Every occupant of a home is levied a maintenance charge. This charge could vary from one society to another. But, what is an apartment maintenance charge? It is the charge imposed on the occupants of an apartment to upkeep your home and other common areas like the stairs, swimming pool, lift, etc. In a gated community, there is an association that coordinates and takes care of the maintenance process. However, in a small apartment, homeowners volunteer to take up the responsibility for the welfare of the residents. It is vital to have a check on the charges imposed on you. If you are a first time home buyer or a new tenant, here is a complete guide about maintenance charges that you need to know. 

Maintenance charge calculation

There isn’t any particular law that supervises the amount to be charged in the name of maintenance. However, the charges lie between Rs 2 to Rs 25 per square feet. In the state of Maharashtra alone, MOFA (Maharashtra Ownership of flats Act) has a set of defined rules for calculating the maintenance charge. According to MOFA, the costs are calculated by two methods, which are flat wise and area wise.

In the flat wise calculation, all the charges required for maintenance are summed up and divided equally between all the occupants, irrespective of the size of your apartment. On the contrary, in area wise method, the cost is charged based on the area of each square foot owned by the member. However, the common expenses are shared among the occupants with a fixed rate.

Although the commonly practised norms do not necessarily pertain to the MOFA regulations, erratic charges cannot be thrust on the occupants. 

What are the shared expenses?

Typically, homeowners pay about 0.75 percent of the construction cost of the apartment, which is calculated yearly for the repair and maintenance of the building. Apart from this, there are many common expenses added to the levied charge, which encompasses the service charges for housekeeping, security and shared equipment like a motor. Additional fees is added for lift repair, common parks, swimming pool, parking area and other extra facilities offered. Furthermore, there is a fixed amount for sinking funds, which is like a reservoir fund in case of any emergency. Generally, the amount is about 0.25 percent of the construction cost of each flat per annum. In case you have rented your flat, an additional 10 percent of the service charge will be added to your maintenance fee. All of these expenses are summed up, to give the cost that you will have to pay as maintenance charge. 

Things to keep in mind

As a homeowner, it is essential to be aware of the charges incurred on you. RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) has made it mandatory for a maintenance agreement to be signed between the builder and owner. RERA functions to establish transparency in buying and selling of properties. The act enables the owner to be completely aware of the charges along with the split-up of the total expense. Make sure to check the document thoroughly before signing the contract. In case your flat is unoccupied, you need not pay for individual charges like water usage and electricity. However, common expenses, like the service and repair charges have to be paid. Ensure you do not pay any extra amount unnecessarily. If you own two houses in the same apartment, then you will be charged twice the maintenance amount for the two houses while the calculation method remains the same.

Importance of maintenance fee

It is a genuine expectation for every occupant to keep their surroundings intact. Also, you will be annoyed if your apartment swimming pool is dirty and the walking track is littered. Although it is your responsibility to keep your place tidy, regular cleaning and maintenance of the external areas and equipment of your apartment is an integral part of everyday chores. It will be difficult for you to participate in this on a regular basis, especially in your busy schedule. Moreover, repair and mending activities are taken care of by the builder and the association members. For this process to run smoothly, maintenance charges are imposed on the occupants. Thus, it is essential to pay your maintenance charge regularly for the effective functioning of these activities.  
It is vital to keep yourself up to date about maintenance charges so that your builder does not take advantage of your ignorance. Since the maintenance fee is compulsory, understanding about it will help you measure and plan monthly expenses. Moreover, it is important to know about your maintenance charges as it used to enhance your living. All you need to do is to invest in a house and pay the maintenance, and the rest is taken care of! Rush to Lancor to buy your dream home.