A com­mon prob­lem in all of NCR

Many RWAS in Ghazi­abad, Farid­abad, Gur­gaon and Noida are fight­ing de­vel­op­ers for rights over com­mon ar­eas

HT Estates - - Front Page - Jee­van Prakash Sharma

The is­sue of own­er­ship of com­mon ar­eas in hous­ing so­ci­eties con­tin­ues to per­plex apart­ment own­ers all over the NCR, be it Ghazi­abad, Farid­abad, Gur­gaon or Noida.

De­spite le­gal pro­vi­sions for hand­ing over com­mon ar­eas to the res­i­dent wel­fare as­so­ci­a­tion (RWA) in the apart­ment act of the states con­cerned, de­vel­op­ers con­tinue to in­sert clauses in sale-deeds for home buy­ers.

Take this case of Farid­abad (see pic). De­spite the Haryana Apart­ment Act and the Haryana De­vel­op­ment and Reg­u­la­tion of Ur­ban Ar­eas Act, 1975, which states that RWAs will take over the com­mon ar­eas from de­vel­op­ers, the de­vel­op­ers own the space.

“The only dif­fer­ence be­tween Noida and other ar­eas is that while in Noida, the Au­thor­ity is one of the par­ties to the sub-lease deed which has pro­vi­sions which vi­o­late the pub­lic pol­icy, in the other places de­vel­op­ment au­thor­i­ties are not sig­na­to­ries to such doc­u­ments. They are just silent wit­nesses to a prac­tice that is in all like­li­hood il­le­gal,” says Dhanesh Re­lan, an ad­vo­cate, who deals in con­sumer mat­ters re­lated to real es­tate.

Alok Kumar, vice-pres­i­dent, Ghazi­abad RWA Fed­er­a­tion, says that in Indi­ra­pu­ram even af­ter hand­ing over the main­te­nance to the RWA, de­vel­op­ers con­tinue to in­sert clauses in han­dover in­stru­ments claim­ing own­er­ship over the com­mon ar­eas which al­lows them to add more floors to tow­ers in res­i­den­tial so­ci­eties in the fu­ture if floor area ra­tio (FAR) is in­creased.

“Once a de­vel­oper hands over the group hous­ing pro­ject to the RWA, he is out of the group hous­ing pro­ject. He can’t claim own­er­ship over any­thing. But buy­ers have no choice. They want own­er­ship of their apart­ments for which they may have been wait­ing for sev­eral years. They are ready to sign on any­thing,” says Kumar.

He adds, “Even af­ter hand­ing over the group hous­ing pro­ject, de­vel­op­ers are mak­ing lakhs of ru­pees by rent­ing out spa­ces of the so­ci­ety to the mo­bile tow­ers and for other telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion ser­vices.”

The story is sim­i­lar in Gur­gaon too. “Com­mon area by def­i­ni­tion it­self is an area ‘com­mon to the res­i­dents.’ The builder has got noth­ing to do with this area. This is the law world­wide but not in Gur­gaon,” says Amit Jain, di­rec­tor gen­eral, Fed­er­a­tion of Apart­ment Own­ers As­so­ci­a­tion.

He re­counts an in­ci­dent in which res­i­dents of a hous­ing so­ci­ety had to lit­er­ally force the builder out of their com­plex. “It was not a peace­ful han­dover, The builder tried to en­ter the gates of the com­plex with the help 70 bounc­ers but peo­ple had to risk the lives of their chil­dren and wives to get what was right­fully theirs.

Says NK Se­h­gal for­mer se­nior con­sul­tant (pres­i­dent) An­sal Properties, “In a group hous­ing pro­ject, as per the le­gal po­si­tion, if a de­vel­oper takes oc­cu­pancy of the whole pro­ject, he has to hand over the com­mon area to the res­i­dents wel­fare as­so­ci­a­tion. The po­si­tion is dif­fer­ent as far as town­ship is con­cerned. In a town­ship, once the pro­moter takes the com­ple­tion cer­tifi­cate from the di­rec­tor gen­eral, town and coun­try plan­ning, for the whole town­ship, he has to hand it over to the mu­nic­i­pal bod­ies. Once the han­dover for­mal­i­ties are com­plete, the pro­moter has no stake in the town­ship.”

Many de­vel­op­ers, how­ever, don’t agree with Se­h­gal. They openly claim their rights over com­mon area sand RWAs have no other means but to take the mat­ter to the le­gal fo­rums where de­ci­sions come af­ter sev­eral years.

Copy of a sale deed ex­e­cuted by a de­vel­oper in favour of a home­buyer stat­ing that the for­mer claims own­er­ship over com­mon ar­eas

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