Living in a housing society isn’t always a cakewalk, it comes with its share of ups and downs. And being an active member of the Management Committee (MC) holds a lot of responsibilities – from making sure the society is safe all year round to ensure its smooth functioning – there are many tasks and problems that crop up uninvited and needs one’s attention.
While some of these problems appear in the most unexpected time, a few of them are recurring issues in the lives of those who live in housing societies such as parking issues, water shortage, noisy neighbours, garbage disposal issue and so on.
Most of the time, problems arise because of a lack of communication between the committee members and residents and because societies still manage tasks manually – leading to errors and inconsistency. However, with better planning and a proactive attitude, society issues can be resolved without it reaching a boiling point.
Here are a few common problems faced by residents of housing societies:
- Parking woes: One of the most common problems that quickly escalate into arguments between residents is parking woes. Whether it is using others parking area or guests parking their vehicles haphazardly in no parking spots, this can easily be a reason to irk residents. Thus, it is important to come up with a well-thought of and well-planned strategy that benefits everyone.
Ideally, an apartment society allots one parking spot for a single vehicle. In case of shortage of parking spots, MC members take an amicable decision by drawing slots or by the first-come, first-serve basis. Legally, 5% of the space must be kept vacant for visitor parking. In case, you are facing parking problems regularly, it is essential to notify the MC members at the earliest. Write an email to them or have a discussion face-to-face. If even after this the issue is not resolved, a resident can approach the co-operative court, registrar’s office or a consumer forum.
- High Maintenance Charge: There is a set of predetermined fees that every resident of a residential society needs to pay under maintenance charge. These can include water charges, common electricity charges, parking and service charges and so on. However, it is also seen that some societies charge arbitrary amount in the name of maintenance charge, for example, asking the resident to pay more maintenance because they live in a bigger flat, or because they have pets at home.
To avoid this situation, it is necessary to take a walk-through of the exact calculations of the maintenance charge before you buy an apartment. Make sure you are absolutely clear about what exactly is included in the maintenance fee before you sign the agreement. This will relieve you from future surprises.
- Safety issues: One reason why people prefer gates communities is because of how secure it feels. However, it is not always safe – the possibility of outsiders entering the gate of a society is higher, especially, if stern security measures are not in place. It has been observed that some societies careless when it comes to planning out these measures – lapses in monitoring CCTV footages or not repairing or replacing outdated CCTV cameras, dimly lit common areas like corridors, staircase, lifts, parking area, not maintaining a visitor ledger at the gate or having a team of ineffective security guards. These mistakes can result in unwanted crimes like theft, encroachment, vandalism of society property and so on.
To avoid this, committee members should make sure to hire dependable security personnel from a reputed agency, maintain digital ledgers and have fully functional CCTV cameras in every corner of the society. Schedule and carry out annual maintenance checks and emergency drills for all residents.
You can make use of NobrokerHood’s features such as notice board, group chat and forum, complaint management and notify gate to communicate with other residents and guards in case of any society-related issues.
- Water Shortage: It is not just a society-related issue, but water shortage is an overall problem in big cities. Which makes it every individual’s duty to use water responsibly. While residents should make sure they don’t waste water and use it judiciously, committee members should ensure that available water is evenly distributed among all residents.
Though most residential complexes supply water 24/7 but sometimes the MC cuts-off water supply from the common overhead tank (to meet water shortage situation) for several hours without prior notice. This is a wrong practice – MC members must notify residents before restricting water supply. On the other hand, residents should keep an eye out for leaky taps and faucets and get them fixed immediately to avoid water wastage. MC members can use NoBrokerHood features like Notice Board to send a prior notice (of any kind) to residents. However, if water issues continue to persist, a resident has the right to approach the municipality or the cooperative court.
- Waste disposal problem: Some residents do not comply with the waste-segregation and disposal rules and often dump mixed waste carelessly. As responsible residents of a society, it is every individual’s responsibility to adopt healthy waste management practices considering that housing societies generate a huge amount of waste throughout the year.
To avoid this situation, tie-up with a private agency or make the most of local municipal corporations. However, this isn’t enough! As committee members, take it up as your responsibility to create awareness among residents and others in the society about proper segregation of waste and its management. Make sure you provide separate dustbins for wet, dry, sanitary waste and so on.
Noisy neighbours: Life in gated communities is not always peaceful. Sometimes, apartments can get overly disturbing with children playing in corridors, bachelors partying and playing loud music at odd hours and unruly neighbours getting into arguments with security guards, littering the apartment premises and so on. All this can get frustrating for other residents, especially, if no heed is given even after several complaints. MC members should highlight the housing society rules on the noticeboard. In case of an intolerable offence and if he or she is a habitual offender, the society has the right to penalise, rebuked or even evict the individual.
Problems in a housing society can either appear uninvited or are recurring. However, with a little cooperation from both parties (residents and MC), residential societies can solve every problem amicably without having local authorities interfere. Try resolving an issue with face-to-face communication, if that doesn’t help, a formal written complaint can ease out most of these issues without noise. Approaching local authorities should be your last and final resort.
Comment below to let us know if you found this article helpful. You can also visit www.nobrokerhood.com to know how we can make life in housing societies convenient, easy and safe.