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Leakage & Repair issues in Housing Society

Community living has been in existence since the dawn of civilization and it continues even today in the form of apartment complexes and housing societies. All homeowners in the community have certain rights and responsibilities in terms of use of common areas and upkeep and maintenance of the premises. Things usually work out well for residents living in a community space. One of the most common problems that residents face is leakage issue from the flat above. This is usually caused due to leaking pipes or absence of proper insulating material in places like toilets and bathrooms. Substandard quality of construction can also lead to water leakage issues from flats above. Water can percolate through the tiniest of cracks and crevices, so leakage issues are bound to occur sooner or later with regular wear and tear.

Flat’s Repairs and Renovation: Owner’s pride, neighbor’s pain Owing to the high real estate prices in Mumbai, home owners are often forced to remodel their existing homes to create additional space, instead of buying a bigger house. Housing societies can and should raise questions and also stop renovations that can affect the life and value of the building. If the shifting of walls, etc., is permitted without prior authorisation, then, everyone will modify their flats and offices, as per their wish and requirement.

People tend to overlook the dangers to structures, when renovating their home and especially commercial areas in a building. All the buildings and structures that collapsed or were badly damaged have been due to load-bearing walls, beams and columns being removed. Therefore, such permissions need to be relaxed but not completely removed, especially for beams, columns, pillars, etc., being shifted, removed or changed,

Although society bye-laws mandate approval from the housing society & BMC to carry out major Repairs and/or renovation in the flat, there seems no set guidelines for timings and thus causes nuisance to neighbors in the building and housing society prefer to leave things to the mutual understanding among members. There have been instances of residents approaching police for noise disturbing their peace & tranquility. According to the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, the noise limit for residential areas during the day (6am-10pm) is 55 decibel and at night (10pm-6am) 45dB.

For renovations, residents should consult an architect. Alternatively, housing societies could hire a professional architect, to keep the members from misusing these provisions. For any kind of changes in the building’s structure, proper survey should be done in advance. Individuals and societies should now engage the services of qualified professionals, to undertake flat renovations.

As per Model Bye laws, following clauses are applicable in Housing Society in Maharashtra

Responsibility of Members

45. Every Member shall keep his flat / unit/tenement in good maintenance.

46. (a) No Member shall, without the previous permission of the Committee in writing, make any additions to or alterations in his flat, as per Appendix No. 33

(b) The Member, desirous of making any additions to or alterations in his flat shall make an application to the Secretary of the Society, giving all the required particulars. Further action on such application shall be taken by the Secretary and the Committee of the Society as provided under the Bye-law No. 63.

(c) No Structural changes are permissible, without the prior permission of the concerned competent authority.

47. (a) For facilitating discharge of functions mentioned under the bye- law No. 156 by the Committee, every Member shall allow the Secretary of the Society, accompanied by any other Member of the Committee, to enter upon his at with prior intimation to the Member, to examine its condition for ascertaining the repairs, if any, necessary. The Secretary of the Society shall make a report to the Committee, indicating therein the particulars of the repairs to be carried out by the Society at its cost and those by the Members at their cost.

(b) On receipt of such report, the committee shall ascertain the cost involved in the repairs, which are required to be carried out by the Society at its cost as provided under the bye-law No. 159(a) and cause the notice to be served on the Member for such period as the Committee thinks adequate, of its intention to carry out the repairs and there-upon the Member concerned shall allow the workmen engaged by the Society directly or through its architect, access to his at for carrying out the repairs. If the Member concerned fails to give access to his at, without reasonable and convincing reasons, the Secretary of the Society shall have authority to enter upon the at and carry out the work under the Supervision of the Member of the Committee duly authorised by it in that behalf or the architect appointed by the Society.

(c) In respect of the repairs to be carried out by the Member at his cost, the Committee shall cause the notice to be served on the Member, indicating therein, the particulars of repairs necessary at his at and calling upon him to carry out the repairs to his at to the satisfaction of the architect approved by the Society, if any, at his cost, within such period as the Committee may allow. On his failure to comply with the notice, the Secretary of the Society or the architect appointed by the Society shall have authority to enter upon the at and cause the repairs to be carried out after giving due notice to the Member concerned. The amount spent by the Society on such repairs shall be recoverable from the Member concerned.

