I am the secretary of a cooperative housing society of a newly-constructed building. We were shocked to see that the electricity bill received in the name of the developer for the meter for common area showed arrears and with commercial tariff. The developer is not responding to our letters and calls. We approached the electricity company for change of name and change in tariff to residential. However, the electricity company informed us that the name and tariff will be changed subject to the society clearing the arrears. Please advise.
Ronit Mukhurjee, Navi Mumbai
The developer is required to pay the dues and all charges including the electricity bills until the time of receipt of OC. Office bearers of the society shall ensure that the developer has cleared all dues and has handed over all documents, deeds and records to the society after conveyance. In your case, the society should officially call upon the developer to pay the dues. If the developer fails or neglects to clear the dues, the final letter should state that the society is paying the dues “under protest” with a view to avoid disconnection and consequent hardships to its members and that the society shall recover the amount with interest from the developer. As per Regulation 12.5 of the MERC (Electricity Supply Code and SOP of Distribution Licensees including Power Quality) Regulation 2020, any charge for electricity due to the electricity company that remains unpaid by the erstwhile owner or occupier of any premises shall be a charge on the premises that will be transmitted to the legal representatives/ successors in law or transferred to the new owner/occupier of the premises as the case may be. As such, the amount unpaid by your developer will be recovered from the society being the new owner of the premises pursuant to the conveyance. The society can make the payment to the electricity company and get the name and tariff changed. In case the electricity company does not change the name and tariff even after payment of the dues, you may file a complaint with the consumer grievance redressal forum of the electricity company.
I purchased a flat in 1990. We wish to purchase additional space when the building is redeveloped. How can I add my son’s name on the share certificate to help us take a home loan jointly from the bank?
SK Patil, Sion
Self-acquired property may be gifted to anyone. You may gift 50% (ideally) of your shares in the housing society to your son by making a gift deed in his favour. The gift deed shall be duly stamped and registered. An application may be filed with the society to take on record a copy of the gift deed. The original share certificate shall be submitted to the society for giving effect to the gift deed. The managing committee shall place the application before the general body of the society for necessary action. The approval will be recorded in the minutes. The secretary shall then update the society registers and records. The secretary shall also add the name of your son on the original share certificate.
The questions are answered by Sharmila Ranade, a legal expert associated with Mumbai Grahak Panchayat.
The questions, in brief, may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
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