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Recourse for Apartment Owners in case Maintenance has not been done in West Bengal

Introduction:

There is less number of lands as compared to the population of our country so many builders and developers have come forward to solve this problem by providing flats or apartments to the people. When the builders hand over the flats or apartments to the residents they are in charge of maintenance of apartment facilities and this is done by Apartment Owners Association.

Apartment Owners Association:

The Apartment Owners Association is a body which is formed by the members (elected representatives) of the apartment. These members are the owners of the apartment and they think for the betterment of the apartment that is for the welfare of the residents of the apartment. There should be at least 7 members to form an association and it must be registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1960.

Some Duties of the Apartment Owners Association Mentioned Below:

  1. Each and every person who has made a contract for sale to take an apartment or plot or flat should make the necessary payments within the period specified and also should pay other required charges such as registration charges, taxes, etc which is mentioned under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016.
  2. The association should collect the sum of money and maintain the apartment as provided under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
  3. They should also provide service free of charge as mentioned under the rules and regulations of the apartment.

Necessary to register an Apartment Owners Association:

An Apartment Owners Association has legal powers to protect the members of the apartment and also has the power to defend itself from any legal action. For this, the association must be registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1960.

Some Responsibilities of an Apartment Owners Association are Mentioned Below:

  • It has responsibilities to solve different disputes between the members of the apartment.
  • It is their responsibility to punish the members who are guilty of theft or causing damage.
  • They have the responsibility to file a complaint before the Consumer Protection Forums if the builders do not comply with the statutory provisions.

Case Analysis: Mr Tapash Roy vs Havelock Properties Ltd. on 11 April 2018 State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission”

In a nutshell, complainant’s case is that on 09.05.2007 he booked a flat being Apartment/Flat No.1803 on the 17th floor at Block-‘C’ measuring about 1910 sq. ft. in the Complex ‘The Gate Way’ together with proportionate share on a plot of land situated on Kona Express Way, Howrah for a consideration of Rs.52,51,000/- (out of which Rs.51,91,000/- for the flat, Rs.2,25,000/- for the car parking space and Rs.60,000/- for club membership) under the construction linked plan.  Accordingly, on 31.05.2017 an Allotment Agreement was executed.  The complainant has stated that he has paid the entire consideration amount of Rs.47,92,600/- (rather paid Rs.50,42,872/-) of the flat and car parking space and proportionate share of the land but in spite of the same, the OP did not complete the said complex and handed over the Completion Certificate thereby automatically execution of the Deed of Conveyance in respect of the said flat and car parking space was got delayed.  The complainant has alleged that the OP was under obligation to complete the flat and hand over the possession of flats and car parking by 30.09.2010 but the same was done on 28.06.2013 by its letter dated 25.06.2013.  The complainant has also alleged that at the time of booking of the flat, the OP assured of various types of amenities and facilities including Club House, Playground, Swimming Pool, Community Hall etc. but in spite of passing reasonable time, OP has failed to provide the same.  The complainant has alleged that in this regard all his requests and persuasions including his letters went in vain.  Hence, the complainant has lodged the complaint with a prayer for several reliefs.”

Commission’s Direction: “The Opposite party shall obtain Completion Certificate and then to execute the Sale Deed in respect of the property as per terms of the agreement dated 31.05.2007 in favour of the complainant positively by 31.07.2018 otherwise the Opposite Party shall go on paying simple interest @ Rs.5/- per sq. ft. per month from 01.08.2018 till the date of obtaining Completion Certificate and execution of Deed of Conveyance. The Opposite Party is also directed to pay the balance amount of Rs.1,43,215/- to the complainant as compensation in the form of interest as per terms of the Agreement within 30 days from date otherwise the amount shall carry interest @ 8% p.a. from date till its realisation. The Opposite Party is further directed to pay a sum of Rs.10,000/- to the complainant as cost of litigation, which is also to be paid within 30 days otherwise the said amount shall also carry interest @ 8% p.a. from date till its recovery.”

Conclusion:

The above body explains Recourse for Apartment Owners in case Maintenance has not been done in West Bengal along with a case law.

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