What Are Maintenance Charges For Flats

You get quite annoyed when you see the park in you housing society full of litter. It annoys you, even more, to see the basement, too, is not properly managed and the residents have parked their cars as per their whim and fancy. You rush to complain about the poor upkeep to the management in your housing society. After all, you have been paying a substantial amount as ‘maintenance charges’ through your nose year-after-year.
What is it?
In simple terms, maintenance charge is the money a resident pays for the upkeep of the common areas in a housing society. Typically, common areas in a housing society are all community and commercial facilities and may include swimming pools, staircases, elevators, lobbies, fire escapes, common entrances and exits, basements, terraces, parks, play areas, water tanks, etc. Homeowners in a housing society have to pay an amount periodically for the regular maintenance and operations of these common facilities. In most cases, you have to pay maintenance charges on an annual basis. However, these charges may vary from case to case. Home buyers must read their sale agreement carefully so that they know what kind of money they will be expected to pay as maintenance charges in future.
Why an extra charge?
Many of us, given a choice, would not be willing to part with of money towards maintenance charges. Is it not the responsibility of the project developer to maintain the housing complex? The fact is as the residents of a housing society and as the users of the common areas, it is our duty to pay these charges.
According to the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2016, “every allottee, who has entered into an agreement for sale to take an apartment, plot or building shall be responsible to make necessary payments within the time as specified and shall pay the share of the registration charges, municipal taxes, water and electricity charges, maintenance charges, ground rent, and other charges”.
Is it worth the money?
Apart from the fact that it is legally binding on you to pay maintenance charges as specified in your agreement to sale, an extra payment will also ensure that you are able to enjoy the amenities and facilities provided in a housing society. After all, we all want spick and span premises. It would not make any sense if you buy a house in a project that offers a swimming pool but does not have proper arrangements to allow the residents to use it.
On the other hand, you can also claim tax benefits on the maintenance charges that you pay to the housing society.

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