48. No Member, without the previous permission of the Committee, in writing shall stock or store any kind of goods or materials, which are combustible obnoxious or other goods, for the storing of which requires permit / sanction of the competent authority under any law relating thereto.

a. No Member shall do or suffer anything to be done in his at which may cause nuisance, annoyance or inconvenience to any of the Members of the Society or carry on practices which may be repugnant to the general decency or morals of the Members of the Society.

b. It shall be competent for the Committee either sou-moto or on receipt of the complaint from any Member, to take steps to stop all such practices referred to in the bye-law No. 48(a) forthwith.

Responsibility of Society & Managing Committee

68. The following repairs and maintenance of the property of the Society shall be carried out by the Society at its costs:

(a) (i) All internal roads, (ii) Compound walls, (iii) External water pipe lines, (iv) Water pumps,(v) Water storage tanks, (vi) Drainage lines, (vii) Septic tanks, (viii) Stair cases, (ix) Terrace and parapet walls, (x) Structural repairs of roofs of all flats, (xi) Stair-case lights, (xii) Street lights, (xiii) External walls of the building/ buildings, (xiv) All leakages of water including leakages due to rain water, and leakages due to external common pipe line and drainage line, (xv) Electric lines up to main switches in the flats (xvi) Lifts, (xvii) The damaged ceiling and plaster thereon in the top floor flats, on account of the leakage of the rain water through the terrace.(xviii) Generators,(xvix) Security Appliances (CCTV, Intercom, Group Mobile, Mass Data Sharing Devices, Siren Bell) (xx) Rain Water Harvesting,(xxi) Sewerage, Storm water Drain & Water Treatment Plant (xxii) Common areas not specifically allotted, Swimming Pool, Gym, Sauna Bath, Coffee House (xxiii) Common Parking Space (xxiv) Solar and alternate energy devices. (xxv) Garden (xxvi) Community hall

(b) All the repairs, not covered by the bye law No. 159 (a) shall be carried out by the Members at their cost. The expenditure of the internal leakage due to toilet, sink etc. should be according to Bye Law No. 159 (b)

(c) If the repair is not done in time then the society shall done it & recover the cost from the concerned flat owner.

159. The following repairs and maintenance of the property of the Society shall be carried out by the Society at its costs:

(a) (i) All internal roads, (ii) Compound walls, (iii) External water pipe lines, (iv) Water pumps,(v) Water storage tanks, (vi) Drainage lines, (vii) Septic tanks, (viii) Stair cases, (ix) Terrace and parapet walls, (x) Structural repairs of roofs of all flats, (xi) Stair-case lights, (xii) Street lights, (xiii) External walls of the building/ buildings, (xiv) All leakages of water including leakages due to rain water, and leakages due to external common pipe line and drainage line, (xv) Electric lines up to main switches in the flats (xvi) Lifts, (xvii) The damaged ceiling and plaster thereon in the top floor flats, on account of the leakage of the rain water through the terrace.(xviii) Generators, (xvix) Security Appliances (CCTV, Intercom, Group Mobile, Mass Data Sharing Devices, Siren Bell) (xx) Rain Water Harvesting,(xxi) Sewerage, Storm water Drain & Water Treatment Plant (xxii) Common areas not specifically allotted, Swimming Pool, Gym, Sauna Bath, Coffee House (xxiii) Common Parking Space (xxiv) Solar and alternate energy devices. (xxv) Garden (xxvi) Community hall (xxvii) Wi-Fi setup of the Society

(b) All the repairs, not covered by the bye-law No. 159(a) shall be carried out by the Members at their cost.

1. On finding any leakage the affected party should make a complaint to the society with a copy to the other member from whose flat the leakage begins.

