Pune: Disputes erupt in housing societies over increased maintenance cost and non-payment from members

ST Correspondent
Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Tackling the COVID-19 has resulted in increased maintenance costs but many society members are not ready to pay maintenance charges on time, which has led to increase in disputes in housing societies

Pune: Tackling the COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in increased maintenance costs, but many members are not ready to pay maintenance charges on time, which has led to increase in disputes in most housing societies in the city.

The registered cooperative housing societies collect monthly, quarterly or yearly maintenance charges from its members. Water supply, waste management, cleanliness, security guard payment, lift maintenance and other expenses are managed through the collective maintenance fund of the society.

Presently, the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in many societies opting for the highest safety and hygienic standards to be implemented in their premises to avoid the spread of the virus and COVID-19 cases. Security guards and housekeeping staff have been regularly provided with masks and sanitizer bottles. Visitors are also asked to use hand sanitizer before entering the premises. Besides these, equipment like thermal guns and pulse oximeters are being procured to check whether visitors are having symptoms of COVID-19.

Some members are reluctant to pay the maintenance dues despite several reminders given to them. As a result, the management committees are finding it difficult to manage the additional expenses incurred to combat COVID-19.

Suhas Patwardhan, President of Pune District Co-operative Housing Federation said, “Societies collecting yearly maintenance charges are not facing this problem. Most of the societies have not increased their maintenance charges. If members pay their maintenance dues on time, then societies can implement safety measures like providing masks and sanitisers.”

Digvijay Rathod, Deputy Registrar for Cooperative Societies (Pune City 1) said, “The management committee of any society has rights for essential expenditure. Those members who are not paying or are delaying payment are sent two notice by the committee. If the members do not relent, then society can inform the cooperative department. The members are issued a recovery notice under cooperative societies act. A recovery representative from the federation is also appointed as per law.”

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