Fundamentals of Apartment Management : ADDA Interactive Webinar

The series of Webinars on Apartment Management were kickstarted on September 19, 2020 with the First Episode titled Fundamentals of Apartment Management : Guidelines for New & Incoming Associations, Property Managers. The Webinar was anchored by Ms. San Banerjee, CEO & Co-Founder of ADDA. We also had Mr. N Divakar Rao as a Special Guest. Mr. Rao has over two decades of experience in the field of facility and property management. 

The fundamentals are aimed to establish a SAFE (an ADDA acronym) community meaning a community that is Socially, Administratively, Financially and Environmentally secure and sustainable.

Webinar Presentation

The Webinar video is available on our social media page

Transcript of Q&A

Q1. Can an apartment complex or Housing society invest in Mutual Funds? What are the options for society to invest?

A: Housing societies are majorly advised to invest in Fixed Deposits. To know more in detail about the investments housing societies can make, click here.

Q2. Does ADDA require a specialised accountant?

A: Absolutely not. Any qualified accountant can use ADDA. In case the existing society accountant refuses to use ADDA, you can write to support@adda.io and we will be happy to connect you to our existing Accounting Service Partners.

Q3.What compliances are required to maintain an apartment community?

A: Occupancy Certificate, Clearance from State Pollution Control Board, status of Community assets are some of the standard compliances that all societies, irrespective of their size, must adhere to. Here’s a checklist to understand builder handover or society compliance in detail.

Q4.Why do elections happen around this time and not in Mar/Apr (financial year ending) OR Dec/Jan?

A: The process of Election is as follows : The book of balance is closed by March, audit ends by June/July, present MC calls for an AGM and presents the audit report to all the owners – on approval from owners on the audit report, the present MC holds the election to select the new MC. This ensures the new MC takes over a clean financial statement of the Community that helps them continue the society welfare work.

Q5.What are the GST implications on maintenance charges?

A: If the monthly maintenance of an individual unit exceeds INR 7500/-, GST is to be levied on the entire amount. To know more in details about GST, you can click here or view the Webinar on Housing Society Accounting.

Q6.Is ADDA GDPR Compliant? What is it’s policy on Data Privacy?

A: Yes. ADDA is GDPR compliant and this compliance stands true for its entire range of products irrespective of subscription. The brand signs an iron clad agreement on data privacy with its users and no third party has access to the data stored in any ADDAs.

Q7.What would be a good Defaulter Management Strategy?

A: There are some very simple steps to take care of this :
1. Majority defaulters are unintentional defaulters, so repeated reminders help.
2. Easy and multiple methods of payment like online transaction, UPI payment, cheque payment.
3. Tax invoices that clearly show the calculation of the accrued defaulter penalty fee.
4. Restriction of building management services or lifestyle facilities like swimming pool, gym, clubhouse, etc.

Please note : Irrespective of the amount of dues accrued, the Society Association cannot bar essential services like water, power, car parking, elevator, sanitary services.

Q8.How to calculate Maintenance Charges?

A: There are three basic methods to calculate Maintenance Charges – On the basis of the area of the individual unit, a fixed rate for all residents or a hybrid system where part of the charges is fixed for all residents and the other part is based on the unit size. To know more, read this blog.

Q9.What is the legitimacy of Online Ballot under MCS Act?

A: The MCS Act does not say anything against the conduction of digital Association Election. Therefore, as long as election rules are followed, Online Ballot is absolutely valid.

Q10.What is the legal validity of an online AGM and how to conduct one?

A: If the GBM approves the conduction of an online AGM and makes it the part of the Society bye-laws, it is legally valid. This blog talks in detail about how to conduct an online AGM. Here is a list of tools to conduct the AGM.

Q11.Does ADDA provide hardware integrations?

A: Yes. ADDA does have the infrastructure and necessary APIs in place to facilitate hardware integration. The company is open to integrate with any vendor of the customer’s choice. Some of the integrations already done are biometric attendance trackers, boom barriers, water metres and DoorBot facilitating contactless clubhouse entries.

Q12.Does ADDA provide an Audit review/supervision facility?

A: As a company, no. However, we are happy to get you connected to our network of Accounting Service Partners. Do contact your Support Champ directly or write to support@adda.io.

Q13.Is it a good practice to hire an Estate Manager / Building Supervisor, since it is a lot of work for MC to handle multiple issues which has especially been the case during the Covid times. If yes, what is a good salary slab for such a person (EM/BS)?

A: One of the fundamentals of apartment management is to delegate responsibilities if possible. It is definitely worthwhile to employ an experienced property manager to assist the MC with the maintenance of a community. The monthly salary of such an individual can be anything from INR 25000 to upwards of INR 75000. It is usually best to liaise with a property management firm.

Q14.What is an internal audit? 

A: Internal audit is an independent verification process done to reduce accounting errors and to stop asset misappropriation. It can be done by an elected Chartered Accountant, has Accounting knowhow or has done the duties of a Treasurer in another housing society or apartment complex. This process is one of the most vital fundamentals of apartment management, yet is not followed through often by societies.

Q15.Few clarifications about the Association/Management Committee/RWA :
-What is their legal position?
-The minimum term of an MC member. Is service compulsory?
-What is the process of resignation of an MC Member?
-What is the process to fill up the vacant position?

A: 1. An Association/MC/RWA is only recognised if they are registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. They are a voluntary administrative body and holds no legal authority to persecute any resident of the Community. One of the fundamentals of apartment management is in case of disputes with residents, the MC/RWA is bound to approach the law in accordance to the Indian Constitution and not take matters in their own hands.
2. The minimum period of office is 12 months and the maximum term is to not exceed 5 years. However, members are eligible for reelection to a new term. An MC is a voluntary body and therefore there is no compulsion of service.
3. A resignation letter addressed to the President/Chairman and Secretary and formal notification to all stakeholders on acceptance of resignation.
4. The vacant position must be filled up within 6 months of vacancy by following same rules of election.

Q16.Can the Association collect maintenance money without getting an OC from Builder or Development Authority? 

A: No. Neither the Builder nor the Association can charge Maintenance Money without Occupancy Certificate.

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About the Author: Karnika Roy