2. Within 3 days of such application the Secretary or any of the authorized person should visit the flat and affected portion, submit the report, and take necessary corrective measures and the expenses within 7 days, the expenses incurred for the same should be shared between the society and the members affected i.e. upper and lower floor member equally. The repairing should be carried out by the Contractor appointed by the society.

3. In case, the leakages is due to the repairs and renovation varied out by the upper flat owner prior to 3 months of leakages,100 % cost to be bear by the upper floor member.

4. If the member does not co-operate with the society for repairs the society by taking the help of police protection should complete the repairs and carry out the necessary repairs and in such case the expenses cost of police protection shall be charged upon such non-cooperative member.

5. Further, all the above share of repairing cost and police protection shall be treated as regular dues of the society.

6. If such amount is not paid within specified period, the interest as applicable to other dues will be changed on such defaulted amount and also can be recovered by filling recovery proceedings under section 101 or 91 of MCS Act as the case may be.

Repairs & Renovations in the Flat

As per section 342 of BMC Act, 1988 (amended till date), the following “tenantable repairs”, can be carried out without obtaining permission from the ‘Building and Factory’ department of local BMC:

Ø Plastering, painting, pointing of your flat

Ø Providing guniting to the structural members or walls

Ø Changing floor tiles

Ø Repairing WC, bath or washing places

Ø Repairing or replacing drainage pipes, taps, manholes and other fittings

Ø Repairing or replacing sanitary, water plumbing or electrical fittings

Ø Replacing the roof with the same material

Ø Replacement of existing water-proofing material of the terrace.

The only pre-conditions to the renovation work to be done at residences are:

Ø The original tenantable structure (whether rental or ownership) must be legal, i.e. it is based on the original BMC-approved Building plan.

Ø Though no BMC permission for the above is required, it is advisable to do so under strict supervision of a registered Architect and/ or Structural Engineer

Under Bye Law 139 and 7(d), the Managing Committee has the right to collect a deposit for renovation, because there may be damage to the society premises during renovation and society has the right to recover that amount from the member (even if the damage occurs inside the member’s house). Under Bye Law 48 no member must cause nuisance or inconvenience to other members during their renovation work. And committee has powers to stop such a nuisance.

Bye Law 167 takes into consideration the convenience of members, allowing usage of lifts to be regulated by the managing committee. Member has to make an application for usage of terrace Bye Law 65 and the committee can decide under bye law 170 whether to grant permission or not, for temporary usage – and can also take a payment for the same.

Author’s note: Leakage in Cooperative Housing Societies

It is common knowledge that many disputes in Cooperative Housing Societies originate on account of Leakage. Prima facie leakages are of two type internal leakage and external leakage. We all know that water percolates from top to bottom. It reduces the life span of the building. The neighbor from whose flat leakage originates is hardly bothered as leakage does not affect him. The poor member residing on the lower floor pleads, appeals, screams but hardly does it affect the member residing above his flat. His submission that his furniture is getting spoilt, false ceiling is likely to fall, the paint is peeling, walls have become wet, there is a probability of electrical shocks due to water percolating into wall are just ignored by the member residing above. The submission made by the society in such matters almost falls on deaf ears. Forget about repairing the flat and stopping the leakage, Member residing on the above floor literally does not allow the society representatives or the representative of the members residing below to even allow the contractor to enter his flat.

It is recommended that Society should pass the resolution at AGM that the expense on leakage of flat specifically internal leakage will be shared equally by all the three parties namely, one share by the member from whose flat leakage is originating, one share by the member residing below that is the sufferer and one share by the society. Idea of sharing by the society is to ensure an element of support to the sufferer besides an element of fear on the member who is resisting carrying out leakage.

As regards external leakage or leakage from the terrace the same is the exclusive responsibility of the society.

155. It shall be the responsibility of the Committee to maintain the property of the Society in good condition at all times and to redevelop the Society buildings/property, if necessary, as per Government directives from time to time and as per prevailing laws.

