholstery to match the summer colors.

Curtains



Remove the dark curtains and replace them with light colored drapes. Not only will they add warmth to the color scheme, they will absorb less heat and keep the interiors cool.

Kitchen and Dining Areas


  • Use warm colors in your dining area. Use a bright colored table cloth, and bright place mats.
  • Place bowls of fruits in the kitchen and dining areas. Start using bright colored kitchen cloth too.
  • Use bright colored crockery to add to the summer feel, and all these can keep your spirits up.

Bathrooms



Put in light colored towels and curtains in the bathroom, and make sure that the bathroom is well equipped as you’ll be using it regularly to beat the heat.

Flooring


  • Replace the heavy winter rugs and carpets on the floor with light, summer colored rugs.
  • If you have a bright polished flooring, remove the rugs and carpets where possible, to let the polished floor reflect the light and make the room brighter.

Paintings



Put up some brightly themed paintings, to bring a fresh look into your house. Pictures of beaches or other tropical themes will add to the summer effect.

Fragrance



Use air fresheners with a fresh citric feel. Freshen up the house with lime, mint or other similar fragrances.

Lights and Colors


  • Use bright colored lamp shades.
  • Replace the quilts with cool sheets. Use sheets with cheerful, warm patterns, to lighten up the room.
  • Throw open windows during the cooler parts of the day to let in some light.
  • Clear the clutter. Keeping your room free of clutter will make it seem bigger and lighter.
  • Bring in some fresh bright colored flowers, and put them in vases.

Gardens


If you have a common garden, include it in your makeover. Put in some potted plants with fresh new blooms. Your housing society can plan ahead by planting colorful flowers and shrubs that will burst into fresh blooms and cheery colors during the summer.

You can of course, go ahead and do a whole summer makeover for your home. If you don’t want to burn a hole through your pocket, just use your imagination, and make use of things that you already have.


Get your Society on ApnaComplex – 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 15-day trial as well so that you can try before you buy!


The Need for Using Energy Efficient Doors in a Housing Society

Housing society residents from across the country are moving from ornamental and beautiful doors to energy efficient doors that provide the required insulation, helping them save money.Depending on the housing society, such energy efficient doors are installed in all flats. If your housing society does not feature such doors, you can have them individually installed.

energy efficient doors

How Do These Doors Help?

These energy efficient doors are made of materials like wood, glass and steel fiber that help in conserving energy within the house. The cold and heat exchange levels are kept at a bare minimum so that the insides of the house don’t turn too stuffy or too cold.

These doors provide suitable insulation for the house and this can negate your need for buying heaters or air conditioners, helping you save a lot of money. These energy efficient doors also prevent pollution, insects and bacteria from entering the house, and you’ll be less prone to diseases.

During winters, the humidity in the air is normally very low. These doors will help in avoiding static shocks in such situation and they can keep the house cool all through the summer too.

What are the Types of Insulation?

The most common material used for insulation is polyurethane foam. Glass is not suitable enough for insulation so modern glasses need to be used. There are certain materials such as fiber glass skin that have weather stripping properties. The openings in the door that allow the exchange between the outside and inside space are sealed.

Installation Process in a Housing Society

In most cases the original doors are removed from the housing society flat and two frames are kept in place.

The door is then sealed with the help of foam that prevents air from going in and coming out. Foam is used as it has a major property of thermal insulation.

Types of Energy Efficient Doors

There are various types of energy efficient doors that are designed for specific areas.

  • There is the storm door which is an outer insulated door placed on the external surface of the regular door, and this prevents the house from heavy rains and bad weather.
  • Garage doors are made of insulated aluminum and these prevent corrosion of the vehicles and other appliances.
  • Patio doors are difficult to insulate but outer and inner sides of the door can be somehow insulated.

Choosing an Energy Efficient Door

There are a few things that have to be kept in mind while choosing an energy efficient door, as the door should be resistant to weather, it should not be corrosive in nature and the emissive nature of the material should be low. Most importantly the door should be easy to install. Double layers provide better insulation than a single layer.

Energy efficient doors range from Rs 9000 upwards; but they are low maintenance, so you don’t have to worry about extra costs. Depending on the type of installation, the price can vary. You can invest your money in such doors rather than in other options like heaters and coolers and these are ideal for housing society flats.


