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Buying a resale apartment? This means you are not buying an apartment in a building under construction, or a ready flat, directly from the builder. You are, instead, buying a flat from another apartment owner.

Before you buy an apartment in a co-operative housing society, here are a few questions you must ask.

1. Is there a transfer fee?
Many societies charge a fee from the person selling his/ her apartment or from the person buying the apartment. Some societies charge this fee from both individuals.

You need to find out if there is a transfer fee being levied on you, the buyer. If so, you need to know the amount.

2. What is the maintenance charge?

Societies levy maintenance charges on its members. These could be either monthly, quarterly or semi-annual payments.

The charges are based on the area of your home.

Find out how much it amounts to and when it has to be paid.

3. What's included in the maintenance charge?

The maintenance will generally cover the municipal tax, property tax, assessment tax, water charges, common electricity charges, elevator charges and charges for hired help like the garbage cleaner and security.

It will be steeper if your society offers additional facilites like a garden, play area for children, swimming pool, gym, club house, etc.

Check in detail what is and what is not included in the charge. For instance, car parking charges will not be included in the maintenance fee.

All members will also have to contribute to a 'sinking fund'; this fund is used to finance all heavy repairs in the building and in its premises. The amount varies with each society.

4. Are pets allowed?

Even if you don't have one now, you may think of having one in the future. Check if pets are permitted. If they are, does the society charge a fee?

5. Is car parking provided?

Some societies do not have car parking. Those that do charge for it. Find out how much this is. This will be separately billed to you when you get your society maintenance bill.

Check with the seller of the apartment if his/ her parking slot will be made available to you.

If your previous owner did not have a vehicle, speak to the secretary of the society and ask if a slot can be made available to you.

6. What sort of security is provided?

Is day and night security provided? You may specially consider it if you and your spouse work and leave your little child at home with a maid. Or if you have elderly parents staying with you.

You can also check if they have the intercom system, or if they check before letting someone up to your apartment.

7. Is there a water problem?

Does the society have a tank to store water? Is water supply available all 24 hours?

8. Can you park your child's bicycle?

Will the society allow you to park it in the corridor? If not, then in the compound? Will they charge you for it?

9. What is the connectivity?

Does the building have a cable connection? What about broadband? There exists more than that meets the without clothes eye.

Will the seller be leaving the telephone connection behind?

10. Are all the bills settled?

Ask for proof from the seller that all electricity bills and telephone bills have been cleared. From the Date of Possession (when you obtain ownership of the apartment), all the bills become your responsibility.

Also check with the secretary if all other society dues have been settled.

Once you move in, inform the local electricity board of the change in name of the occupant. Find out if there is an electric meter deposit and how much it is. And, if the telephone has been left behind, get it transferred to your name. Also, get in touch with the cable operator for broadband and television. If the society has a gas pipeline, you need to get it transferred in your name
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