When a new homeowner builds their dream home on a piece of plot, they immediately enter into a long-term contract with that home for its regular maintenance and well-being.
Be it regularly cleaning the home, replacing broken electric switches, plumbing upgrades to paint refreshing, fencing, security and more, the onus remains on the homeowner to keep the home tidy and safe, as well as protect a very valuable investment. Similarly, if your dream home is in an apartment complex with all the ready-to-move-in facilities of community swimming pools, gyms, parking space, cleaning, plumbing, etc., the responsibility of the upkeep and maintenance is also shared among the homeowners within the complex or society. This is where you should be prepared for something called Society Maintenance Charges, i.e., a periodic cost that ensures all the homes within the complex are in good working order.
Through pleasant weather and bad, our homes serve as the ultimate shelter to keep us going in our lives. Just like they keep us safe, it is our responsibility as homeowners to keep a lookout for weather or water damage, safety hazards, heating, pests etc.
In an apartment complex or cooperative housing society, society maintenance charges are the monthly costs that homeowners bear for the upkeep of the communal facilities within the complex. This includes cleaning, repairing and managing elevators, bathrooms, parking spaces, open areas, swimming pools, gyms, libraries, etc. If your apartment, for example, has a greater number of communal facilities, the maintenance charges on flats will be accordingly higher. It is typically a Resident Welfare Association (RWA) or a Society Management Committee that is responsible for the collective upkeep of the communal areas and shared facilities, in addition to ensuring that society maintenance rules are being followed.
It would help if you did not make the commitment and the cost as a cause for worry, but rather as an investment to ensure a comfortable and safe living.
While the models and rules for how is maintenance calculated in society may vary from state to state, the general anatomy is similar. The same goes for society maintenance charges for tenants, who are also charged monthly or yearly for renting an apartment unit in a complex. We can probably get the best understanding from the detailed guidelines listed below, albeit, plus or minus a few in any homeowner’s case.
Apart from these, your maintenance bill of society may also include other expenses including lease rent based on per square feet, non-agricultural tax, education fund, election fund, common electricity charges, repair, maintenance fund in a housing society, etc. Of course, not all apartment complexes and housing societies are built the same. Depending on the variety, and even the sameness of apartment unit sizes, the calculation may vary per square foot.
Inclusions in the society maintenance bill are ambiguous from state to state, just like the regulations keep evolving in the Indian real estate scene. So, if you are wondering which government legislation empowers the society associations to penalize society members for not paying maintenance charges, be sure to continue to this blog’s part II for more. We will also go over the different ways for you to make the payment as per state rules in simple step-to-step guidelines, as well as on the NoBrokerHood app. Stay tuned!
Ans. The society maintenance charge is imposed on a homeowner due to management, repair, and upkeep of the communal amenities such as water, electricity, elevators, gym, parking, property tax etc. within the apartment complex or cooperative society.
Ans. Society maintenance bills can be paid in cash, but it is especially important to keep a track of the receipts of transactions done, regardless of being online or offline.
Ans. Society maintenance charges vary from state to state, depending on the size of the apartment units as well as the number of amenities provided within the apartment complex.
Ans. It is quite easy to pay society maintenance bills online through either payment gateways or even society management apps that help pay using UPI, Net Banking, Credit/Debit Cards etc.
Ans. Yes, under the RERA Act 2016, the payment of the maintenance of the society is mandatory for homeowners within the society.