4 Reasons to Buy Property this Monsoon Season!

Monsoon in India invariably means puddles, traffic jams and blocked roads. Naturally, this doesn’t sound like a good time to go apartment hunting. Well, believe it or not, this is one of the best seasons to lock in on your preferences. Here are four convincing reasons for you to brave the elements, and go looking for a house this monsoon.

Make The Best Of Monsoon Discounts

Monsoon is a dry season in terms of real estate sales. Besides the heavy rain, most people consider this time inauspicious to make big purchases. Luckily, this makes it the best time to get a good bargain. Even when the developers do not advertise it as a monsoon discount per se, most of them are more than willing to offer lower rates to serious buyers in order to clear existing inventory.  The amount of discount you can avail varies for different cities, depending on how badly the city is affected due to monsoon.

Avail Special Monsoon Home Loans

It’s not just the developers who are keen to boost their slow business during monsoon. Even banks and financial institutions are more likely to negotiate interest rates and offer attractive home loans during monsoon.

Choose The Most Ideal Locality

House hunting in monsoon will reveal a lot about the water logging problems in the locality. Driving around in a downpour will also give you an idea about traffic problems, and the time required to commute to and from that locality. This is especially helpful if you have new to a new city, and are yet to learn its quirks. Looking for a house during monsoon saves you a lot of trouble as you know what you’ll be dealing with during the next monsoon.

Inspect The Property During The Worst Season

In the case of partially or fully completed properties, inspecting the house during monsoon will give you a fair idea about its construction and reliability. You can easily spot signs of dampness or leakage, and avoid buying an ill-constructed house. Structural soundness of a building is an essential factor, as you may end up spending a huge amount on repairs if the house turns out to have water seeping problems.

Now that you know why it can be very profitable to buy a house during monsoon, you can very well put on your rain gear, and set out to find your dream home. Not only do you stand a chance at striking a real bargain, you also benefit from the lower home loan rates that are generally offered during monsoon.


GST on Co-operative Housing Societies Maintenance Dues / Common Area Expenses

Impact of GST on Co-operative Housing Societies Maintenance Dues / Corpus Fund / Common Area Expenses

Co-operative Housing Societies are merely a collecting and pass through mechanism like in case of property tax, water charges, common area repairs and maintenance etc. It can be contended that no activity is carried out by a society for its members. There may be various service providers providing service to the society which is the legal owner of the building including that of common areas, for e.g. repairs service providers, maintenance service providers, security agencies etc. Thus, the society is receiver of service and not provider of service. If a member’s flat or office premises require repairs, the same is obtained directly by the member and the society is not involved in provision of that service. Further no consideration is flowing from the members to the society except allocation and collection of expense. Any such payments without quid-pro-quo of a service cannot be liable to tax. Thus, it can be argued that even under the new dispensation, service tax is not applicable in case of a co-operative society when any activity is carried out for no consideration and the same would be continued under the GST Act.

Service tax on co-operative societies is a contentious issue. In a co-operative housing society, the land and building belongs to the society and the members by virtue of their membership of the society have right to occupy, enjoy and transfer their flats, subject to the prevailing rules and regulations and bye-laws of the society which are required to be approved by the specified authorities under the law. A co-operative housing society is a collective mechanism wherein it make payments of property tax and like payment to the municipal corporation and other Government bodies, incur some expense for common good and allocate and collect the expense in form of certain charges from the members on some basis or as per the resolutions passed in the General Body Meetings. Such collections are generally in the form of reimbursements. Some of the functions of a co-operative housing society are statutory functions like transfer of shares of the members with the underlined interest in the property (flats). It works on mutuality principles as the function of the society is for the members and by the members. Though it is not the objective, it is possible that at the end of a particular period, the society may generate some surplus which is used for members in future. In case of deficit, the same is made good by contributions from its members. However, such surplus or deficit cannot be said to be consideration for providing any service.

It is clear that a co-operative housing society collects the expenditure incurred either for some specific purpose like municipal taxes, water charges etc. on the basis of area of flats or some other appropriate basis. Such recoveries are in the nature of reimbursements. There is no element of service in case of “reimbursement of expense” and thus the charge (S. 66) fails as per the judgement of Hon’ble Delhi High Court in one of the case. If viewed in this context, service tax or GST on Co-operative Housing Societies cannot be applied on mere allocation / collection / reimbursement of expenditure. Some of the expenditures classified as follows are taxable under the current tax regime:

  1. Property Tax:

Collection of property tax is statutory levy by a municipal corporation or a local authority under the Constitution of India. A society is a mere collecting agent and pays the same to the authority. There is no element of service in it. Even assuming it as a service, it is not provided for a consideration. Hence service tax is not leviable. As an abundant caution, the society should ensure that the amount collected from the members does not exceed the actual amount. Same taxability would be continued under the GST Act.