Get your Society on ApnaComplex – 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!


The Housing Society Guide for Removing Monsoon Moss

The monsoon is welcomed in every Indian city and rightly so, because the entire atmosphere becomes fresher and greener right after the gruelling heat of the summer. However, come monsoon, you will have to face a hoard of problems starting with stagnant water to monsoon moss in your housing society.Removing monsoon moss

During the monsoon season, the persistent moisture in the air will gradually result in the formation of moss in any structure. In a housing society, the main sections that will be affected include the roofs of buildings, walkways and stone walls.

If you observe the formation of moss over your property or anywhere else in the housing society for that matter, bringing it to the notice of the maintenance team is essential. The formation of moss can weaken the building’s structure and the foundation also becomes weaker when the issue is ignored.

Using Gutters to Control Moss


Most housing societies sport gutters along the roofs of their buildings and this can provide an effective solution for a variety of problems ranging from moss formation to fungal development along the roofs.

If the roof over your balcony or the one that slopes above your windows doesn’t have a gutter, you can take the initiative to add one yourself by hiring the right professionals. With gutters, you can take care of unnecessary rotting and moisture control as well.

Removing Moss Off the Roof


If you like rolling your sleeves up and getting things done, you can try your hand at removing moss off your roof – or you can also hire a professional who can do the same.

  • You can use a broom with soft bristles in order to lightly brush away the moss that’s present on the roof. Metal rakes can also be used for this purpose. Moss will generally have thin roots, making it easy to remove.
  • Small fragments of moss and other organic matter might be left even after you use a broom, so hosing down the roof is a good idea. This will help you eliminate all traces of moss and prevent its further development.
  • Any organic debris that’s stuck in the roof can decompose, preparing an ideal ground for moss to flourish in, so run a check and remove all debris that maybe present between the tiles.
  • Trim the branches that extend over the roof as these can deposit organic debris and also aid the formation of moss by providing shade during the already moist conditions.

Removing Moss From Brick Walls


Moss that accumulates over brick walls can grow back time and again, so you’ll need to constantly check for signs of moss and remove the same time and again.

  • Bleach can be used to remove moss of walls, and this can be used in a spray cleaning bottle.
  • Once you spray the mossy part of the wall with bleach, the moss will turn white.
  • You can then use a hose to wash off all moss from the wall. You can use power washing tools for this purpose too.

The maintenance team in any apartment complex will be in charge of attending to moss growth and ensuring its proper removal, so notifying the team regularly is an ideal thing to do.


Get your Society on ApnaComplex – 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 trail as well so that you can try before you buy!


How to Choose a Generator for Your Housing Society

Any housing society should have proper power backup facilities or generators for its residents to enjoy living in the complex on a long term basis. Power backup has become a basic necessity as lengthy power cuts have become the order of the day. Instances of power cuts can interrupt daily life especially during the tropical summer.Choosing a generator for the housing society

The worst effect of a power cut that housewives try and counter is food spoilage. Choosing a generator is not an easy task and the housing society management should carefully look into the smallest details before purchasing a generator.

Steps to Choose a Generator

Here are some simple steps that a housing society must follow while choosing a generator:

  • Identify The Need

The housing society management needs to create a rough estimate of the appliances and fixtures that need to operate even during power cuts. Generators are not installed as substitutes for a power cut, they just aid in providing the basic facilities required during load shedding.

  • Create a Financial Estimate

An estimate should also be created on the expenses involved and the amount of money that can be spent on the power backup services. This will be taken care of the housing society management too, as all residents would have paid a predefined amount for the power backup option. Money can otherwise be collected from all the permanent residents, who can then install the power backup service.

  • Compare the Types and Decide

There are different types of generators, and the housing society management should go through these types in order to determine the one that will be effective, taking the size of the housing society into account. Professional help can be useful in this regard.

There are different types of generators, including:

  • Diesel Generators
  • LPG Generators
  • Natural Gas Generators
  • Gas Generators

Depending on the size of the apartment complex, diesel or gas generators can be chosen. Comparing the advantages and disadvantages of these generators can be useful.

When choosing a generator, the housing society management must find out the wattage provided by the generator, and this is usually stamped on the electrical data plate or the motor name plate of a generator.

