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Popular Methods to Calculate Maintenance Fee in Apartment Complexes

Comments(295) Sub Category:Legal,Living,Maintenance Fee,Owners Association,Property Posted On: Aug 20, 2009

Apartment owners and tenants have to pay maintenance fee for the amenities and service enjoyed by them in their apartment. Expense incurred for the maintenance of common area is shared among residents of apartment and income is distributed among apartment owners. Apartment owners form an association for collecting the maintenance fee and association works for the welfare of owners and residents of apartment.

Calculation and collection of Periodic Maintenance Fee in Apartments Maintenance Fee in Societies

Popular procedures for calculating maintenance fee

There are different procedures or methods adopted by association or society for collecting monthly maintenance fee. Some of the important practices that are prevalent are following.

  • Flat Monthly Fee:
    Under flat monthly fee, apartment owners association or society calculates sum or total maintenance charge and divides equally among all flat owners. In an apartment, there maybe flats with different sizes. Under this system irrespective of size of the flat, all flat owners will be paying equal maintenance fee. This system is generally followed where apartments are of the same size (Sq. ft).
  • Per Square feet rate:
    Variable rate would be depending on square feet of each apartment or flat. Under this method, rate or fee varies depending on square feet owned by apartment owners. Larger the square feet owned, higher will be monthly maintenance fee. This is widely practiced in Apartment societies with different sizes of apartments. The general logic behind being that since you have bought the flat based of the sq. ft.area, you must pay the maintenance on the same basis.
  • Partial flat rate:
    Under this method, association or society charges flat rate for a limit square feet and each additional unit will be charged extra. For e.g.: Flat owners who owns up to 1000 sqft will be charged fixed rate and for addition of 100 sqft will charged extra 2 per cent. In this case, all flat owners with 1000 sqft pay equal amount but flat owners of 1100sqft, 1200 sqft and 1500 sqft pay different amount towards monthly maintenance fee.
  • Mixed approach:It’s a central approach to maintenance charging which is generally followed in apartment societies with variable sized apartments. Here there is a per square feet charge, which is generally low. Besides, the total expenses is divided equally between the flats.

The common expenses will include the amounts determined to be payable as such by the Society or Association. It includes expenses such as expense of administration, maintenance, repair or replacement of common areas and facilities. So long as there is no dispute, any system acceptable to all the apartment owners can be implemented on the basis of agreement or consensus.

Method of calculating maintenance fee varies depending on the agreement or byelaw of association.

How is your apartment maintenance fee calculated? Does your association calculate monthly fees in a similar way or in a different way? Kindly share it in comments.


295 Responses to “Popular Methods to Calculate Maintenance Fee in Apartment Complexes”

  1. ASHOK says:

    Logically expenses of common nature like security, garbage, Pumping of water or capital expenses and such expenses are to be shared equally. Other maintenance needs to be shared area wise as the local municipal corporation charges. This happens where people are of fare and clear mind. They collectively and jointly frame such laws and so is bye law says. Else u might have experience might is right and majority is the rule no logic and no law is respected.

  2. Vijay Halli says:

    My housing co operative society in Pune, Maharashtra is forcefully collecting 55% more maints charges from rented apartments.
    Suggest actions to stop the society from collecting unlawful excess maints charges and to recover the excess amount collected so far. Regards

    • Amlan Basak says:

      Did you get a response to your query? Is there any relief to the problem you have described? I am also suffering from it….

  3. Bhanu Murty says:

    Sir/Madam, Could you please tell me whether the laws in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh require Apartment Maintenance Costs to be computed depending on square feet of each apartment or flat ?

  4. silar says:

    sir,if the maintenance charges are calculated as per the squarefeet, if any flat is less squarefeet and persons are staying more in that flat then how we will calculate, please conform me clearly or any other solution is there for solving this problem.

    • Dr.DCK says:

      Based on the type of flat, you fix the people strength. if exceeding the strength, collecting the fee based on how many extra people staying. But in general in a big complex with more number of flats, the identification of the people number is very complex and it s a variable thing.