  1. Maintenance and Repair Charges:

‘Maintenance’ as the name suggest is the amount collectively reimbursed to the society to upkeep and maintain the building and premises on regular basis. The members of the society pay maintenance charges on some predetermined basis as decided in the General Body Meeting. Electricity charges for common areas, watchman or security charges and other miscellaneous expenses incurred by the society including accounting, audit etc. is part of maintenance charges. Service tax may be applicable on this. If the actual service provider in relation to any input service, charges service tax in his bill, the society would be eligible to take CENVAT credit of the same and the same taxability would be continued under the GST Act.

  1. Parking Charges:

Car parking is in relation to regulate the parking place between the members and providing of space by use of vacant land belonging to the society for a consideration. There is an element of service in it and thus service tax may be leviable and the same taxability would be continued under the GST Act.

  1. Water Charges:

Water is “goods” under the Sales of Goods Act, 1935. However, the society is not selling the water to its members. It is just providing the pipeline to deliver water in the members’ premises. So long as it is collecting actual amounts as charged by the municipal corporation, there may not be any consideration. Therefore, charges recovered from members on actual basis are not liable to service tax. In the event of collection of water charges exceeding the payments, only such extra amount can be chargeable to service tax. In relation to water for common use like swimming pool, garden, club house etc., it is advisable to have separate meter and separate collection from the members. Such charges for use of water for common purpose may be liable to service tax and the same taxability would be continued under the GST Act.

  1. Charges for use of Club House, Swimming Pool, etc.:

These are specific services by the society to the member opting for such facilities. Any consideration paid for this would be liable to service tax and the same taxability would be continued under the GST Act.

  1. Share Transfer Fees and Donations:

Share transfer fees are the amount charged by the society for transfer of shares when a member approaches for its consent for transfer of his flat. It falls within the definition of service as a consideration for an activity carried out for the member for transfer of his lat. There is an element of service in it and service tax may be leviable on the same and the same taxability would be continued under the GST Act.

  1. Sinking Fund:

It is a fund which is collected by the members of the society to set aside money over a time of period to meet the eventuality of reconstruction of the building. It is obligatory for a housing society to collect Sinking Fund under the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, 1960 and rules made thereunder. The fund collected from a member is transferred to new member if the original member ceases to be a member. No definite service or contractual obligation is involved so far as collection of sinking fund is concerned. It’s a mere collection from the members of the society.

  1. Repair Fund/Painting Fund:

Like sinking fund, this is also a mere collection to meet eventuality of major repair expenditure in future. There is no promise to provide a definite service with any identified time frame. No expense is also identified. It is also not sure that a member from whom the repair fund is collected would be a receiver of service at the time when it is actually provided. The agreement to provide service to the member is absent. However, as an abundant caution, the society should bring out this candidly in the resolution pertaining to collection of repair fund to avoid any ambiguity.

  1. Non Occupancy Charges

Non occupancy charges are charges levied by a housing society only when a flat or unit is let out by its members. A unit in a co-operative Housing Society is for occupation and enjoyment of its members. The permission of the society is necessary when the unit is let out. The society may accord its permission in accordance with the provision of its bye-laws and on payment of some periodical charge. Such charge is a consideration for agreeing to let out its premises and may be liable to service tax. Thus any consideration for allowing a member to let out his premises may be liable to service tax under the relevant clause of the Finance Act, 1994 and the same taxability would be continued under the GST Act.

In terms of above discussion, all the charges upon which service tax is leviable if it exceeds the limit of Rs. 5,000 p.m. per member in a housing society. If a person owns two flats, for all practical purpose it would be considered as two members. The exemption would be accordingly computed and then the remaining would be liable to service tax and the same taxability would be continued under the GST Act.

Rate of Tax and Exemption Benefit under GST

As per existing Tax structure currently service tax is charged @ 15% & whereas as per proposed GST tax @ 18% will be charged on Supply of Services but in existing tax structure assesses is not able to take the input tax credit benefit of goods & services whereas in proposed GST system assesses will be able to take credit of supply of both goods & services which will cover difference of additional 3% GST on Co-operative Housing Societies up to a level.

