Mumbai: 'Even If Not Society Member, Flat Occupier Has To Pay Maintenance', Says Civil Court

Mumbai: 'Even If Not Society Member, Flat Occupier Has To Pay Maintenance', Says Civil Court

While hearing a case against a builder who defaulted to pay maintenance for two flats in a building constructed by him, the court said membership of society has no bearing on payment of maintenance charges and other taxes.

Charul Shah JoshiUpdated: Friday, June 07, 2024, 10:29 PM IST
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Mumbai: 'Even If Not Society Member, Flat Occupier Has To Pay Maintenance', Says Civil Court | Representational Image

Mumbai: The person who occupies a flat must pay maintenance charges irrespective of whether he is a society member or not, observed the city civil court. While hearing a case against a builder who defaulted to pay maintenance for two flats in a building constructed by him, the court said membership of society has no bearing on payment of maintenance charges and other taxes.

According to the plea filed by Mulund-based Laxmi Avenue cooperative housing society ltd, the builder – Laxmi Builders and Developers – had sold 21 out of 23 flats and kept the remaining two units with them. The society claimed that after the possession of every sold flat was given in 1999, the members wrote to the builder, asking him to also handover the conveyance with collected deposits.

While the developer failed to comply with the statutory provisions, it also occupied two flats on the ground floor. He further covered the open space around the flats with a wall and iron grilles; which ideally should have been the property of the society, said the plea. It further alleged that he later sold the open space and even the BMC didn't act on the society's grievance. The builder also failed to pay power, water and maintenance charges for the two flats and the dues ballooned to Rs36.18 lakh, the plea added.

However, the developer claimed that he had time and again requested the society to give membership, but the society refused, saying that conveyance should be done first. The builder's family said that they are ready to pay the maintenance charges from the date they are added as society members.

Rejecting the contention, the court said, “The person, who is occupying a flat and using common amenities, is liable to pay maintenance and other charges as claimed by the society even if he/she is not the member.” The maintenance charge is utilised for maintenance of society. It has no relationship with the membership. The builder has occupied flats in the building of the plaintiff society, and is using common amenities and facilities, reasoned the court. It ordered him to pay the maintenance from October 2002, when the society issued a notice to him, seeking the dues.

quote:

The person, who is occupying a flat and using common amenities, is liable to pay maintenance and other charges as claimed by the society even if he/she is not the member. The maintenance charges are utilised for maintenance of society. It has no relationship with the membership

Court

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