  5. Ajay says:

    Dear Sir,
    I have purchased a shop (total area 295sq ft) in Nerul in Aug 2009. The building is 4 floors and has 12 to 15 houses and 6 shops. The builder has not collected maintenance charges till date.The society had not been formed since last 3 years.Now the society has been formed in May 2012. The committee comprises of all the members who have flats in the society. They have now started collecting maintenance from all the society members. The society wants me to pay the maintenance due from 2009 till today.The charges decided by the society is Rs 1.50 psf per month for the flat owners and Rs 2.50 psf per month for shop owners. For me this amount would work about to be Rs 27000. Also the society plans to increase it to Rs 3.00 psf per month for shop owners from Jan 2013.The shop owners do not enjoy any facilities from the society. i.e No sweeper, no common toilet, no security, no water connection,no lift and stairs is being used etc. In fact the building has a separate entrance and we don’t have the need to enter the building premises at all. I have the following queries

    1) The society is formed in May 2012. I am ready to pay maintenance from May 2012 onwards at the rate of Rs 1.50 psf per month. Am I liable to pay the society the maintenance to the society from Aug 2009 onwards??
    2) Is it fair that the society keeps the maintenance charges different for flats (Rs 1.50) and shops (Rs 2.50) or should they be equal??
    3) Is it fair that the committee members comprise only of the house owners? Can shop owners be a part of the committee and have their say?
    4) Can the society ask for a sum of Rs 25000 from each member for society formation?
    5) If I wish to sell my shop am I liable to pay any charges to the society for their NOC? If yes how are the charges decided by the society?

    Kindly give prompt reply

    • Prashant vanarase says:

      Dear Ajay,

      1.In any case the purchaser of the Flat/owner has to pay the maintainance charges from the date of O.C received from the Municipal authority, if the purchase date is after O.C date then you have to pay from that date.

      2.Usually Society charge differently for shop and flat owners, but as per by-laws all members are equal and the society should chare the maintainance amount equally for the expenses incurred as common expenses.

      3.But the society has right to charge the property taxes as received by NMMC/BMC as per sqft.

      4.it doesnt depend on the flat/shop owners as members of commitee, but if no one is ready to be a member the available members are elected.

      5.If the builder is not forming the society within 6 months if the available members are 10 or above , he is liable to form the society.

      6.failing which if he is not forming and commitee members come forward and plan to form the society then equal contribution is needed, excess amount will be deposited in society account.

      7.if you want to sell the property you require a NOC from Society for clearance of outstanding amount, so the society can charge maximum of 25000 from any member.

  6. jayaprakash says:

    Hi Im residing in a flat which I booked as 2 seperate flats of 1 bhk [540 sq. feet each] maintenance charge fixed is same to both 1 & 2 bhks[720 sq. feet] I live @ ahmedabad. Now the qn. is shall I give maintenance charge for 2 seperate flats ? my flat built as 3 bhk of 1080 feet. pl. reply me ?

  7. Sridharan says:

    The Builder/Promoter is the service provider for our apartment. We have rented it out to students.
    The builder has now arrived at differential tariff for maintenance charges. Flats which house students/bachelors have to pay 3.40rs/sqft whereas family will pay 2.50/sqft! This is very unfair practice. Can we legally sue the builder?

    • Amlan Basak says:

      Did you get a response to your query? Is there any relief to the problem you have described? I am also suffering from it….

  8. AKP says:

    The Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act (MOFA), which prescribes that every flat in a CHS is to be considered as one unit, irrespective of its size. As such, every flat should be charged equally for the maintenance, that is, a member has to pay monthly maintenance charges flat wise, and not according to the area of the flat.

    The Bombay High Court has also passed a judgment in this matter upholding the concept of equality and directed CHS to levy maintenance charges equally for all members.

    In a Writ Petition of Venus CHS Ltd and another, Justice R J Kochar delivered a 19 page judgment.

    In this case, the CHS had 284 flats of 2BHK and 39 flats of 4BHK.