However, the exact rates applicable to particular goods and services have not been yet finalized for GST on Co-operative Housing Societies.

Update on 31st May 2017:

Following exemptions are provided under the GST Regime for Housing societies (Source : Schedule of GST Rates for Services)

  • In case of a housing society or residential complex, the exemption is limited to 5,000 p.m. per member for sourcing of goods or services from a third person for the common use of its members.
  • Total Maintenance Recovery from members of the Society is less than 20 Lakhs per Annum.

RWA / Housing societies will need to charge 18% GST to its members if maintenance recovery is more than Rs.5,000/- per month per member AND if total maintenance recovery by the society exceeds Rs. 20 lakhs per annum. Accordingly, societies who fulfill either of the conditions will need to register under GST and charge 18% on their collections from Members from July 1st on wards. Please note that the Rs. 5,000/- per member per month exemption was available in the Service Tax regime as well and is being continued under GST regime.

Update on 13th July 2017:

Govt. has issued a press note on GST applicability on RWAs. You can read the press release here – http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=167386

GST needs to be levied only if monthly maintenance per member crosses Rs. 5,000/- and annual collection is more than 20 Lakhs. This blog post is updated accordingly.

ApnaComplex strongly recommends Housing Societies to talk to their respective auditors and get professional advice to understand the actual impact for your Society and if you need to register for GST. 


**Visit GST Section on ApnaComplex Help site to see answers to various frequently asked questions on GST**


Disclaimer: This information is offered as a public service. While we try to make it accurate as possible as on the date of publication, the laws change and more importantly the way we interpret laws could also change. We cannot promise that this information is always up-to-date and correct. We strongly recommend you to consult appropriate professional advisers to understand the actual impact for your society. We are not responsible for any actions or non-actions that are done by you based on the information present in this article or any other article on this blog.


Goods and Services Tax - Real Estate - ApnaComplex

Impact of GST on Co-operative Housing Society and Real Estate

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.

GST on Co-operative Housing Societies

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.


Occupancy Certificate and Partial Occupancy Certificate – All you need to know

When one purchases property to move into, or for investment purposes, its pros and cons come along with it. Formalities need to be completed and documents, such as an occupancy certificate or a partial occupancy certificate, need to be procured before one transports their belongings all the way across the country or hires movers to move them from the opposite building. These two documents are just as important as the rest, if not more.

 

Partial-Occupancy-Certificate-Before-Moving

 

On completion of a building / project, the builder must apply for OC to the local authority in charge. An occupancy certificate is issued to him, stating that the residences in the buildings constructed by him are fitted with all the facilities and utilities as promised at the time of construction. This means that the premises are fit for occupancy.

home-energy-audit

But when does the need for a partial occupancy certificate arise?

A partial occupancy certificate comes into the picture when there are blocks or phases of large projects to be developed with varying completion dates. When the construction of one phase is completed, the concerned authority grants a Partial OC to the builder after thorough inspection of the building. Similarly, phases that are completed after that are given a Partial OC as well.

 

partial-occupancy-certificate

 

A Partial OC is replaced by a consolidated document called the OC (Occupancy Certificate) stating that the entire project has reached its completion point and is now deemed fit for occupancy. All the Partial OCs for that particular project become invalid once the Final OC has been granted. Until then, they act as the OC for that particular phase. The concept of Partial OC has always existed but it is becoming increasingly significant nowadays, since townships and other residential areas are being built in phases.

 

An OC and a Partial OC certify compliance to –

 

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAJxAAAAJDhjNDkyMmViLTI2ZDQtNGQ0Zi1iYjcxLTM2ZWZjNTIwNTQyOQ

 

  • Fire Service Department
  • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
  • Pollution Control Board (including Sewage Treatment Plant)
  • Forest Department
  • Parking regulations
  • Electricity Board (including elevators)
  • Waste Disposal and Management facilities
  • Rainwater harvesting facilities
  • Airports Authority clearance, if the project is within the range of an airport

 

house-health-check

 

 

How does an OC come into the picture at the time of redevelopment?

If there is redevelopment taking place or there are additional floors to be built, the developer obtains a Partial OC for every flat on every floor that is constructed and ready for possession. This Partial OC is also replaced by a final OC at the time of completion of project. If, for whatever reason, the project has not been completed or was unable to be finished within the specified duration or permissible time limit, construction should be stopped. After that, an inspection will follow, based on which a final OC will be granted to the residents.

