Importance of Timely Payment of Maintenance Charges



The amount collected from the members towards the Maintenance Charges is utilized for expenses towards the common services provided by the Society to members. Society does not earn any profit from the maintenance charges. The members who do not pay regularly should understand the importance of paying maintenance charges on time. For any reason whatsoever, the member has no right to hold the payment of the maintenance charges.

If a member thinks that he is charged extra for a wrong reason, then the member may write to the Society for clarification in writing. The member can also meet the Managing Committee members, the issue sorted amicably. Even then, if the member is not satisfied a written application can be submitted to the Deputy Registrar to order the Society to refund the extra charges levied.

Who is called a Defaulter?

Defaulter” means a Member or flat owner or occupier who fails to pay the dues of the society within three months from the date of service of bill or notice or the due date of payment, whichever is later.

If a member has any other issue other than maintenance charges then it should be sorted out through the right procedure. The problem can also be placed before the General Body. There are various ways to solve the matter but holding the payment to pressurize the Committee will not work.

There are various consequences related to the non-payment of the maintenance charges by a member

1. A defaulter cannot cast his/her vote in the election held to elect the Managing Committee members of a Society.
2. A defaulted cannot contest the election for the post of the managing committee.
3. The high court has held that a persistent defaulter can be expelled from the society.
4. The member will have to defend his/her legal cases at his own cost and also the expenses incurred by the society will be recovered from the concerned member( as decided by the general body).
5. Member should know that if a society applies for Recovery of Dues, then the RBI Challan fees, sees paid by the society towards court stamp and legal fees spent by the society have to be borne by the defaulter.
6. Attending the hearings at the deputy registrar’s office is time-consuming and also stressful.
7. The general body has the authority to frame and approve rules which may be against the defaulter. For e.g. the society may resolve to disallow parking space to the defaulter.
8. The defaulter member cannot sell the flat/ unit unless the dues are cleared. The society might refuse to grant NOC unless the dues are cleared.
9. The defaulter cannot avail of any loan from any financial institutions the society would refuse to give a NOC to the member.

The Managing Committee members should take an interest in recovering the dues from the members. remedial action should be taken against the defaulter. Such defaulters enjoy all the facilities provided by the society at the cost of the members who regularly pay maintenance charges to the society. The society should know that it has no right to cut the water connection or electricity supply of defaulters. Taking such action is illegal.

The society may send reminders and notices to the defaulter for the payment of the dues but if the dues are still not paid by the defaulter, then the society may file a case against the defaulter, then the society may file a case against the defaulter at the office of the deputy registrar U/s 101 ( Now revised section No. 154 B-29) of the MCS Act 1960. A society can file the case U/s even without appointing a lawyer. All the procedure can be completed by society by giving an authority letter to one of the managing committee members, authorizing him/her to attend hearings and put the matter before the deputy registrar. Before resorting to action U/s 101, society should send reminders and letters. This will give an opportunity to the member to pay the charges.

Society should give the member an opportunity to express his/her views before taking severe action. As a cooperative Society, decisions should be supportive and helpful.

Disconnecting Electricity and Water Connections

In this regard, the managing committee should keep one important thing in mind that cutting the electricity connection and water supply should not be done. It is equal to denying the member’s rights to basic amenities. it is illegal, unlawful, and can be considered as an offense.