    A resolution was passed on November 30, 1980, 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 CHS filed a suit in form of the above writ petition. After 20 years, the court came up with a decision that the CHS cannot pass a resolution making some flat owners pay more as this would be discriminatory and would violative of their fundamental rights. This judgment would be applicable to all the CHS. Until the judgment is superseded or reversed, societies will have a tough time charging higher amount of maintenance. Now, a CHS cannot charge its members as per the area wise, and have to charge them at a flat rate per month per flat.

    This judgment has been used by a number CHS in order to avoid any confusion/complications with the flat owners.

    Let all CHS follow MOFA and the Bombay High Court judgement and bury the useless discussion.


  9. Dr HSR Arora says:

    Dear Friends,
    Any difference between Maintenance & Service? I am the president of one housing society. We had applied the calculation based on SFT of your common area which is in our case is 20% plinth area. we have flats of different sizes . 8-9 floor duplex &1-7 floor all are 3 BHK of different size.The society after discussion presented in GBM & the model was passed by majority.8-9 floor residents are not in agreement & not ready to pay , in the share of duplex they have to pay 6000-8000 /pm,3bhk-3000-4000.Subsequent GBMs were very unruly /agressive/bad behaviour. duplex brought out the model not as per sft it puts their cost burden on small sft appartments(Rs90-800)/pm from the exisisting sft rate.Their model has reduced their burden byINR 2500-4000. They have now stated if other residents do not agree we will not pay any maintenance.As per bye laws of the registered society fine of INR1000 has been imposed by the management committee. Now other residents are saying if 8th floor people do not pay cut their services as per bye laws & AP Act 1987 or we will also not pay resulting in non payment to vendors who are extending services.Even paying mandatory bills of water/elec(common area)/deisal for DG will not be possible. Can you guide us to resolve the lockjam.

  10. sandhiya suresh says:

    in our apartments 15 houses are there, 14 are occupied, 15th house in II floor is kept with the builder for the past 12 years. Being a builder he is keeping some items like windows, pipes, frames taps etc, once in a month or qtrly his persons come take the things and go. He is using it as godown, neither he is paying maintenance nor sharing expenses for the common props maintenance or purchase like Motor, Weathering, Tank repair, flooring, common drainage pipe change, common manholes, all of us would hv spent almost 25K to 30K, this guy runs construction business with his law certificate, talking too much not paying any money, we hve formed association also, how to make him understand that atleast pay 20,000 for corpus fund so that expenses are shared and our burden is reduced, CAN ANYBODY ADVISE AND HELP US.

  11. sandhiya suresh says:

    in our apartments 15 houses are there, 14 are occupied, 15th house in II floor is kept with the builder for the past 12 years. Being a builder he is keeping some items like windows, pipes, frames taps etc, once in a month or qtrly his persons come take the things and go. He is using it as godown, neither he is paying maintenance nor sharing expenses for the common props maintenance or purchase like Motor, Weathering, Tank repair, flooring, common drainage pipe change, common manholes, all of us would hv spent almost 25K to 30K, this guy runs construction business with his law certificate, talking too much not paying any money, we hve formed association also, how to make him understand that atleast pay 20,000 for corpus fund so that expenses are shared and our burden is reduced, CAN ANYBODY ADVISE AND HELP US

  12. Deepak Mhatre says:

    our society is located in Kalamboli, Navi Mumbai Maharashtra state.
    In our society we have two buildings one is 7 story ( having 70 flats and 21 Commecial units) and another one 4 story ( having 64 flats)
    Both building has bee registered as one society

    7 story building has left but 4 story does not have lift.

    Early due to disagree of society members both building are operating as different society from last 8 years.

    Now 7 story building has recently purchase Diesel Generator with their own contribution of 70 ( Flats)+ 21 commercial units ) members but charges towards diesel expenses are paid by society. Generator is used only for common area light and left in case of power cut.