 

Partial Occupancy Certificate

 

Importance of OC and Partial Occupancy Certificate:

  • Legal and immediate possession of a flat is valid only if there is the OC or Partial OC to show for it.
  • Builders cannot hand over flats to buyers without receiving the OC from the concerned authority in charge.
  • Without an OC, buyers / owners are not eligible for any insurance or compensation claims.
  • Possession of a Partial OC lets one apply for sanitary, water and electricity connections. Even if these facilities have been made available without an OC, they are liable to get disconnected.
  • OC is generally required to get a home loan sanctioned by a financial institution. With a Partial OC, one may not get an approval for their home loan.
  • Application for Partial OCs and OCs need to be submitted within 30 days of completion of the project / phase. The local authority, in turn, must respond within 30 days of receipt of the application, providing an acceptance or rejection and reasons for the same. The OC is a necessity when one wishes to sell their flat.
  • An OC or Partial OC tells you about the extent of deviation from the sanctioned plan and acts as an assurance to its regularisation, if the violations are within 5 percent of –
    (1) the setback that is to be provided around the building
    (2) plot coverage
    (3) floor area ratio
    (4) height of the building.
    The deviations are regularised after the modified plan is approved by the authority in charge.

 

If you have purchased a flat that is under the phased development plan, insist on getting a Partial OC. This is valid until the project is under construction. Then make sure you replace it with an OC once it is completed. Keeping these important documents safe and available whenever they are required is of utmost importance. These are synonymous with other necessary compliance that ensures the safety of the flat and the quality of facilities that are being provided. The amenities and services that a flat owner receives must live up to the quality that was promised by the builder. Getting an OC / Partial OC helps to acknowledge this.

 

check-house

 

Thoughts and comments

If you have any thoughts on the partial occupancy certificate, please do share them with us by commenting below.
Visit http://www.apnacomplex.com for more.

Carpet Cleaning Tips As Per Different Types Of Smears

Got a carpet for your home but it doesn’t look new anymore? These tips will teach you how to clean your carpet effectively and get back that brand new look.

 

  • Regular clean-ups:

    • Your carpet is the main focus of your room. So, keeping it clean by vacuuming it at least once a week or fortnightly is a habit that will extend the life of your carpet.
    • Prevent dust accumulation by doing so, especially if there are children in the house.

how to clean your carpethow to clean your carpet

 

  • Affairs in odour:

    • Baking soda is a regular for getting rid of odours in general and it works just as well on carpets.
    • If your carpet is unattached to the floor, drying it in the sun is the most natural way to get rid of a stench.
    • Another option would be to add 5-7 drops of your favourite essential oil to any cleaning concoction, spritz the carpet and vacuum after a few minutes.

how to clean your carpet how to clean your carpet

 

  • Mould / Mildew:

    • A mixture of lemon juice and salt or hydrogen peroxide (3% or less) and water will help in killing the fungi that cause moulds.
    • A non-chlorine bleach would work just as well but testing it out on an inconspicuous area of the carpet first is advisable.

how to clean your carpet

 

  • Accidental spills:

    how to clean your carpet

    The best way to reduce damage to the carpet due to a spill is by absorbing most of the liquid as quickly as possible with a dry, white cloth. 

     

    • Never rub a stain as it will reinforce the stain/debris into the carpet and wreck the carpet fibres. We cannot stress more on this fact.
    • Work your way inward by starting the blotting process from the edges of the spill.
    • In case of food, pick it up off the carpet and pat the area lightly with a soft, clean paper towel.
    • Apply dry baking soda on the area and let it sit until it foams and pat the area again.
    • Do not rub the stain as it will push the matter deeper inside and make it extremely ugly and difficult to work with later.how to clean your carpet
    • Wine stains can be taken out by first applying cold water and then by using –
      • A generous amount of salt to absorb the liquid
        OR
      • A mixture of a lower concentration of hydrogen peroxide (upto 3%) and dish soap. This is best saved for light coloured fabrics as hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent. Spray soapy water and subsequently, lukewarm water after that.
        OR
      • White wine / vodka dilutes the red colour when applied instantly to the red wine spill. Blot the area with a sponge and apply a thick baking soda paste on it. Cover the stain with a clean cloth and apply slight pressure to it. Let it sit overnight and vacuum the baking soda once it is dry.how to clean your carpet
    • Coffee and other stains can be taken out by using ordinary shaving cream or a liberal amount of club soda and letting it stay for a few minutes before spraying it with water.

how to clean your carpet

 

