Monday, February 3, 2014

Rules and regulations for apartment dwellers: KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Rules and regulations for apartment dwellers

A Subramani, TNN Dec 15, 2008, 08.07 PM IST

CHENNAI: A multi-house apartment is like a village in miniature and each flat owner is an independent entity for all purposes, except those concerning undivided common interests or amenities. While most of the issues relating to apartment life vis-a-vis individual rights have been settled by laws and courts, a good knowledge of one's entitlements is essential for a dispute-free environment. The interests of cluster residents are governed by at least half a dozen civic agencies and as many legislations.

What are the agencies that regulate apartments? What are the legislations that define residents' rights? And, how disputes are resolved?

Government agencies

Local bodies exercising their power under the Town and Country Planning Act, the Chennai Corporation and the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) handle planning permission, building rules and completion certification processes, depending on the location and size of the complexes.

Residents shall deal with these agencies, and others that provide water and drainage, collectively. For instance, if one resident fails to remit his water and drainage charges, the civic agency can disconnect the supply to the entire complex. It is, of course, different for power supply as every residential unit is supplied with separate meters or regulators.

Legislations for apartments

The yet-to-be-enforced Tamil Nadu Apartment Ownership Act 1994 has exhaustive definitions about apartments, owners, undivided space and common amenities.

All areas of common usage the garden, play area, community hall, staircase, terrace and elevators shall be accessible to all occupants of an apartment. Irrespective of the size of individual flats, all purchasers get equal access to these amenities, and they are usually specified in sale deeds. Not just resident-owners, even tenants are entitled to use them as a matter of right, for they represent the owners during their authorized occupation. An owner, however, cannot unilaterally take up major repair works that could have a bearing on the structure.

The flat owners associations registered either under the Tamil Nadu Co-operative Societies Act, 1983 or the Tamil Nadu Societies Registrations Act, 1975 shall manage the affairs of the complex, including the income-expenditure portfolio. These Acts provide for election, audit of accounts and regular meetings to ensure fair administration of the apartment.

Any profit flowing from common space shall be put in the corpus fund or shared by the owners and, expenditures on account of maintenance too shall be divided among them. Repair, replacement, security and maintenance are the administrative responsibilities of the elected association.

However, the cost of maintenance of reserved amenities such as covered parking, club house, gym, swimming pool, indoor games, theatre, etc, cannot be passed on to other owners who had not subscribed to these benefits.

An owner may sell, mortgage, lease or gift his asset, and the regular laws applicable to the transfer of property and succession of assets, besides other property laws, are applicable to apartments.

Dispute resolution

The association of flat owners is the immediate competent authority to remedy the residents' grievances. The forum shall take the concurrence of all members to make substantial addition or changes in the common-use area, fixing the quantum of maintenance fee and proportion of such a payment. For instance, whether the maintenance fee shall be on a flat rate per-house basis or proportionate to their sizes shall be decided by the association. Besides the registrar of societies, civil courts may also be approached in case of infringement of rights, improper management of the association and disputes over use of common area. 

Courtesy_


Also view the related links

The Puducherry Building Bye-laws and Zoning Regulations, 2012: http://tcpd.pondicherry.gov.in 

Realestate Listings for New Construction Apartments In Pondicherry: http://www.commonfloor.com

1 comment:

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    Tax Lawyer Chennai

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