156. (a) The Secretary of the Society, on receipt of any complaints about the maintenance of the property of the Society from any Members of the Society or on his own motion, shall inspect the property of the Society (if necessary along with technical expert appointed for the purpose), from time to time and make the report to the Committee, stating the need of the repairs, if any, considered necessary. The Committee shall consider the report made by the Secretary of the Society and decide as to which of the repairs should be carried out.

(b) The Members of the Society shall allow access and cooperate in the inspection of the premises for repairs and maintenance.

157. (a) The Committee shall be competent to incur expenditure on the repairs and maintenance of the Society's property once in a financial year, the onetime expenditure does not exceed:

ü Up to 25 Members Rs. 25.000/-

ü 26 to 50 Members Rs. 50,000/-

ü 51 and above Upto Rs. 1,00,000/

(b) If one time expenditure on repairs and maintenance of the Society's property exceeds the limit as mentioned under bye- law No. 157(a) prior sanction of the meeting of the General Body of the Society shall be necessary.

(c) The meeting of the General Body of the Society shall decide the limit up to which the expenditure on repairs and maintenance of the property of the Society could be incurred by the Committee without calling for tenders for the work. In respect of the work, the cost of which exceeds the limit, so fixed, the Committee shall follow the procedure of inviting tenders, placing them before the General Body Meeting for approval and entering into contract with the Architect (if appointed) and the Contractor.

d) The appointment of An Architect: In respect of redevelopment of Society buildings the procedure to be followed as per Government Resolutions (as amended from time to time) and provisions in Architect Act 1972.

(e) If no appointment of an Architect is made by the Promoter, the meeting of the General Body of the Society shall appoint an Architect on such terms and conditions as it deems t and as per the provisions of Architect Act 1972.

(f) The Committee shall enter into the contract with the Architect, on the basis of the terms and conditions approved at the meeting of the General Body of the Society in that behalf as per the provisions of Architect Act 1972.

Collection of Funds for Repairs by Society

13.The Society shall create and establish the following funds by collecting contributions from its Members at the rates mentioned hereunder:-

(a) The Repairs and Maintenance Fund, at the rate fixed at the general body subject to the minimum of 0.75 per cent per annum of the construction cost of each flat, incurred during the construction of the building of the Society and certified by the Architect, for meeting expenses of normal recurring repairs of the Society's buildings/property.

(b) Major Repairs Funds as and when required and decided by the General Body at the rate fixed on area basis.

(c) The Sinking Fund at the rate decided at the meeting of the general body, subject to the minimum of 0.25 per cent per annum of the construction cost of each flat incurred during the construction of the building of the Society and certified by the Architect, excluding the proportionate cost of the land.

Utilisation of the Funds by the Society

14. The Society may utilise its Funds in the manner indicated below:

a. Reserve Fund: The Reserve Fund of the Society may be utilised for the expenditure on repairs, maintenance and renewals of the Society's property.

b. Repairs and Maintenance Fund: The Repairs and Maintenance Fund- may be utilised for meeting the expenditure on maintenance of the Society's property and repairs and renewals thereof.

c. Sinking Fund: On the resolution passed at the meeting of the general. Body of the Society, the Sinking Fund may be used by the Society for reconstruction of its building/ buildings or for carrying out such structural additions or alteration to the building / buildings, as in the opinion of the Society's Architect, would be necessary to strengthen it / them or for carrying out such heavy repairs as may be certified by the Architect and on approval of General Body.

Investment of Funds

15. The funds of the Society, when not deployed in its objects, may be invested or deposited as required under Section 70 of the Act. Provided that Society's funds collection shall be invested on long term basis, along with the interest earned thereon by one of the modes permitted under the said section of the Act.