  • Ink blot:

    • Pure alcohol will make your ink worries disappear, because that’s where the magic of alcohol lies. Use alcohol on the ink stain to release it from the fibres.
    • Always blot ink or any other liquid from the outside to the inside to avoid spreading the spill.
    • Shaving cream can also be used to get rid of an ink blot. But, make sure you get rid of the foam that is formed by adding water, dabbing gently and vacuuming.
how to clean your carpet how to clean your carpet

 

  • Greasy smears:

    • Corn flour can help to get rid of sticky messes on the carpet as it dries out the stickiness. But, it must be used immediately.
    • Chewing gum and other sticky substances can also be taken off by using an ice cube to harden them first.

how to clean your carpethow to clean your carpet

 

  • Wane wax:

    • Do not fret if wax has dripped onto your precious carpet, especially if it has dried up. Heating it will make it come off just as easily. Place a white cloth over it and iron the cloth for a little less than 30 seconds to warm it up, so that you can scrape it off with a butter knife.

how to clean your carpet
how to clean your carpet

 

  • Oil aboard / Crying over crayon:

    • One teaspoon of dishwashing liquid (without bleach) should be diluted in one cup of water and sprayed onto the carpet and blotted until the oil / crayon stain lifts.

how to clean your carpet how to clean your carpet

 

  • Blood work:

    • Paper cuts or other causes of blood drops on your carpet shouldn’t raise your blood pressure since the dried blood can be made loose with a concoction of water and a mild detergent. It can then be scraped off. The remaining blood can be removed with hydrogen peroxide. Foaming is normal on application. Blot with a dry towel to finish up.

how to clean your carpet

 

  • Pet peeves:

    • The most well-trained furry friends can accidentally muck up the carpet. One easy, but gradual, DIY solution to this is to create a blend of 30ml of water, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1/2 a cup of citrus fruit peels (like oranges or lemons) in a container. Shake it well and let it sit for 3 months (you read that right) and your naturally prepared suspension will be ready for a cleaning.

how to clean your carpet how to clean your carpet

 

  • Throw ups:

    • Blot as much as you possibly can and dilute it with club soda or baking soda. Then apply 1 tablespoon of ammonia to 10 tablespoons of water and spray it on the soiled area. Let it sit for a few minutes, spray cold water over it and then blot again. Vacuum the area after it has dried.

how to clean your carpet how to clean your carpet

 

  • Water trouble:

    • We know that most of the remedies we have given you make use of water. But, that is because your carpet has already been ruined. Water ruins carpet texture so keep it as far as it can be kept from carpets, unless it is needed for cleaning.
    • In case of a spill, blot the area and absorb as much water as possible with a dry cloth or paper towels.
    • If there is excess moisture in the carpet, place thick white towels on the spot and weigh them down with a heavy object like a big book to add some pressure.

how to clean your carpethow to clean your carpet

 

Quick suggestions:

  • As much as you might have heard about vinegar being a good stain remover, avoid using it since it contains acid and that could ruin the carpet’s delicateness.
  • One obvious piece of advice that we’d like to remind you of is to test any new cleaning method on a small area first.
  • To prevent the carpet from catching rust stains from furniture, place a foil or plastic sheet beneath the legs.
  • If your carpet has lost some colour in the cleaning process, touch it up with a little acrylic paint, felt pens or permanent marker.

 

While looking to buy a home, one of the first things a buyer notices is the condition of the carpet. So, keeping it well-maintained will increase the chances of a sale you’ve been wanting to bag.

how to clean your carpet

 

These solutions cover, pretty much, every carpet complication that could arise and are enough to get you through the tough day you might need them for. Hopefully, you don’t wonder about how to clean your carpet on such a day. Bookmark this guide to access it whenever you need to. Until then, you learn something new every day.

 

Do let us know if you have any additional information relevant to carpet cleaning in the comment section below.

 

how to clean your carpet

 


Things to keep in mind when looking to rent a flat

There are many things one must consider before choosing to rent a flat in any apartment building. We, at Apnacomplex, list out the things we think you should keep in mind before renting that flat.

