Flat buyers must check if builder has right to construct & sell flats

The law mandates that certain documents must be registered, yet even without registration, permits these documents to be admissible in evidence. Would this be construed to dispense with the requirement to execute the agreement, whether registered or otherwise?
Case Study: Raj Developers had constructed Savitri Sadan building at Bhayander on a plot of land jointly owned by eight members of the Thakkar family. The builder failed to form the society. The shop owners and flat purchasers then formed a society on their own without the builder’s assistance. It was registered as Savitri CHS in March 1994.
The society later attempted to get conveyance of the land and building. As the builder failed to execute conveyance, the society filed a complaint before the Thane District Forum against the developer and eight members of the Thakkar family who had owned the building plot.
The forum observed that there was neither any agreement in respect of transferring the title from the land owners to the builder, nor was there any registered development agreement authorizing the builder to construct the building and sell the flats. The forum observed that when the builder does not have clear title, he cannot pass on the title to the society. Hence the forum concluded that it could not order execution of the conveyance. So the complaint was dismissed.
The society appealed against this order. Its argument was that the Maharashtra Ownership
Flats Act specially provided for unregistered agreements to be accepted in evidence.

The Maharashtra State Commission observed that the issue was not about the document being registered or not. It was whether the builder had any right to construct the building and sell the flats. There was no document to show that the builder had purchased the land or the land owners had given him a right to sell flats in the property. So, when the builder himself does not have any right, he cannot create a further right in favour of the society.
Accordingly, the Commission concluded that it did not have the power to direct the flat owners or the developer to execute conveyance. By its order (15.1.2017) delivered by Justice Bhangale for the Bench along with member D R Shiraso, the State Commission reaffirmed the view expressed by the District Forum, and dismissed the society’s appeal.
Conclusion: Flat purchasers must ascertain whether a builder has the right to construct a building and sell flats. A tacit understanding between the land owner and builder would be of no help. What is required is that there must be a written contract between the land owner and the builder. In the absence of such an agreement, the flat purchasers would never get any right to the flat purchased by them. So the only option available would be to seek a refund of their money along with compensation and costs.
Times of India – 22nd  January 2018


Waste segregation: Housing societies get BMC notice for flouting composting pit norm

We have issued circulars pertaining to this to all wards. In the last 10 days, notices to this effect have been issued to housing societies flouting these norms,” said BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta

In a bid to get residential societies generating bulk waste to segregate and compost wet waste on their premises, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has started issuing notices to housing societies that use the area earmarked for composting units for other purposes. Societies violating the composting unit rule will be penalised. On the BMC radar are housing societies that have come up after 2007, which had shown they have vermi-composting pits.

The civic body had identified 2,389 housing societies across its 24 administrative wards, which had received intimation of disapproval and occupation certificates (OCs) after they showed adequate arrangements for vermi-composting. But in a recent survey by the civic body, of these societies, 1,551 (65 percent) were found allegedly violating the OC condition, and using the space for composting units to park cars or extend garden space or build a shed.

The civic body is in the process of sending notices to all these societies. “We have issued circulars pertaining to this to all wards. In the last 10 days, notices to this effect have been issued to housing societies flouting these norms,” said BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta.

The move to conduct the survey of housing societies was taken up after many of them failed to set up the mandatory composting units on their premises citing space constraints. Meanwhile, the BMC is trying to help housing societies that genuinely lack space to set up composting units. The civic body is exploring the possibility of allowing private housing societies to compost wet waste at municipal markets. The civic body is planning to set up composting units in spaces available in BMC-owned market buildings, which will enable societies near these markets or those facing space constraints to use the facility by paying charges.

In June, the civic body made it mandatory for all housing societies and hotels that produce over 100 kg of waste daily or have an area of or above 20,000 sq metres to start segregating garbage and compost wet waste from October 2. These societies and hotels were asked to set up composting units on their premises. After many of them requested for more time, the BMC extended the deadline to January.

“There will be no further extension. The extension given to these societies is enough. Meanwhile, we are trying to help societies in whatever way we can. They had enough time before the first deadline on October 2,” said a senior official from the solid waste management department.

Source – Indian Express