Author’s recommendations

ü Society’s surplus should be invested in Short Term, Medium Term & Long Term funds depending upon needs

ü Separate Funds should be invested & identified for Sinking Fund, Repair Fund & Special Repair Fund so as to match Reserves accumulated through Collection of respective funds from members along with accumulated interest thereon

ü Funds should be invested with policy resolution from AGM, considering risk appetite (taking in to account greed & fear factor), use of professional help & active participation of Mg. Committee of CHS and avoid dormant attitude towards Funds of Society

ü CHS should opt for “Growth” option to avoid TDS & Taxation issues

Section 70 of the MCS mandates to invest surplus funds in securities specified in Section 20 of the Indian Trust Act, which widely expand the investment avenues for all Housing societies like:

Ø Government bonds or RBI Bonds

Ø Debts issued by corporates, including banks and DFIs, minimum “AA” rating

Ø Infrastructure-related debt instruments

Ø All the debt products of mutual funds regulated by SEBI-Debt Funds (G Sec, Corporate Debt, Short Term Debt, Money Market Funds etc.)

Ø Equity shares listed either on BSE or NSE with Market Cap > Rs.5, 000 cr, ETF, Index Funds, Sector Funds, Funds of Funds etc.

Medium Term Funds for Budgeted & Approved Repairs: This should be kept in Debt MFs or FDs with Banks with matching maturity of need. Period could be 6 months to 2 year.

Long Term Funds: Sinking Funds, Repair Funds & Major Repair funds should be invested on Long Term Investments and period could be 2 year to 10 years.

• Avoid AT I Bonds-Perpetual Bonds issued by Banks (Yes Bank episode?) as they are risky.

• There is no need to keep funds only in cooperative banks (PMC Bank lessons).

• Discuss at AGM & Finalise Investment Policy depending upon Society’s member’s Risk Appetite, Governance (avoid conflict of interest), Active Committee participation and use Professional help.

Technical aspects of Repairs & Leakages

Type of Building / Structure Intended Service Life

Ø Monumental building 100 years

Ø RCC framed building 75 years

Ø Load bearing construction 55 years

Ø Semi-permanent structures 30 years

Buildings provide shelter to live work and are valuable assets for Individuals. If the assets are preserved, the value appreciates; else it is a loss to the owner whosoever capital has been invested. The preservation of the building is to enhance the life cycle and prevent deterioration and is therefore considered to be very important. Repair is an essential activity to make good the damage caused to the building due to decay or poor maintenance. Repair can be avoided by proper and timely maintenance work.

Scope of Repairs and Maintenance

Ø To ensure Structural stability

Ø Water Tightness- A well maintained building would have a good system of leak proof waterproofing and drainage system, watertight terrace and external façade and good plinth protection to keep the surface water away from building structure

Ø To improve the Durability

Types of Repairs and Maintenance

Ø Routine works: Cleaning of plumbing choke ups, filling up of rat holes, Servicing of electric pumps and Common lighting arrangement

Ø Incidental works: Opened/loose drinking water/waste water pipelines at junction, Damaged compound wall and Small theft

Ø Periodic works: Treatment of cracks, External painting, Underground water tank cleaning, overhead water tank cleaning, Fungus and termite treatment, Removal of weeds in joints and Terrace monitoring

Ø Service contract work (AMCs): lifts, Common wiring / transformer, Water Pumps, Overhead & underground Tank cleaning, Termites etc.

Structural Audit

As per Clause No. 77 of the revised Bye-Laws of Cooperative Housing Societies: “The Society shall cause the ‘Structural Audit’ of the building the Society” as follows:

Ø For building aging between 15 to 30 years once in 5 years.

Ø For building aging above 30 years Once in 3 years

A Registered structural engineer from the panel of Municipal Corporation should carry out such structural audit. During the structural audit the detailed inspection of the society building needs to be done externally and internally. Being a very new concept there is no standard norms in this regard as what it should focus on.

Relevance of structural audit for buildings

The main objective of structural audit is to know the condition of the building. The structural audit report should be taken in its true spirit by the societies instead of just fulfilling and mandatory requirement as per bye-law. The report should be discussed among the members of the Managing Committee and the Structural Auditor so that the recommendation of Structural Auditor can be implemented in true sense.

Structural audit of the society building should broadly cover following:

Ø External facade

Ø All flats from inside (including shops and offices in the premise).

Ø Staircase block / lift machine room / lift shaft / lift pit.