  1. Budget – Always consider your budget carefully before deciding to take up any flat on rent. The things to consider would be; gross rent paid, deposit, maintenance, and upkeep. All those things need to factor into your decision to rent out a flat.  Generally, things work up to 1.2x of the gross rent. So assuming your rent to be 10000 per month, you’ll eventually end up paying 12000 per month all things included. Once you know what the rent of your new flat will be, factor in your household income. As a rule of thumb, it is ok to spend 30% of your household income on rent in any given month. Once you have your budget sorted out, looking for a place can be much easier and less time consuming.Know your budget
  2. Broker Vs. No broker – getting a local broker can be a good way to increase your awareness of apartments in your area of choice. But then there’s the dreaded issue of brokerage, the one thing we never wish to pay (Trust me, I’m regretting paying brokerage as I write this article). Going on online sites can be a healthy start too, but what you see is not always what you get with online real estate listings, so it might take you longer than anticipated when you take that route. The only trait you’ll need is patience and you might just find the right fit searching online. In our experience, some of the best deals are available on classified newspapers and online portals (Please check https://www.apnacomplex.com/classifieds). You’ll be surprised at the deals you find there.Consider a broker carefully
  3. Be specific – If you’re experienced in renting out a place, you’ll probably be aware of these factors more or less, if not, then here’s the stuff that you’ll need to make that house a home.
    1. Check the amount of noise in that area – having religious institutions nearby might be good for your piety but can have a disastrous effect on your sleep schedule.
    2. Check if household services are available in that area – From dry cleaning to housekeepers, there are many areas where these basic services are difficult to come by, so ensure that you’re not making your life more difficult in the future.
    3. Check power outage cycles – some areas are notorious for a number of power cuts that occur there. So make sure your apartment provides for power backup or there are limited power outages there.
    4. Check water limitations – Water is considered the element of life, so maybe having a check on whether your apartment is equipped with rainwater harvesting or has some water facility to meet demand and supply will benefit you. Else you won’t have to option but to literally air your dirty laundry.Check if there's water in the flat
  4. Check the contract – Contracts are mandatory if you’re taking a flat on rent legally. Yes, we’re putting it that way because taking a flat legally benefits you more than the landlord. Here is a snapshot of things you need to look out for while taking you flat on rent:
    1. Contract dates – check when your contract starts and ends. Yes, you’ll be surprised at how many people miss this.
    2. Termination clauses – This is the most highlight-able area of your rental contract. Check to see if “My sister wants to come and stay” is a valid reason. Else, you can’t be evicted if you pay your rent on time.
    3. Penalties – Generally most flats have a one month rent as a penalty from their deposit. But make sure you’re aware of that clause in your contract.
    4. Repairs – Most contracts are segregated into major repairs and minor repairs. Major repairs are undertaken by the owner and minor repairs are undertaken by the tenant. So be sure to look out for that.
    5. Guests – Check to see if there’s any limitation on guests allowed. Contracts generally mirror society rules on such issues, so if your society limits guests then it’s better that you’re aware of what needs to be done.
    6. Rent renewal – arguably the most important part of your contract, check on the terms of a renewal. If there’s no renewal clause, push for it to be added in. Assuming you’re not going to move out of the house for the foreseeable future, it’s unjust to randomly have your rent increased on renewal. In our experience, most landlords settle for an annual 5% increase in rent year on year.
    7. Get everything in writing – Most landlords make blanket promises when giving out their house, make sure you get these promises/guarantees in writing, taking someone at their word can be good for relationships but remember, you’re looking for a house, not a friend.Contracts are important - Read carefully
  5. Inspect your flat – A lot of issues with your apartment can be hidden from a simple look. Inspect these things properly before deciding on whether or not to take the place.
    1. Pipes – make sure there are no blockages and the pipes work smoothly.
    2. Electrical fittings – See if the lights and fans work properly. It’s common courtesy for your landlord to provide these. Else, make it clear on who pays to fix it.
    3. Faucets and shower heads – Sometimes these basic fittings don’t work and nobody checks it out before renting out a place and moving in. Be sure to check these facilities in your prospective flat.
    4. Cracked windows or broken walls – If you can live with a cracked window or a broken wall, then it’s still fine. But make sure you keep photos of these issues before taking up a place. Those photos will come in handy when you’re vacating, trust us on this.Inspect your house carefully
  6. Rules and regulations – Although your landlord may be okay with these things, sometimes the housing society can have a lot of issues with some of the things you want. For example, you might not be allowed to keep pets in your house or you might not be allowed to throw a party. These are things that you should ideally check beforehand. It’s wiser if you ask the landlord these things than asking the society directly. (In Mumbai a lot of Societies require you to give an interview before being able to take a house on rent, so additional caution is advised there)Pets are people too
  7. Negotiate – A lot depends on who your landlord is and whether or not they’re ready to negotiate on the price. If it’s a person who owns a lot of property and runs this as a business, you’re going to find it harder to negotiate a better deal for yourself. If it’s an individual that is just looking to supplement their household income, play hardball, you’ll come out on top. Most landlords also practice up-selling their houses, so negotiating could make your deal sweeter than you think. Keep your poker face while negotiating
  8. Check if your apartment society is smart enough – Last but not the least, check if your prospective apartment complex is listed on http://www.apnacomplex.com by searching for it. If it is, then you’ll notice how simpler your life becomes once you live there. If not, then there’s always something you can do about it; like referring the software to you society or searching for a different apartment altogether.

