Are Maintenance Charges Indispensable?Samar Javed12 February 2020
Rs 600 for maintenance charges !Ever thought, why? Let’s suppose that the swimming pool is dirty, will you take a plunge? Will you use the elevators which have littering here and there? Is taking a casual walk during evenings acceptable if the grass isn’t trimmed well or there is loitering all over? What will be your reaction? Won’t you go straight to the management of the complex and bombard them with questions?
Undoubtedly, that will be your first move! The reason is you pay for the maintenance. Maintenance charges are no joke and annual maintenance charges are levied by the society for upkeep and perpetuation of the numerous in-house facilities available in the complex.
What are the Maintenance Charges?
When you live in housing societies with innumerable amenities, the maintenance is not possible without charging for the same. The charges thus levied are known as maintenance charges
Why should you Pay Annual Maintenance Charges?
They say there are no free lunches in the world and you have to pay for everything that you use. If you think the common areas in the society like the terrace, clubhouse, gazebo, swimming pool, play areas, basketball court, gymnasium, and many others can be used without paying for the same you are mistaken. How do you expect the lawns to be trimmed or the common passages to be spick and span if you don’t pay for these?
How are Maintenance Charges Calculated?
In India, the real estate fraternity has narrowed down the bracket of maintenance charges between Rs2-Rs 25 per square feet. This figure will vary depending upon the number of facilities offered. For instance, someone living in Delhi might have to pay Rs 600 per month which is calculated as Rs 2 PSF for a housing society with 50 residents spread across 15000 square feet.
On the other hand, a housing society in Gurgaon or Noida might charge according to Rs 25 per square foot and the amount per month will be Rs 7500. This depends on the number of facilities offered in the society and area of the flat.
It must be kept in mind that if the monthly maintenance charges are less than Rs 7500,GST won’t be applicable. On the contrary, if the maintenance charges collection crosses Rs 20 lakh annually,18% GST will be applicable.
When should Maintenance Charges be Paid?
Ideally, annual maintenance charges for the flats are paid by the residents so that there is no hindrance in the running of any of the amenities. However, one must go through the sale agreement which dictates the terms and conditions towards the maintenance charges.
At times, the builders might ask you to pay for the annual maintenance charges for 2 years together. Make sure you read the documents and then make the payment. Moreover, the charges must be paid once the flat gets registered in your name.
What are the types of Maintenance Charges?
- Expenses on repair and maintenance of the building are calculated as 0.75%per annum of the cost of construction of each flat
- Service charges(housekeeping, security), expense on the maintenance of elevators are equally divided amongst the flats in the society.
- Sinking fund(in event of the emergency) is created which is calculated as a minimum of 0.25% of the cost of construction of each flat.
- Parking charges depend on the number of parking slots required by the occupants.
- Property tax and water charges depend on the actual consumption of every household or the number of water inlets.
- Non –occupancy charges are calculated if the flat is rent out and is calculated at 10% of service charges
Can law Come Binding Upon Non-Payment of Maintenance Charges?
Real estate(Regulation and Development) Act 2016 has stated that it is the responsibility of the allotted to pay for the registration charges, maintenance charges, ground rent, water and electricity charges, municipal taxes and other charges because ultimately he is the one who is using the facilities and thus becomes liable to pay for the same.
If you think paying maintenance charges for flats digs a hole in your pocket, then think about a situation where you will not have access to the facilities or the amenities will be in shapes which are unfit for use. Your whims and fancies don’t dictate the terms of the contract and thus apart from legal binding; it is more of moral responsibility to pay for the amenities which you use often!