Understand Levying Of Housing Society Charges

Housing societies collect the monthly maintenance from the member of the society to manage the various common expenses of the society like expenses of the security, cleaning of society, lift maintenance expenses, Electricity Expenses, water charges, small event expenses etc. The managing committee of Society has raised the monthly maintenance bill on the name of members and member of society oblige to pay the same maintenance charges. Apart from this monthly maintenance charges society also charged contribution to Repairs fund, sinking fund, parking charges, Non-occupancy charges and so on.
Collection of this above charges from the member of the society is quite difficult work for the managing committee of the society because many times what happen some people brought the flat only for the investment purpose and this type of flat remain vacate because Owner/Investor does not rent them out, so owner/investors are reluctant to pay the maintenance charges of such flats to the society. Other side the owner who are actually resides in their flat, many times they also fail to pay such maintenance charges of the society and member who has failed to pay dues for three consecutive months is considered a defaulter. The procedure of recovery of dues from the defaulter member should be follow as per the Maharashtra Co-operative Society Act, 1960.
Conflicts on apportion of share of maintenance Charges of the society on the basis of flat wise and Carpet area of flat.
There in lots of ambiguity, conflicts on levy of maintenance/Service charges and other society charges.
Let’s understand According to Model Bye Laws, the Apportion of the share of each towards the charges of the Society on the following basis
Type of Charges Vs Basis of apportion of share
  • Property taxes = As fixed by the Local Authority
  • Water Charges = On the basis of total number and size of inlets provided in each flat.
  • Expenses on repairs and maintenance of the building/buildings of the Society = At the rate fixed at the general body from time to time, subject to the minimum of 0.75 percent per annum, of the construction cost of each flat for meeting expenses of normal recurring repairs
  • Expenses on repairs and maintenance of the lift, including charges for running the lift Equally by all the Members of the building in which lift is provided, irrespective of the fact whether they use the lift or not.
  • Sinking Fund = At the rate decided at the meeting of the general body, subject to the minimum of 0.25 per cent per annum of the construction cost of each flat incurred during the construction of the building of the Society and certified by the Architect, excluding the proportionate cost of the land.
  • Service Charges/Maintenance Charges = Equally divided by number of flats / units
  • Parking Charges = At the rate fixed by the General Body of the Society at its meeting
  • Interest on the delayed payment of Charges = At the rate fixed under the bye-law.
  • Non-occupancy charges = At the rate fixed under the bye-law.
  • Insurance Charges The built up area of each flat / unit.
  • Lease Rent The built up area of each flat / unit.
  • Non-Agricultural tax = The built up area of each flat / unit
  • Education & Training Fund = Rs. 10 per Flat/unit per month.
  • Election Fund Equally by the Members and as prescribed by the Election Authority in the Rules.
  • Any other charges = As may be decided by the General Body Meeting of the Society
The Society monthly Service/Maintenance charges may include following charges
 Salaries of the office staff, lift-men, watchmen, Gardner and any other employees of the Society.
 Where the Society has independent Office, the property taxes, electricity charges, water charges etc. for the same.
 Printing, Stationery and Postage,
 Travelling Allowance and conveyance charges to the staff and the Members of the Committee of the Society.
 Sitting fees paid to the Members of the Committee of the Society,
 Subscription to the Education Fund of the Maharashtra Rajya Sahakari Sangh Ltd.
 Annual Subscription of the Housing Federation and any other co-operative institution to which the Society is affiliated.
 Entrance fees for affiliation to the Housing Federation and any other cooperative institution.
 Audit Fees for internal, Statutory and reaudit, if any.
 Expenses incurred at meetings of the general body, the Committee, the Sub-Committee, if any
 Retainer fees, legal charges, statutory enquiry fees.
 Common electricity charges.
 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.
Now we have seen the maintenance charges includes above expenses which is incurred on monthly or yearly basis. The question arise that on what basis (i.e. Flat carpet area wise or equal for all types of flat) have to charge to the member of society ??
You can see from the above expenses list, it is clear that the apportion of share of charges of this monthly expenditure cannot decide from the size of each flat as all these expenses are related to the cost of keeping the society premises clean or for the security of the society and other charges which are specifically related to whole society. These all expenses are not incurred for particular flat. So, logically, all these society maintenance expenses should be divided same among all member of the society.
There is the Bombay High Court judgment in response to a Writ Petition filed by Venus Co-op. Housing Society and another Versus Dr. J.Y. Detwani & others by Justice R.J. Kochar who delivered a 19 page judgment. In this case, the cooperative housing society had 284 flats of 2BHK and 39 flats of 4BHK. A resolution was passed that the monthly maintenance would be switched from flat-wise monthly charges to area-wise monthly charges. Due to this the 39 Flats of 4BHK flat owners had to pay more money per month towards the monthly charges. This gave rise to a controversy between the two groups of flat owners. The Bombay High Court passed the said judgment in this matter upholding the concept of equality and directed the concerned cooperative housing society to levy maintenance charges equally for all members.
In the year 2019, a Pune Co-Operative court has temporarily restrain the Karishma Cooperative housing Society in Kothrud from Collecting annual maintenance charges from its member on the basis of area or number of bedroom of flats till the final adjudicating of an ongoing dispute.
Even in the Model Bye-Laws of the Maharashtra Co-operative society Act, 1960 states that the Maintenance charges shall be equally divided by number of flats/units.
But still many societies’ managing committee charge the maintenance expenses on the basis of size of the flat instead of dividing equally among all flat.