    Now 4 story building society members want to merge both societies but committee of 7 story building says if charges are being charged equally for all then only they are ready to merge (irrespective of left and generator being used by 7 story building members)

    Currently below are maintenance charges for both building

    7 Story Building –

    Flat owner – Rs 800
    Tenant – Rs 900
    Commercial Unit – Rs. 800
    Service Charges towards CIDCO are being collected separatey from each flat once in a year

    4 Story Building –

    Flat owner – Rs 650 + Rs. 0.20 per sq. ft. as Sinking Fund
    Tenant – Rs 750 + + Rs. 0.20 per sq. ft. as Sinking Fund
    Commercial Unit – No commercial units
    Service Charges towards CIDCO are being collected separately from each flat once in a year

    Now 4 story building members saying 7 story building members are using additional amenities like lift and generator then there should be difference in maintenance charges. But committee of 7 story building says if charges are being charged equally for all then only they are ready to merge

    What could be best possible solution for the same so that everyone

    • Prashant vanarase says:

      Dear Mhatre,

      You can Suggest the members that as the facilities differ from 4 and 7 storey building the Service charges are liable to differ. it will be un-lawful that both members are charged same and the facilities enjoyed are different.
      Explain them that the society is not a profit making organisation and we have to come together with a positive solution.

  13. Boque says:

    Excellent read.

  14. siva says:

    As per Act “THE TAMIL NADU APARTMENT OWNERSHIP ACT, 1994 (Act No. VII of 1995)”, it is clear that all Common expenses shall be charged to, the apartment owners according to the PERCENTAGE OF THE UNDIVIDED INTEREST OF THE APARTMENT OWNERS IN THE COMMON AREAS and facilities specified in the Deed of Apartment.

    19. Common profits and expenses-
    (1) The common profits shall be distributed among, and the common expenses shall be charged to, the apartment owners according to the percentage of the undivided interest of the apartment owners in the common areas and facilities specified in the Deed of Apartment.

    When the above TN Govt. Act is very clear, why we are deviating from the Act and making our own Laws for Maintenance expenses collection

  15. I am a owner of a two bed room flat in one Delhi Cooperative Society. The society has 3 be room & 4bedroom flats . The average plinth area of 2 BR is 74sq.m ,
    3BR 102 sqm , 120 sqm for 4 BR. I live in Ground floor . There are 4 lifts for ferrying the inmates& service people to all upper floors . The society maintenance charges for flat irrespective of plinth area and not being ‘ lifted’for ground floor . Question whether the flat charges are legal ? Is there any provision in Delhi Cooperative Society Act for redressal ? As because the number of two bed room are much in minority so the General Body always approve for discrepant charges which are in favour of them .

  16. rakesh says:

    Should capital expense be part of maintenance? we are tenants staying in Vijayawada

  17. mallesh says:

    dear all
    In any appartment system the people will use common fecility equal among the flat owners irrespective of square feet basis. No one is having right to ask the suare feet area which is owned by any indivisivals. the persons who will enjoy the common fecility equaly the maintainance charges also to be paid equaly without any descrimination.

  18. Anup says:

    Our Apartment association charges monthly maintenance which could be paid by us either on a monthly basis or on a half yearly basis aa per our choice. Recently some executive commitee meeting was held and it is not known as to how many people attended the meeting. As per minutes they have decided to increase the maintenance amount and also that all must cumpolsurily pay half year maintenance at once. I feel they are misusing their power. Can some executive commitee just order everyone as per their will???

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  20. Kram says:

    Our society charges monthly maintenance of 1870 (2/- per sqft) and 122 per month as non-occupancy charge since it is let out. Now the society has passed a resolution at AGM and is charging 15000 / year as long as it is let out as extra maintenance charge. We were not present in AGM. Is it legal? it is a whopping 66% of annual maintenance fee whereas we are getting no additional maintenance nor there are multiple people at our flat. Only a decent and cooperative couple stay there.Please help out.. We are in mumbai.

  21. YPG says:

    Hi, I am interested in knowing the popular method used to calculate maintenance fee for private garden or private terrace areas surrounding the penthouse. Is this charged at full or 1/3rd of the private area?

