Common Service Charges

Some of the Housing Societies / RWA collect the contribution on account of below expenses as defined under Model Society bye-laws 65(vii) as "Common Maintenance Charges" while they will have "Repairs and Maintenance" head reflecting in the demand notice / invoice. Hence often this mis-lead the member as to why society are levy two different "Maintenance Charges". It is thus recommended to change the nomenclature of "Common Maintenance Charges" to "Service Charges" or "Common Service Charges" to cover expenses as defined hereinunder;

  1. Salaries of the office staff, liftmen, watchmen, maids and any other employees of the Society.
  2. Where the Society has independent Office, the property taxes, electricity charges, water charges etc. for the same.
  3. Printing, Stationery and Postage,
  4. Travelling Allowance and conveyance charges to the staff and the Members of the Committee of the Society.
  5. Sitting fees paid to the Members of the Committee of the Society
  6. Subscription to the Education Fund of the Maharashtra Rajya Sahakari Sangh Ltd.
  7. Annual Subscription of the Housing Federation and any other co-operative institution to which the Society is affiliated.
  8. Entrance fees for affiliation to the Housing Federation and any other cooperative institution.
  9. Audit Fees for internal, Statutory and re-audit, if any.
  10. Expenses incurred at meetings of the general body, the Committee and the Sub-Committee, if any
  11. Retainer fees, legal charges, statutory enquiry fees.
  12. Common electricity charges.
  13. Any other charges approved by the General Body at its Meeting. However such charges should not contradict the provisions of the Act, Rules and Bye-laws of the Society.

It has been a normal practice that in the initial stage when home buyer purchase the property has to pay a fix maintenance charges (one year / two year etc.) to builder / developer as Society /RWA/Flat Buyer Association etc. is not formed however in absence of any clarity as to "what such advance maintenance covers?" there were lots of dispute between the members and developer / builder.

Recently enacted law by Parliament of India in 2016 i.e. Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act in 2016 (RERA) made it mandatory to bring such transparency between the seller & buyer.

As per RERA, the builder or developer is responsible to provide maintenance for the sold property on a regular basis, the charges of which has to be borne by the resident. However, it ensures that these charges are reasonable.

RERA has made it mandatory to sign a maintenance agreement between the builder and the buyer, in which the actual amount that would be charged for the maintenance, along with its cost breakdown and frequency, should be mentioned. This ensures that the buyer is aware of the charges, which were at times previously hidden from the customer. In case the process is not transparent, RERA is always there to the rescue of the home buyers.

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