Ø Common utility area like passage, foyer etc.

Ø Terrace staircase “mumty”

Ø Overhead tank

Ø Underground tank

Ø Stilt area (soft storey)

Ø Vegetation / plant growth

Ø Surroundings of the building

Ø Dish antennae / Hoarding

Ø Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) can be carried out to assess the strength of RCC at the advice of Structural Engineer.

Common problems in a poorly designed / construction / maintained building are:

Ø Leakages (in flat, façade, terrace leakages)

Ø Termite and rat ingress Cracks

Ø Deterioration in RCC

Ø Unauthorized modifications/alterations

Ø Failure of any repair carried out in past

Ø Plumbing related problems

Ø Vegetation / plants / weeds growth at inaccessible areas

Problems and their varieties vary from building to building and every problem may be unique in nature.

Common leakage problems

Leakage/ Dampness Seepage

Ø Appearance of damp patches on Western and South walls exposed to rain

Ø Formation of hairline cracks near the beam / column and wall joints and seepage of rain water through these cracks

Ø Occurrence of water seepage along the perimeter of the window frame at the joint between frame and concrete

Ø Leakage from overhead water tanks

Ø Leakage from upper flat toilets/WC to neighbor’s ceiling downstairs

Ø White salt powdery deposition on walls adjacent to toilets/WC’s efflorescence

Ø Dampness rising upward from ground causing dampness on wall

Ø Dampness in the peripheral walls of top floor flats

Ø Leakage at a location where the neighbor on upper floor is constructing a bathroom

Ø Leakage in the top floor flat when overhead water tank overflows

Ø Dampness in the wall near the expansion joint of the building

Ø Corroded plumbing and sanitary fitting including concealed pipes

Ø Leaking joints of drainage and rainwater pipes

Ø Sewer line choke-ups

RCC/ Plaster Deterioration

Ø Ugly cracks on building façade

Ø Open cracks in beams and columns

Ø Jamming of windows

Ø Falling of concrete and exposed corroded steel bars

Ø Separation gaps in wall near RCC columns and beams

Ø Diagonal cracks in wall near window sills

Ø Mushy cracks on entire plaster

Ø Excessive deflection in slab and beam

Ø Extensive cracking in chajja and worn out edges

Ø Tiled floors upheaval

Ø Tilting of compound wall

Causes that lead to Building Repair

Ø In Built Effect: Poor design, quality of materials used and quality of construction

Ø Damage: From poor Maintenance & neglecting indiscriminate additions & alterations, overloading, earth quake, Tsunami, Cyclone, Fire, Accidental catastrophe

Ø Deterioration: Due to Environment, geography of terrain, Carbonation, Chloride Sulphate attack, corrosion, moisture ingress & age

Ø Indiscriminate Additions/Alterations: There have been some building collapses, which were otherwise healthy, due to indiscriminate additions and alterations done by interior designers at the instruction of the Owner. Some of the common alterations / additions made are alteration to window canopies, additions of walls on window canopies, enclosing of open balconies, conversion of a dry area into toilet / bath, addition of heavy weights on weak or inadequate structural elements, etc. All these additions / alterations take place when entire building or part (few flats) changes hands. It is always the case that no engineering advices are taken before any such changes in the building or its part are planned or carried out. In fact, careless modification can lead to leakages or serious structural damages.

Ø Overloading

Ø Natural Calamity, Fire & Accidents

Ø Environmental Impact: Due to wind pressure, seasonal and daily temperature variation, chemical reaction in saline coastal atmosphere, moisture variation in humid area, corrosion of metal (rusting of steel in RCC), root of growing trees, moss / lichens / fungi growth, etc. the building undergoes fast aging and comes to repair stage.

Does a building structure really need repair?

The Managing Committee of any housing society always encounters a major opposition from general members before obtaining the general body approval for repair work. The main points of arguments revolve around few questions:

Ø What is the need to spend so much money on repair?

Ø All are living happily living so why now?

Ø Except few damp patches here and there, during monsoon there appears to be no problem.

Ø All are doing good business and prospering.

