Can hous­ing au­thor­ity act against buyer in­ter­ests?

Au­thor­ity in UP city is­sues news­pa­per ad­ver­tise­ment ask­ing buy­ers to con­sent to changes in pri­vate de­vel­oper’s hous­ing project

HT Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Van­dana Ram­nani

Abuilder in NCR re­cently de­cided to use part of the in­creased floor area ra­tio ( FAR) to make changes in the sanc­tioned plans of his project. How­ever, he did not di­rectly seek the ap­proval of peo­ple in­vested in his project as man­dated un­der Sec­tion 4(4) of the UP Apart­ment Act 2010. In­stead, the city au­thor­ity is­sued an ad­ver­tise­ment in the lo­cal news­pa­per invit­ing ob­jec­tions of buy­ers on be­half of the de­vel­oper. If no ob­jec­tions were re­ceived by buy­ers within the stip­u­lated pe­riod, it would mean that home­buy­ers had con­sented to the changes.

What the au­thor­ity did was against the law as a writ­ten con­sent from each home al­lot­tee is manda­tory to make any changes in the plan. “All changes to the orig­i­nal plan (of the project) have been made by ig­nor­ing the con­sti­tu­tional and statu­tory rights of the buy­ers, thereby vi­o­lat­ing the pro­vi­sions of the Act. The au­thor­ity also has no role in ob­tain­ing a no-ob­jec­tion from each and every al­lot­tee to ef­fect any change in the plan. By is­su­ing an ad­ver­tise­ment to seek ‘con­sent’ from al­lot­tees, the au­thor­ity is try­ing to cir­cum­vent Sec­tion 4 (4) of the UP Apart­ment Act,” say res­i­dents in the said project.

Sec­tion 4(4) of the UP Apart­ment Act clearly lays down that “After plans, spec­i­fi­ca­tions and other par­tic­u­lars spec­i­fied in this sec­tion as sanc­tioned by the pre­scribed sanc­tion­ing author- ity are dis­closed to the in­tend­ing pur­chaser and a writ­ten agree­ment of sale is en­tered into and reg­is­tered with the office of con­cerned reg­is­ter­ing au­thor­ity, the pro­moter may make such mi­nor ad­di­tions or al­ter­ations as may be re­quired by the owner or own­ers, or such mi­nor changes or al­ter­ations as may be nec­es­sary due to ar­chi­tec­tural and struc­tural rea­sons duly rec­om­mended and ver­i­fied by au­tho­rised Ar­chi­tect or En­gi­neer after proper dec­la­ra­tion and in­ti­ma­tion to the owner: Pro­vided that the pro­moter shall not make any al­ter­ations in the plans, spec­i­fi­ca­tions and other par­tic­u­lars with­out the previous con­sent of the in­tend­ing pur­chaser, project Ar­chi­tect, project En­gi­neer and ob­tain­ing the re­quired per­mis­sion of the pre­scribed sanc­tion­ing au­thor­ity, and in no case he shall make such al­ter­ations as are not per­mis­si­ble in the building bye-laws”.

Un­der the law, if a de­vel­oper de­cides to make changes to the orig­i­nal plan of his project when the home­buy­ers are still await­ing pos­ses­sion, he is re­quired to get 100% con­sent of the home­buy­ers.

But in case an as­so­ci­a­tion of own­ers has al­ready been formed by the buy­ers who have taken pos­ses­sion of their premises, pro­ce­dure calls for get­ting an amend­ment made in the deed of dec­la­ra­tion. The builder will have to make a pro­posal to the au­thor­ity and the au­thor­ity will then have to send the pro­posal to the apart­ment own­ers as­so­ci­a­tion and no­tify the mat­ter in a news­pa­per ex­plain­ing the kind of changes the builder is plan­ning. The as­so­ci­a­tion then calls for a gen­eral body meet­ing to pass or re­ject the said pro­posal through a ma­jor­ity vote and sub­se­quently send it to the au­thor­ity. The au­thor­ity is bound by the res­o­lu­tion, ex­plains S K Pal, a Supreme Court lawyer.

PHOTOS: BURHAAN KINU

De­spite in­creased aware­ness of home­buyer rights (above: a group protests against late de­liv­ery of flats in NCR) au­thor­i­ties are vi­o­lat­ing hous­ing rules with im­punity

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