I would like to solicit your opinion on a discussion happening in my apartment (located in Bangalore, the society is formed under the 1960 Karnataka Societies Registration Act). The issue is regarding application of penalty on maintenance payments.
For the past two years, we have been following the policy of applying a penalty of Rs. 150/- (one time only and not every month until payment) for any unpaid maintenance or if payment is done after due date. We also use a portal called commonfloor where the maintenance invoice is generated and residents update their payment. If a resident makes a payment on or before due date but updates in commonfloor after the due date, commonfloor automatically generates a penalty. The practice until now has been to waive off the penalty in commonfloor if the payment was made on or before due date even if the resident is late in updating commonfloor.
The management committee now want to change the rule so that even if the resident pays on time but fails to update the commonfloor, they will be charged a penalty of Rs. 150/-. So even if someone defaults the actual payment or pays but forgets to update commonfloor, they get penalized.
Upon hearing this, I have registered my disagreement with the management committee on the following grounds:
1. The by-laws of the association have only the below clause regarding penalty (f and g)
f) All residents of the apartment shall pay the monthly
subscripttion/maintenance as defined by the management committee. In the
event of non payment of the subscripttion by the residents with in the
prescribed date due to any unavoidable circumstances, then the same should
be paid within the next 10 days, even after that if the residents do not pay the
subscripttion amount, then a nominal charge of Rs.100/- (one hundred) shall
be collected in the next month.
g) If any resident defaults payment of the monthly subscripttion/maintenance
amount for a continuous period of 3 three months the Association may take
appropriate action for recovery of the said amount due to the association
through legal remedies and also deprive the defaulting resident of basic
2. Such a rule seems to be unfair to the residents who paid the maintenance on time. The commonfloor portal is only supposed to ease the tracking work of invoice generation and reconciliation. Failure or delay to update in such a portal should not be penalized since the resident has already paid his dues to the association.
Even after raising my concerns, the management committee seems to be reluctant to back off from their stand because it is added work for the treasurers to find out if the penalty is really due to late payment or just late update. I have asked them to consult a legal advisor but not sure if they would do so.
I would like to know if the actions of the management committee are justified in this scenario.