Methods to calculate maintenance fee and charges in apartment complexes

Apartment owners and tenants have to pay maintenance fee for the amenities and service enjoyed by them in their apartment. Expense incurred for the maintenance of common area is shared among residents of apartment and income is distributed among apartment owners. Apartment owners form an association for collecting the maintenance fee and association works for the welfare of owners and residents of apartment.

Under flat monthly fee, apartment owners association or society calculates sum or total maintenance charge and divides equally among all flat owners. In an apartment, there maybe flats with different sizes. Under this system irrespective of size of the flat, all flat owners will be paying equal maintenance fee. This system is generally followed where apartments are of the same size (Sq.


ft).

Variable rate would be depending on square feet of each apartment or flat. Under this method, rate or fee varies depending on square feet owned by apartment owners. Larger the square feet owned, higher will be monthly maintenance fee. This is widely practiced in Apartment societies with different sizes of apartments. The general logic behind being that since you have bought the flat based of the sq. ft.area, you must pay the maintenance on the same basis.

Under this method, association or society charges flat rate for a limit square feet and each additional unit will be charged extra. For e.g.: Flat owners who owns up to 1000 sqft will be charged fixed rate and for addition of 100 sqft will charged extra 2 per cent. In this case, all flat owners with 1000 sqft pay equal amount but flat owners of 1100sqft, 1200 sqft and 1500 sqft pay different amount towards monthly maintenance fee.

The common expenses will include the amounts determined to be payable as such by the Society or Association. It includes expenses such as expense of administration, maintenance, repair or replacement of common areas and facilities. So long as there is no dispute, any system acceptable to all the apartment owners can be implemented on the basis of agreement or consensus.

I have purchased a shop (total area 295sq ft) in Nerul in Aug 2009. The building is 4 floors and has 12 to 15 houses and 6 shops. The builder has not collected maintenance charges till date.The society had not been formed since last 3 years.Now the society has been formed in May 2012. The committee comprises of all the members who have flats in the society. They have now started collecting maintenance from all the society members. The society wants me to pay the maintenance due from 2009 till today.The charges decided by the society is Rs 1.50 psf per month for the flat owners and Rs 2.50 psf per month for shop owners. For me this amount would work about to be Rs 27000. Also the society plans to increase it to Rs 3.00 psf per month for shop owners from Jan 2013.The shop owners do not enjoy any facilities from the society. i.e No sweeper, no common toilet, no security, no water connection,no lift and stairs is being used etc. In fact the building has a separate entrance and we don’t have the need to enter the building premises at all. I have the following queries

Any difference between Maintenance & Service? I am the president of one housing society. We had applied the calculation based on SFT of your common area which is in our case is 20% plinth area. we have flats of different sizes . 8-9 floor duplex &1-7 floor all are 3 BHK of different size.The society after discussion presented in GBM & the model was passed by majority.8-9 floor residents are not in agreement & not ready to pay , in the share of duplex they have to pay 6000-8000 /pm,3bhk-3000-4000.Subsequent GBMs were very unruly /agressive/bad behaviour. duplex brought out the model not as per sft it puts their cost burden on small sft appartments(Rs90-800)/pm from the exisisting sft rate.Their model has reduced their burden byINR 2500-4000. They have now stated if other residents do not agree we will not pay any maintenance.As per bye laws of the registered society fine of INR1000 has been imposed by the management committee. Now other residents are saying if 8th floor people do not pay cut their services as per bye laws & AP Act 1987 or we will also not pay resulting in non payment to vendors who are extending services.Even paying mandatory bills of water/elec(common area)/deisal for DG will not be possible. Can you guide us to resolve the lockjam.

Builders are now selling multistory flats even in tier-2/3 cities as well. Unfortunately, there exist no law in many of the states that gives any proper guidelines to flat owners to form their societies and run it properly without getting into controversies and legal battles. I have read the post and the comments here. When I purchased a flat in a tier-2 city, to be frank, I never thought of the headache that it would create later. The headache was that none of the owner’s knew how to maintain their building after the builder sold of all the flats and washed his hands from the responsibility of providing the much needed maintenance services viz., lift, security, cleaning, water and electricity charges and the like. It took a lot of time for educating those few owners who lived there (the majority being tenants) in the formation of an owners’ society and getting it registered. The task of preparing the bye-laws fell on me. I had studied the situation in detail and prepared the bye-laws and got it registered. Our society becoming the first of its kind in that city to have a registered owners’ association. Now, our building had 54 nos of 2 BRK flats and 8 duplex penthouses which are double the sizes of the 2BHK flats. Our Bye-laws defined two kind of charges to be taken from the individual flats irrespective of their sizes. The logic being only one family (with total no of occupants fixed at a maximum of 7) lives in a family and all have equal rights and all enjoy equal facilities. Our flats start from the first floor (ground being parking) and hence even the lifts are equally used. We fixed an equal monthly membership fee (MF) of Rs 500 per flat and a variable special fee (SF) which will be determined by the costs incurred annually. So, if the budgeted cost is likely to exceed, then the total budgeted cost is divided equally and the amount in excess of the MF is charged as the SF. Essentially, MF and SF together formed the maintenance costs and the margin fund. For three years I was in the MC and we faced no problems. But the MC that came later adopted a different basis with total disregard to the Bye-laws. They had adopted a differential basis making the minority penthouse owners to pay almost double than the others. Since the 2 BHK owners are in majority it was easy for them to make the rules with total disregard to any previous rules or even changing the bye-laws. The effect is that it has created divisions in the owners with some owner’s refusing to pay or making their own arguments. It really is a headache !