  22. Rajan C Mathew says:

    Builders are now selling multistory flats even in tier-2/3 cities as well. Unfortunately, there exist no law in many of the states that gives any proper guidelines to flat owners to form their societies and run it properly without getting into controversies and legal battles. I have read the post and the comments here. When I purchased a flat in a tier-2 city, to be frank, I never thought of the headache that it would create later. The headache was that none of the owner’s knew how to maintain their building after the builder sold of all the flats and washed his hands from the responsibility of providing the much needed maintenance services viz., lift, security, cleaning, water and electricity charges and the like. It took a lot of time for educating those few owners who lived there (the majority being tenants) in the formation of an owners’ society and getting it registered. The task of preparing the bye-laws fell on me. I had studied the situation in detail and prepared the bye-laws and got it registered. Our society becoming the first of its kind in that city to have a registered owners’ association. Now, our building had 54 nos of 2 BRK flats and 8 duplex penthouses which are double the sizes of the 2BHK flats. Our Bye-laws defined two kind of charges to be taken from the individual flats irrespective of their sizes. The logic being only one family (with total no of occupants fixed at a maximum of 7) lives in a family and all have equal rights and all enjoy equal facilities. Our flats start from the first floor (ground being parking) and hence even the lifts are equally used. We fixed an equal monthly membership fee (MF) of Rs 500 per flat and a variable special fee (SF) which will be determined by the costs incurred annually. So, if the budgeted cost is likely to exceed, then the total budgeted cost is divided equally and the amount in excess of the MF is charged as the SF. Essentially, MF and SF together formed the maintenance costs and the margin fund. For three years I was in the MC and we faced no problems. But the MC that came later adopted a different basis with total disregard to the Bye-laws. They had adopted a differential basis making the minority penthouse owners to pay almost double than the others. Since the 2 BHK owners are in majority it was easy for them to make the rules with total disregard to any previous rules or even changing the bye-laws. The effect is that it has created divisions in the owners with some owner’s refusing to pay or making their own arguments. It really is a headache !

  23. dck says:

    Even after repeated requests also unfair maintenance fee charged during last 10 year in SONATA apartments, Street 5, Vidyanagar, Hyderabad

  24. Srinivas says:

    I live in vizag apartment of 20 flats, out of which only 10 occupants are there, firstly, is it feasible to form an association. Ours is newly formed association yet to be get resgistered. Issue is that the core association management family members make hell for other flat owners. What can be done. As they are not ready for other flat owners to get involved in decision making

  25. Rita says:

    Ours is an apartment complex with 7 flats. There is no association formed and hence I would like to know how the decision making process should be. In a meeting attended by 4 owners out of 7 it was decided that the complex will be re painted and they had gone ahead without publishing any quotation or proposal or even informing about the cost involved. Please advice on how decisions are to be made in such situations.

  26. Saravanan says:

    I am the secretary of our apartment and this is the first year. I have to calculate the maintenance amount (per sqft basis).
    How do I know the area of each house? What is the document that I can rightfully collect? Please advise.

  27. Mathew says:

    Excellent article. I absolutely appreciate this site. Keep it up!

  28. Tino Sequeira says:

    I have purchased a resale flat in Talegao, Goa, in a colony functioning as an Association.

    I have the following questions and would request your kind responses:

    1. What rights do flat owners have in an Association compared to a registered Society?
    2. What options do flat owners (members) have if the same Managing Committee continues in office under different roles and do not change and favour committee members in their decisions?
    3. How to calculate maintenance fees for unequal flats and where some owners have reserved parking and some own commercial units also? Should all members pay the same maintenance fees?
    My concerns are that:
    Everyone is charged fixed maintenance even though:
    a. Some flats have two bedroom and some have three bedrooms
    b. Flats are of diff sizes
    c. Some flat owners have reserved parking
    d. Some flat owners have covered parking
    e. Some flat owners have additional commercial units
    f. Some flat owners do not have cars and some have 1 to 3 cars

    4. What are the limitations imposed by government authorities on flat owners in a residential complex. In other words:
    a) Is it against the law if a flat owner carries out structural changes to the apartment by converting a three bedroom flat into a two bedroom by removing walls?
    b) Is it against the law if some flat owners enclose a covered parking and put a gate on their individual enclosed parking?
    c) Where does one read about any building laws and examples of violations.

    Thank you for clarifying the above.

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