• Maintenance calculation in housing society Kolkata

Hi, I have purchase flat in a complex having 5 buildings. Now the builder is giving us handover of maintenance. We have taken 2 representatives from each block and formed a committee of 10 members. But now we are struggling to decide the maintenance structure for each flats. After doing lots of research,Committee is proposing a hybrid structure.
Common expenses like security, lift, cleaning ets are divided per unit and the building repairing funds are divided per sqft basis. Still committee is facing lots of challenges, mainly from small flats. They are only agree to decide total expense in sqft basis.
We are not able to conclude this and so our by laws are not yet finalized and registration of the housing society is still pending.

Our complex is having 105 +21 flats. I have divided this figure because out of 5 building, 1 was build 3.5 years back and the 4 are new. The old one has majority of small flats (mostly 750 sq ft) where are new building has 40 flats of more that 1200 sqft size.

Some amenities are also not mentioned there in the registration deed of the old building but still they are using them. This is also creating issue for the larger ones. They are not ready to pay more compare to them (small building has considerable less sqft per floor).
Most common argument by small flat owners is, they have seen sqft rate for maintenance calculation in every society.
I belong to middle size flat owner and hybrid structure sounds very logical to me. Please enlighten me what should be done as per law.
Asked 2 months ago in Property Law from Kolkata, West Bengal
Religion: Hindu
maintenance charges should be equal to all members irrespective of size of flat 

2) water charges can be levied depending upon number of inlets in flat 

3) similarly insurance charges would depend upon area of flat 

4) property taxes are levied depending upon area of flat 

5) sinking fund , repair fund can be levied depending upon area of flat
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
37899 Answers
2123 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. The West Bengal Apartment Ownership Act  is quite clear on this.
2. It clearly speaks that the amount of maintenance varies with measurement of the flats.
3. So the smaller the flat lesser the maintenance charge.
4. the society cannot form any rules violating this mandate of law. 
Devajyoti Barman
Advocate, Kolkata
10429 Answers
126 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

As per the model bye-laws of the Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act (MOFA), each housing society must follow a combination of per square feet and per flat basis for final calculation of the service charge for various heads.

2) in west bengal   the WB apartment ownership act defines common expenses ” means expenses of administration, maintenance, repair or replacement of the common areas and facilities and all other sums assessed against the apartment owners by the Association of Apartment Owners;

3)The work relating to the maintenance, repair and replacement of the common areas and facilities and the making of any additions or improvements thereto shall be carried out in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the bye-laws made thereunder.

4) section 92 of WB cooperative housing society act 2006 provides interalia 

 sub section 6 The work relating to the maintenance, repair and replacement of the common areas and facilities (including additions or improvements thereto) shall be carried out in accordance with the by-laws of the co-operative housing society and the building rules of the concerned municipality, notified area authority or competent authority, as the case may be, and the costs thereof shall be apportioned amongst the members of the Co-operative housing society in such a manner as may be prescribed.” 

5)you can recover maintenance charges as per provisions of model bye laws adopted by society . 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
37899 Answers
2123 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

lawyer can give you his written opinion as to how maintenance charges should be recovered from members of society 

there must be cooperative housing federation for all cooperative socities in WB 

you can obtain copy of mode laws from said federation office 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
37899 Answers
2123 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

another option is to form separate cooperative society .

instead of having one society for five buildings let building having smaller flats form separate cooperative housing society 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
37899 Answers
2123 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Hii , the RWA generally charge maintanance according to size of the flats ( square feet).. This maintaince is mandatory and is generally utilised in repairing , salary , electricity of common areas .. In addition, if any extra monthly expenses are incurred for the maintanance of the common areas or unpredictable damages are incurred , then you can maintain a monthly expenditure , and distribute the expenses per unit for every flat .. So in this case, the fix monthly expenses are decided per square feet ( which you can calculate and fix , as they are fixed expenses) and the additional charges which tends to change as per the requirement , can be calculated monthly and can be put up in each buildings notice boards, for better transperacy and be equally divided per unit ( flat)
Hemant Chaudhary
Advocate, Gurgaon
1530 Answers
5 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

1. There is no law which prescribes what model of maintenance one should frame in a society of association.

2. All the flat owners shall have to sit and formulate the maintenance amount per flat either irresp[ective of size of the flat or as per its size.

3. I have not come across  any hybrid model for fixing the maintenance but accepting the model is strictly as per the decision taken by the majority of the flat owners.

4. It will be prudent on your part to form an association and register the same first.

5. Thereafter you can convene Special General Meeting for determining the maintenance amount to be fixed for each type of flats.