Is your apartment earthquake resistant?

earthquake2With the earthquake once again hitting the Northern belt of India and creating mass destruction in Nepal, a very big question that comes in everyone’s mind is how earthquake resistant are apartments or individual houses? Is one safe in the current house or apartment one is staying currently?

Based on the frequency of earthquake occurrence and its intensity, India has been divided into various zones. These zones point at the seismic coefficient that are adopted for building design across the country.

The earthquake zones have been divided based on the subjective estimates available from tectonics and geologists in India.

The Northern belt and specifically Delhi/NCR lies in zone IV that has high seismicity wherein the earthquake that occurs is generally of 5-6 magnitude. The one that came yesterday, May 12, Tuesday was very high of about 7.3 magnitude in Nepal, which damaged the buildings up to a great extent. Delhi/NCR also got some major jolts from the earthquake. Moreover, it lies among the high-risk areas prone to earthquakes. The buildings in Delhi/NCR must be designed in such a way that they can at least resist earthquake of about 4.5 magnitudes on a Richter scale. However, are the buildings earthquake resistant? How do you check before buying an apartment or an individual house?

Before buying how to check whether a multi-storey flat will be earthquake resistant or not? 

When you are buying a flat in a multi-storey building, it’s almost impossible for you to check whether you are buying a flat in an earthquake resistant building or not. So, mostly you have to just trust the builder’s take on this. As per experts, every flat cannot be tested whether it is earthquake resistant or not. However, the entire building can be tested for earthquake resistance. Get the building structural design from the builder and ask the experts to check the same. In case, approved you can go ahead with your buying process. However, ensure the builder uses quality construction material.

Before buying a plot how to check whether the house built on a plot will be earthquake resistant or not?

If you are planning to buy a plot to build a house on the same, you have a golden chance to make your house earthquake resistant. The most important in this case, would be soil testing as it will typically, indicate how much weight the soil would be able to bear, clearly pointing to the number of floors that can be built on the land. Essentially, it would help you measure the “weight bearing capacity” of the soil.

These days frame structure is used as an alternative to the load-bearing structure for building houses resistant to earth quakes. As a result, the entire building is grounded on a column, which is placed 2 ½ meters under the ground. Moreover, it is essential to insert beam in floor and lintel level, top level and windows in side level. The bars in the column should be minimum 12 mm thick with about 900/900 foundation.

Who can help you do the soil testing?

 There are quite a few private and semi-government agencies that do soil testing. This task is also performed by autonomous insurance surveyors. Some of the answers you would get from soil testing –

  • How much per-square centimeter load can the soil afford?
  • Is the house construction possible on the soil type?
  • Accurate ratio of weight bearing capacity and water level?

After testing and investigation, the Surveyor and Building Design Structural Department issue a clearance certificate. In case, any major damage is caused to the building the concerned department is bound to be held responsible for the same.

Ensure you make your house earthquake-resistant and full-proof yourself from the unexpected costs that may arise due to a major earthquake.


Is the real estate bill really needed in India?

Real Estate BillThe Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill had become the need of the hour. The government realized the fact that buyer expectations were not being met by the developer community. Issues such as not getting refund after cancellations, project specifications change, and delay in apartment delivery were being faced by consumers on a day-to-day basis.

The real estate industry is one industry that has been operated in a biased manner towards the developer community. With the bill coming in place, developers will cooperate and start working within a framework conducive to both developers and buyers. The bill is supposed to make the entire transaction more transparent and fair.

What all does the real estate bill cover for increased transparency?

  • Every state needs to set up a Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA).
  • Property developers will be required to upload project details such as site as well as layout plan to authority’s website.
  • Without registering with the RERA, a builder cannot sell apartments in a project.
  • No structural changes can be made to the project plan without the consent of two-thirds of the buyer, which bring design-discipline in builders.
  • About 50% of buyer’s money is expected to be kept in an escrow account to be used only for project construction, ensuring developers don’t divert fund from one project to another.
  • A clause of “right to claim refund with an interest” has been introduced in the bill in case of failure of project delivery. This clause is expected to act as a deterrent for to cancellations and delay in projects.

