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Developers do not Have to Maintain Flat or Apartment after Registration is Completed

No Legal Obligation of Developers

In recent developments in the real estate industry in West Bengal, the Calcutta High Court in Merlin Tf Lake View & Ors vs Ruchir Jain & Ors on 26 August, 2015, held that:

“Once the apartments are constructed and registration is completed, we fail to understand how the maintenance charges could be borne by the developer. It has to be borne by the respective owners of apartments or the tenants depending upon the agreement between the owner of the flat and the tenant who occupies a particular flat.”

The Court also directed the Special Officer appointed by the Court to:

“collect the said money from the flat owners who are refusing or reluctant to pay at the rate of Rs.2 per sq.ft. towards the maintenance charges.”

It is pertinent to note that maintenance charges and maintenance of the apartments, after the building is constructed, the apartments ready and handed over, is upon the owners and residents of such apartments. Forming an apartment association is the best option to deal with apartment maintenance charges. However, if no association can be formed, then the majority of the owners should come together to initiate process of registering an association. It is an easy process and with the coming of the Amendment Act of 2015, all owners are not required to form the association.

Conclusion

It is the duty of the individual apartment owners to form an association or society as soon as the apartments are handed over to the residents by the promoter/builder. The owners should not rely on ad hoc associations as they do not hold legal validity and may cause severe problems later. To read about how apartment association is formed and the processes involved check out this Blog Post. To learn more about how HousingNinja can help form apartment associations or housing cooperative society, please check here.

4 Comments

  1. I thank you very much for your special attention on apartment living including its Acts etc. Your note on collection of maintenance charges and role of promoter/developer is also very important for us.
    Thanks again,
    Subrata Banerjee
    Vice-President,
    Baghbazar Housing Apartment Owners’ Association,
    2, Ananda Chatterjee Lane, Kol-700 003.

  2. Kindly advise the remedies if a flat owner defaults paying his monthly maintenance charges in time. Also inform what should be done if no meeting of flat owners is covenened by the secretary and/or the president of flat owners’ association at all after its formation before three years.

    1. Take steps according to bylaws. You can charge penalty for late payment and the Society can also dismiss membership of the member if they fail to pay constantly. If no meeting is finalized then society can call for one. You can also report to Registrar if the Society fails to comply with regulations. Email me to chenoyceil@gmail.com for more details

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