Inductive load appliances normally require heavy power for the initial start up. For this reason, the inductive load appliance figures need to be calculated.

Gas engine generators have an added disadvantage of carbon monoxide poisoning. Such generator units need to be placed at a safe distance from the apartments. The manufacturer might try and conceal the run time offered by a gasoline generator and this should be ideally noted.

Battery invertors are quiet options that can be used in individual houses separately. The batteries need to be recharged time and again, and they will be able to provide only limited service. Battery invertors will not be ideal for places that experience long outages.

  • Install and Test the Generator

Once the type of generator is decided upon, it can be professionally ordered and installed. Information on how to use the generator and its many functions is something that needs to be trusted with one individual. An employee can be hired to run and maintain the generator and fix any minor issues that may surface in the future.

Installing a generator is not an easy task and a lot of research should be put in before a collective decision for the housing society is made. Residents can contribute with their inputs during meetings.


Get your Society on ApnaComplex – 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 trail as well so that you can try before you buy!


Announcing ApnaComplex for Federations of Neighbourhood RWAs

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!


The Uttar Pradesh Apartment Act 2010, Rules and Model Bye-Laws

Below are copies of different official documents for apartment communities of Uttar Pradesh




Want to manage your apartment easily and financials transparently in your Housing Society? – Get on to ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s #1 mobile and web based Apartment Management Software.

ApnaComplex is designed to make the life of residents and owners lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out why we say ApnaComplex is Best Apartment Management Software and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer ApnaComplex – Free Edition with awesome capabilities which you can use free of cost forever.


Steps to Prevent Light Pollution in a Housing Society

Light pollution is a worldwide phenomenon that is often overlooked, especially in a housing society and other similar structures. In short, light pollution is misused or misdirected light. When outdoor lights in a housing society are improperly installed, the light problem of light pollution might surface due to obtrusive light.

Preventing Light Pollution in a Housing Society

Some steps need to be taken in order to prevent light pollution in a housing society. This problem can be easily resolved as long as the residents are informed and briefed about the same.

light pollution

  • Switch on the lights only when necessary. In housing societies, corridor and other outdoor lights are switched on even after daybreak. People responsible for handling such outdoor lights should be strictly instructed to switch off lights when not required.
  • The same can be applied to residents also. People should switch on the lights only when necessary so that light pollution is reduced.
  • Most housing societies have more outdoor lights than required. In this case, a closer speculation is needed and all additional lighting devices should be removed.
  • Do not go for high wattage lights when the work can be done using low wattage lights too. Use high wattage lights only when it is necessary. The maintenance team can run a check on all the unnecessary high wattage lights and uninstall these.
  • Housing societies should only use full cutoff fixtures for lighting appliances. These fixtures help the light shine towards the ground and prevent light from shooting out in tangents, causing light pollution.
  • Installing motion sensors can help the housing society management control light pollution. These motion sensors automatically switch on the lights when there is activity in the specific spot. This way, electricity charges are reduced and housing society members will be easily able to afford the cost of installing motion sensors.
  • Reflectors should be installed. Reflectors are lights which help outline a path, for example, like the driveway of a housing society. Housing society roads need have a network of lights to light up a path. These are easier to run and are not affected by power outages. They are considerably cheaper also.
  • Housing societies should try and use lights which diminish glare when the light is aimed downwards.

The housing society management should spread awareness among the residents of the society about light pollution. This will help all residents learn about the cause and support the same. Simple steps to prevent light pollution can even be inculcated in kids through interactive sessions on weekends.

An informal session conducted can also help adults work for this environmental cause.

The housing society management can ideally hold a resident meeting, where the exact timelines for switching on the outdoor lights and switching them off can be defined. Also, the lights that are used to illuminate the outdoors need not be flashy or high powered.

Light pollution can be prevented if the management, housing society residents and the maintenance team work together and put in some effort.


Want to manage your apartment easily and financials transparently in your Housing Society? – Get on to ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s #1 mobile and web based Apartment Management Software.

ApnaComplex is designed to make the life of residents and owners lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out why we say ApnaComplex is Best Apartment Management Software and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer ApnaComplex – Free Edition with awesome capabilities which you can use free of cost forever.