One of the expenses of living in a gated community is the maintenance fee. It is the price one must pay to avail of the amenities and facilities. As a regular expense, it can significantly raise your cost of living. Hence, it’s important to understand society maintenance charges and what they consist of.
What are society maintenance charges?
Maintenance charges are imposed on homeowners for the upkeep and repair of communal spaces and utilities like lifts, clubhouses, and generators. The calculations and inclusions in maintenance charges can differ from one society to another.
Landlord or tenant- who pays the maintenance charges?
The responsibility of paying the maintenance charges depends on the micro-market customs. For instance, it is typically included in the total home rent in Mumbai. Hence, the landlord is responsible for making the payment. In Bengaluru, the onus of paying the maintenance charges usually lies with the tenant.
Irrespective of your location, it is always advisable to fix this responsibility in the rental agreement. Find out more about the importance of a rental agreement here.
What does maintenance consist of?
Maintenance charges can vary to some degree according to the society’s size and its bye-laws. However, broadly they will include:
- Expenses covering the repair and maintenance of buildings and assets like lifts.
- Parking charges
- Property tax
- Water bill
- Sinking fund
- Non-occupancy charges (where the homeowner is not residing in the home)
- Service charges such as housekeeping and security
- Other charges, such as election funds.
What are the criteria for calculating society maintenance charges?
Maintenance charges are often one of the biggest sources of conflict in gated communities. Reasons can range from disagreement over the inclusions to the mode of calculations and the amount charged. Hence, it’s important to understand how these are charged. There are three main criteria in calculating maintenance charges:
Based on size: The common practice is to fix the charges as per the size of the apartment or home. Unfortunately, this can often lead to conflict if the amount is disproportionately high for residents with larger flats.
Equal charges: This fee, based on a certain formula, is common in residential complexes where all the houses are almost the same size.
Hybrid charges: The hybrid system is a combination of fixed and variable amounts. Some components are calculated based on the size of a unit while other are levied equally. For instance, common amenities like swimming pools and lifts are fixed equally. Other factors like additional parking space, repair and maintenance charges may be decided as per the size of the unit. This is seen as a fairer system as the size of a unit is considered only when applicable.
Is it mandatory to pay society maintenance charges?
Are you liable to pay maintenance even if your flat is lying vacant? Yes, if the society bye-laws specify so. In fact, the society can impose a reasonable penalty for non-payment of charges. They can also initiate legal proceedings to recover dues with interest.
Know your society maintenance charges with ApnaComplex
Find out about your gated society maintenance charges by checking the bye-laws in the ApnaComplex app. You can find them under the ‘My Unit’ tab in the bottom navigation panel.
Given the importance of maintenance charges, it is also critical that the responsibility for its payment is specified in the rental agreement. Defaults can result in large penalties for the landlord. At the same time, tenants can lose access to communal amenities and facilities. ApnaComplex Rentals offers end-to-end support that includes assistance with finalising a rental agreement.
Write to us at email@example.com if you want to know more about ApnaComplex Rentals.