6. The amounts resolved in the meeting will be final and all the flat owners will be bound by the resolution passed in the said meeting for fixing the maintenance of each types of flats.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
15860 Answers
384 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. If you have a cluster with mixed types of flats having different area then the decisions shall always be one sided in all the issues.

2. In such cases separate associations are ordinarily formed based on the area of the flats to avoid the rainbow cluster.

3. You have no option other than taking the democratic path of taking majority decision to solve a problem.

4. Forming  a group with unequal types of members or taking decision for a group having unequal interest groups is very difficult but if you do not form separate groups, then you shall have to abide by the decision of the whole group.

5. So, if you want to avoid voting in the group having unequal strength, it will be prudent for you to form groups separately based on the area of the flats, if formation of such separate groups are possible in the given circumstances.  
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
15860 Answers
384 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. In West Bengal, there is no law to fix maintenance for flat owners of a group having varied area and other differences/interests.

2. Under the given circumstances, if the group fixes maintenance as per area of the flats, any one can approach the Court complaining against the said decision and get an order favouring the Hybrid model and such Judgement will be a landmark Judgement.

3. If your form a registered Society, you can complaint to the Registrar against fixation of maintenance as per area and if he fails to act, you can approach the High Court seeking remedy and relief. 
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
15860 Answers
384 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

The maintenance charge which is to be collected from residents is calculated as the amount which is required for ongoing overall maintenance of the Society plus an amount which is set aside for major repairs which might occur in future, the Association or Society has to decide on the basis on which the Society Charges will be shared by each Apartment.
Regular Society Charges are to be apportioned under the following Bill heads:
1.  Expenses on Repairs and Maintenance of the Building(s);
2. Service Charges (Housekeeping, Security, Common Area Electricity, Equipments):  Equally divided by Number of Flats. This implies, this can be charged on a flat fee basis, where each Flat pays the same amount irrespective of its area.
3. Expenses on Repairs and Maintenance of the Lift, including charges for running the Lift: Equally by all the members, irrespective of the fact whether they use the lift or not. This is clearly a charge on a flat fee basis.
4. Sinking Fund: At the rate decided by the General Body, subject to the minimum of 0.25 percent per annum of the construction cost of each flat. This again implies a Sq.ft. based fee., as in Item 1.
5. Non-Occupancy Charges: 
6. Parking Charges: 
7. Water Charges: As per actual Consumption of each Flat, or Number of Water Inlets
8. Insurance Charges: Expense which is spent on insurance of building and equipment can be charged to the residents and made a part of the maintenance bill. 
9. Lease Rent: This is charged based on per square ft of the built up area.
10. Other Charges: These are decided by the Association / Society from time to time as per their specific requirement.




Per Square Feet Charge:
This happens to be the method which is most used for calculating maintenance charges for housing societies. As a part of this method, a fixed rate is charged per square feet of area of an apartment.
Pros: This method is easy to calculate and maintain
Cons: This method is seen as unfair to owners of larger apartments or villas, as there are many facilities which are used by all residents irrespective of the size of the apartment they live in like Clubhouses, Lifts, Gardens, etc


Equal Maintenance Fee:
This is a favoured method where the size of apartments are almost the same
Pros: Easy to calculate and implement in societies with same-sized apartments.
Cons: For housing societies where apartments are of various different sizes, this is seen as unfair and are usually not accepted by the members.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
27831 Answers
290 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

If we go by vote, small flat owners may win with 60:40 ratio. So the voting is surely not an option. Please let me if there is any Act/law to deal with this problem...how far can a lawyer can help?  If any lawyer provide a solution and still people do not agree, what can be done ?


In India, the only Legislation that provides considerable guidance in this matter is from Maharashtra, approved by the Commissioner for Co-operation and Registrar, Cooperative Societies.
According to this legislation, the Regular Society Charges are to be apportioned accordingly.

If the building consisting of small flats alone are not willing to abide by the decision taken in the general body meeting, then the next possibility is that two associations can be formed independently for all reasons other than few common causes.
The expenses of the common causes may be shared equally on an agreement.
All such eventualities may also be considered during the general body meeting.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
27831 Answers
290 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

this is very general answer. Could you be little specific about laws and sections? No one is trying to understand it from logic. I need a law based ground.
Also sir, I have asked for laws of west Bengal. I saw, for Mumbai there is a law

You can approach the registrar of cooperative societies of West Bengal wherein you can find the society bye laws and its implementation as per provisions of law.
Generally such issues are decided in the meeting by passing a resolution to which the registrar do not object.
However if there are still no consensus agreement arrived  between warring factions, then the next step may be taken legally, by approaching cooperative court seeking releif and remedy.

T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
27831 Answers
290 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

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