Mumbai Housing Society Queries: Definition Of ‘Flat’ Is Exhaustive But Does Not Include Terrace

Mumbai Housing Society Queries: Definition Of ‘Flat’ Is Exhaustive But Does Not Include Terrace

The questions are answered by Sharmila Ranade, a legal expert associated with Mumbai Grahak Panchayat.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Monday, December 25, 2023, 09:58 PM IST
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Representational image | File Photo

There was a sudden power failure in my house for about six hours, which was due to some issue in the society’s common meter room. I got it rectified and paid the electrician. But the society is refusing to reimburse the amount. Can the society ask me to bear the cost of rectification for a problem arising in the common meter room?

– Denver Mendez, Nahur

Bye Laws 68(a) and 159 (a) provide for the repair and maintenance costs for the usage of common areas required to be carried out by the society at its own cost, which include “electric lines up to the main switches in the flats”. Further, the Bye Law 68(b) provides that all repairs not covered by the Bye Law 159 (a) shall be carried out by individual members at their cost. Any fault in your society’s meter room is required to be repaired by the society at its own cost. You may inform these provisions of the Bye Laws to the managing committee and ask it to bear the cost.

I wish to sell my flat, which includes a terrace as approved in the municipal plan and included in the sale agreement. Can I split the flat and terrace as I intend to keep the terrace for my use?

– Vinod Sharma, Nerul

Every building is constructed in accordance with the plan approved by the local authority. The number of flats, shops, closed garages, etc, are constructed as per the approved plan. Subsequently the society is formed and the membership is given as per the number of flats mentioned in the plan. Membership is given to the owners of flat, which has been defined in the MCS Act as well as the Bye Laws of the societies. Definition of ‘flat’ is exhaustive and inter alia includes block, chamber, dwelling unit, office, shop, etc, but does not include terrace. Generally the terrace is supposed to be a common property of the society. However, in your case the terrace is adjacent to your flat in accordance with the approved and hence the entire flat and terrace will be considered one residential unit. Splitting it separately as flat and terrace may not be allowed until you obtain permission from the municipal authority for which you will require the permission of the society.

I purchased a resale flat in 1996 and the sale deed was not registered. I have been asked by my society to register the sale deed by paying stamp duty and penalty in order to initiate redevelopment of our building. Is there any way out to get the sale deed registered and seek waiver of the penalty and the stamp duty as a long time has elapsed?

–Rahan Shetty, Powai

The state government has come up with an amnesty scheme known as ‘Abhay Yojana, 2023’ offering waiver on the stamp duty and penalty depending on the time of execution of the instrument and the stamp duty originally payable. The scheme shall be implemented in two phases. The first phase begins from December 1, 2023 to January 31, 2024, for documents executed on a valid stamp paper from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2000. The second phase will be February 1, 2024 to March 31, 2024, applicable for documents executed from January 1, 2001, to December 31, 2020. For details please refer to the notification available on the website of the IGR Stamps igrmaharashtra.gov.in and click on the Abhay Yojana, 2023 link.

(The questions are answered by Sharmila Ranade, a legal expert associated with Mumbai Grahak Panchayat. The questions, in brief, may be sent to fpjchs@gmail.com)

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