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.
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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.