A very positive point about the real estate bill is that even buyers are expected to perform their obligations as enumerated in the buyer agreement.

The reason why real estate bill was really needed was that some builders have brought disrepute to the entire real estate industry. As a result, the honest developers also get categorized in the segment of developers who don’t abide by laws and still continue to sell property to customers. The bill is expected to eliminate the black sheep of real estate industry.

The central regulation will attract the right set of real estate players. The developers will be expected to abide by laws and the ones who don’t abide by the same will not survive.

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

Source: ForbesIndia


Investments in Indian real estate sector slumps by 6 percent in the last four years, Assocham survey reveals

DeclineInvestments from various private and public sources in the Indian real estate sector have slumped by 6 percent in the last four years, a survey by Assocham revealed. Investments in the real estate fell from Rs Rs 15.2 lakh crore in 2011-12 to Rs Rs 14.3 lakh crore in 2014- 2015.

As per a poll conducted by Assocham, the real estate projects that grabbed about 76% of the investments remained non-starter during the 2011-12 to 2014-2015 period.

The top 5 states that grabbed the maximum share in total real estate investments are:

  • Maharashtra – 21%
  • UP – 14%
  • Gujarat – 13%
  • Karnataka – 12%
  • Haryana – 8%

Clocking a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 82 per cent, Assam has recorded maximum growth in attracting investments in the real estate sector during 2011-12 and 2014-15 followed by Bihar (19 per cent), Odisha (17 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (16 per cent) and Uttarakhand (12 per cent) amid top five states in this regard.

The states that registered maximum fall in real estate investments are:

  • Jharkhand – 40%
  • Himachal Pradesh – 37%
  • MP – 29%
  • Haryana – 16%
  • Gujarat – 7%

The survey was based on the feedback taken from 100 big and small realty companies based in top cities such as Pune, Mumbai, Lucknow, Jaipur, Indore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Ahemdabad to ascertain the budget implications.

About 75% of the real estate developers were unhappy with the government’s lack of focus on improving demand and supply situation in the real estate sector. The survey also indicated that the realty sector was disappointed with exclusion of 100 Smart Cities plan from the Union Budget.

In addition, the increase in service tax rate to 14% will make the real estate more expensive and impact the sales as well since it would decrease the purchasing power of an average consumer.

Real estate developers are also concerned about increase in service tax on construction and excise duty on input goods, as also increased on petrol and diesel coupled with increase in freight rates on cement will lead to rise in construction costs.

Referring to urgent need for speeding up procedural requirements for real estate sector, the real estate industry has pressed for a single window clearance system for various approvals leading to operational efficiencies and cost saving, along with need for a predictable and stable policy framework. Ownership-wise, private sector accounted for 85 per cent of the total investments attracted by the real estate sector across India while government/public sources accounted for remaining share of merely 15 per cent.

Source: Economic Times 


Real Estate Bill Ready for Cabinet Nod

RealEstateBillThe NDA government led by BJP is now all set to push the real estate bill to curb black money circulation in the real estate sector. The bill also talks about commencing a buyer grievance redressal system.

The government wants to make the sector consumer friendly for the middle class by making the real estate transactions more transparent and ensuring that this particular sector does not cater only to the rich.

As per government sources, Narendra Modi seems to be keen on the real estate bill expedition since it will protect the consumers from the dubious players in the real estate market.

In December 2014, the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill had come up in the cabinet, but was deferred. Presently, a new cabinet note is ready for government’s approval.

Housing and Urban Poverty alleviation, the nodal ministry has removed the bar on buyers approaching consumer forum in case of any dispute. By addressing concerns over project completion timeline, redressal and funding transparency, the bill aims to help genuine buyers.

Under the new government, the ministry, after discussions with stakeholders, sent a note for the Union Cabinet’s approval in December. The Modi government amended the UPA bill to cover commercial properties. The earlier bill covered only residential real estate. The government also snipped the quantum of receivables from buyers that have to be kept in escrow account for other ventures from 70 per cent to 50 per cent, to ensure that consumers’ money was not diverted to other projects before delivering the earlier ones.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court had also expressed concern over the delay in setting up a real estate regulator to keep a check on activities of realtors.

Source: Hindustan Times