Ø All the services (electricity, lift, water supply, etc.) are normal.

Ø Above all, property value is appreciating every day.

Ø In general there appears to be no problem at all.

The Managing Committee may find it difficult to answer the above questions. At the end they may find themselves either frustrated or convinced that there is no need to go for repair of the building.

Planning Repair: Repair of building in distressed condition should have following sequence:

1. Selection of Consultant, who should have in depth knowledge of structures, repair experience, technical expertise in repair and good organizational set-up to provide supervisory control

2. Structural audit and investigation by the consultant.

3. Diagnosis of cause of damage, distress, deterioration and decay by the Consultant.

4. Selection of need based repair area on priority basis by the Consultant.

5. To assess financial implications jointly by Consultant and Society.

6. Selection of proper and effective repair materials.

7. Writing of specifications of repair work by the Consultant to suit the feasibility of repair project based on socio-economical consideration.

8. To prepare the efficient tender documents by the Consultant to include terms and conditions, payment terms, legal obligations of Society and contracting agency, environment obligations, specifications, bill of quantities, provision of unforeseen items of work.

9. Selection process and selection of Contractor by Society under guidance of Consultant based on technical qualifications, work experience, establishment, tools & plants, financial soundness, past performance, etc.

10. Preparation of contract agreement by the Consultant.

11. Effective supervision by the Consultant to monitor quality, quantity, progress, cost effectiveness, billing certification, adhering to conditions of contract, etc.

12. Billing and certifications.

13. Regular review meeting jointly attended by Society, Consultant and Contractor.

14. Issuing of completion certificate after defect rectification by the Consultant.

Factors, which make Repair Work successful

The Managing Committee of any society should minutely look into socio-economic consideration in detail before finalizing the repair project for its success.

Ø Economic class of occupants.

Ø Immediate and future need of occupants after the repair work.

Ø Education of occupants towards building maintenance and repair.

Ø Capacity of occupants to contribute towards repair work.

Ø Impact on occupant’s monthly contribution towards maintenance if extra amenities like lift, extra underground water tank, security services, pest control services, etc. are coupled with repair work.

Ø Understanding the past history pertaining to administration of building maintenance and repair affairs.

Ø Harmony / disharmony among occupants.

Some Do’s & Don’ts for Housing Society’s Office Bearers

1. For routine repair keep a panel of competent repair people like electricians, plumbers, carpenters, painters, etc. to be called upon to render their services. Maintain and update the database of these competent repair people. Do not get the repair services from any unauthorized vendor.

2. Pay due and justified remuneration to competent repair people for keeping them motivated and inclined to render their services in future.

3. Attend any damage to the building immediately. Do not go for short-term gains in repair.

4. Do not wait for standby services also to fail.

5. Do not grant permission for proposed modifications/alterations inside individual flats during renovation/ interior decoration/refurbishing unless feasibility is checked and approved by Structural Engineer before start of work and certified after the completion of work. Maintain the records of the same for future reference.

6. Maintain the record of repair work carried out in past under different categories.

7. Educate the occupants of the building in maintenance & up keep of the building

8. Do not become reluctant to appoint Consultant/Expert before going for major repair work.

9. Do not judge the competency of a Consultant / Contractor from his tall promises, big publicity and volume of work

10. Do not rely on vague technical data given in Repair Chemical Manufacturer’s catalogues.

11. Learn to trust the professional service providers (Consultant/Expert) after verification of his/her credentials

12. Allow sufficient time to implement complex and conventional methods of repairs as per the available advice.

13. Be very objective all the time. Be loud and bold followed by deeds. Be fair (impartial), tolerant and at times firm. Ride over all the obstacles righteously to complete the repair project.

14. Do not play too safe giving undue thought to personal responsibilities.

15. Do not prolong the decisions deliberately even if cursed with inherent shortage of funds, compulsion to spend less than effectively required, general refusal of moral obligations towards a thankless job.

16. Understand or try to understand the true concept of scientific and planned repair to avoid a near chaotic situation.

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