Gated Community Maintenance Challenges

11/09/2014

Living in a Gated Community has its own advantages. When living inside a Gated Community, there are multiple benefits residents can share and enjoy which otherwise could not be affordable for residences in individual houses. These are facilities such as dedicated security, common amenities, organized parking systems, adequate privacy and even a team of volunteer Resident Welfare Association Members (RWAs) to manage gated community maintenance.

However Gated Communities are not excluded from facing challenges. The funds collected for Gated Community maintenance need to be well-spent for reassuring the benefits of living in gated communities. The RWA committee Members primarily manage collection of maintenance funds from all residences and allocate budgets to get routine maintenance of Gated Communities.

We can perhaps classify the problems faced by Gated Communities into two categories.

Timely Collection of Monthly Maintenance Charges

For multiple reasons, the timely collection of maintenance fees from residents has always been a challenge as there are multiple dependencies. Any delay in the collection of monthly maintenance charges from residents of apartments will put a shortage of funds for the planned maintenance activities. Delay in payment means delay in payments for service providers. This in turn will cause poor maintenance activities that slowly derail the health of Gated Communities.

To highlight some of the key problems that arise out of delayed collection of monthly maintenance funds are:

  • Unnecessary Friction among RWA Committee Members and Residents
  • Strained relationships between RWAs and Business Service Providers
  • Delayed maintenance activities for aspects that need timely attention
  • Poor Judgement & lack of mutual respect among fellow residents
  • Risks of getting delayed support or penalties from Government bodies

More defaulters means lesser collection which results in a lower maintenance amount for the functioning of that society. However, most of the defaulters are accidental and often need nothing more than a reminder or two. However, keep a lookout of Management Committees charging any unnecessary or extra amounts under false pretexts such as keeping pets or asking for more than required because one has a bigger flat.

Proper utilization of the monthly maintenance funds

The other category of challenges of gated community maintenance revolve around utilization of the funds properly so that the quality of gated community living is high.

  • Wear and tear of residential buildings

RWA members use the maintenance funds to engage vendors and service providers. It is always not the case that every business service provider delivers quality service for the contracts they get from RWA Members. Any mess up happens with the maintenance contracts not only wastes the maintenance budgets but also demands further money is spent on the same maintenance activity. More such incidents will make the overall preventive maintenance activities of the gated community.

. Lack of Harmony among residents

When the maintenance activities are not being done properly this affects the mindset of residents. Talking about issues and not solving it will trigger lot of frustration among residents. Complaints and chaos arise between RWAs & Residents. This affects the relationships between RWA Members and residents. In short the overall harmony of residents is affected.

  • Enforcing new community maintenance policies

Not sorting out maintenance activities on time with support of 3rd party business service providers frustrates residents and they will not extend necessary cooperation to RWA maintenance committee in following newer policies rolled out.

  • Failing Compliances of contractors & their employees

The maintenance activities are done by 3rd party contractors, business services whose employees may get affected when a residential community as the client fails in timely honoring payments. Not only the livelihood of contractors’ employees are affected but also the contractors and business service providers fail in meeting their statutory compliance with government bodies.

Solving Gated Community Maintenance Challenges

There certainly exists gap in solving the gated community maintenance challenges. It takes lot of planning, cooperation and systematic coordination between RWA Members and Community Resident Members. Also the second part of the puzzle is to properly utilizing the collected maintenance budgets with trusted business service providers.

There are newer solutions being identified by stakeholders in this space. Some of them are technology automation in apartment / gated community maintenance, identifying trusted vendors who serve gated communities in a consistent manner.