Are you planning to buy an apartment? If yes, you must know about apartment maintenance charges. Apartment owners or tenants have to pay a fee for the ongoing overall maintenance in their apartment.
Maintenance charges are one of the key factors that many apartment-buyers ignore. In most cases, many people miss this significant aspect and find themselves in distress later.
To help you avoid such difficulties, we will explain everything you need to know about apartment maintenance charges.
Let’s dive in.
- 1 Common Maintenance Charges Collected in an Apartment
- 2 Popular Methods for Calculating Maintenance Fees
- 3 Maintenance Charge Dispute Resolved By the Court of Law
- 4 Provision In The Apartment Ownership Act
- 5 Conclusion
Common Maintenance Charges Collected in an Apartment
Here are some of the common maintenance charges collected in an apartment.
Service Charges (Housekeeping, Security, Common Area Electricity, Equipment)
- The service charges are equally divided by the number of flats. This can be charged based on a flat fee basis irrespective of area size.
Lift Repair and Maintenance Charges
- Irrespective of the fact that whether you are using the lift or not, the lift repair and maintenance charges are applicable to all the apartment members. This is always a flat fee basis.
- The non-occupancy charges are only for those flats that are rented. It may be calculated at 10% of service charges.
- Water charges are calculated as per the actual consumption of each flat and the number of water in-lets.
- The parking charges are calculated based on the number of parking slots occupied by each member.
- Insurance charges are those spent on the insurance of the building and equipment and it is made a part of the maintenance bill.
- The lease rent charges are based on per square ft of the building.
- These charges are decided by the association or society as per their requirements. This can be changed from time to time.
Popular Methods for Calculating Maintenance Fees
- Here are different methods adopted by an apartment association or society for collecting maintenance fees.
- Flat monthly fee – Charges are divided equally by the flat owners irrespective of the size of the flat
- Per square feet rate – Fee is calculated depending on the square foot owned by the apartment owners
- Partial flat rate – Up to specific square feet, charges will be fixed. Beyond that, extra charges will be collected for each additional unit
- Mixed approach – A per square feet charge is collected, which is usually low. Apart from this, the total expenses are divided equally among apartment owners
Maintenance Charge Dispute Resolved By the Court of Law
Lots of disputes happen between people living in the apartment regarding maintenance charges. Once, a person filed a case in the High Court of Bombay (W.P.No.1948/1997 dtd:30/7/2002) because the apartment he was living in asked for more maintenance charges as he was living in a bigger apartment. Here are some of the main points from the judgment.
I agree with submissions of Shri Jahagirdar that it cannot be said that the big flat holders are getting higher or more services to make them liable to pay more on the basis of the area of the flat.
It is observed that aforesaid services are enjoyed by all the members equally and therefore, there was no reason for the society to have made the large flat holders to pay more on the basis of the area of the flat.
Resolution passed in this regard is totally unreasonable and arbitrary and regulations of the amenities and facilities availed by the members meaning thereby the flat owners in the building either bigger or smaller size in occupation enjoy the basic facilities and amenities of common area by the habitants of the flats equally by paying equal maintenance charges.
Even in the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka, maintenance charge are fixed uniformly irrespective of the size of the flat.
Provision In The Apartment Ownership Act
“Common profits and expenses: The common profits of the property shall be distributed among and the common expenses shall be charged to the apartment owners according to the percentage of the undivided interest in the common areas and facilities.”
The same provision along with the same wording is found in the Act of the States of TamilNadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala (Section 10)and Andhra(Section 13)
Here is a graphic that sums up the entire post.
Residents of a gated community assume that once they pay the maintenance fee their part is done. But, the residents are ultimately responsible for its upkeep no matter what happens.
Maintenance means, nurturing the asset. You can cut down on fancy things, but you cannot compromise on hygiene and safety. The more you sow, the more you reap.
So, before you buy an apartment, make sure to ask your real estate agent or the person who is selling you the apartment about what exactly is included in the maintenance fee. This will help you to avoid unwanted surprises in the future.
At Lancor, our real estate agents educate prospective buyers on how much they have to spend before and after buying an apartment. Transparency is one of the top priorities for our company. If you have plans to buy an apartment in Chennai, do contact us. We are always eager to assist you.