Over 4,000 lessees of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)-owned properties, who have sub-let a portion or the entire plot to third parties without the civic body’s consent, will now have the option of regularising the breach.
On Wednesday, the BMC’s civic improvements committee approved a policy that will now allow lessees to sub-lease municipal properties upon paying the civic body a premium based on the stamp duty ready reckoner rate (SDRRR). Mumbai has about 4,196 such BMC-leased properties.
As per the approved policy, those lessees henceforth interested in sub-letting the plot for development in accordance with the plot’s reservation in the Mumbai Development Plan may approach the BMC and pay a sub-lease fee of Rs 1 lakh. Along with this, the BMC will charge a premium of 2 per cent of the property’s SDRRR, or 50 per cent amount of the sub-lease agreement (whichever is more).
For properties where sub-leasing has already been carried out illegally, the lessee can approach the BMC for regularisation for a fee of Rs 2 lakh. These properties will also have to pay a higher premium of either three per cent on the ready reckoner rate, or 50 per cent of the agreement amount between the lessee and sub-lessee (whichever is more). These premium rates have been reached at based on a revenue policy that was approved by the civic body in 2008.
“This option has been created to fill the policy gap for sub-letting municipal-owned properties. In several cases, the lessee cannot develop the plot as per its Development Plan reservation, which may be for a hospital, school, dispensary etc, and instead may want to enter into an agreement with another agency without losing the benefits and rights of the lease. This policy offers them a solution,” said Milind Sawant, deputy municipal commissioner (improvements).
The civic body has specified that only those plots, which hold a lease agreement that includes a particular clause, section 108 (j), of the Central government’s Transfer of Property Act, 1882, are eligible for this option. The clause grants the right to transfer the lease by way of mortgage or to sub-lease any part of the property, while still subjecting the lessee to the liabilities of the lease agreement.
“The lessees have three months to notify the BMC of their intention to enter a sub-lease agreement and pay the premium. If any sub-leasing is carried out without notifying us after enacting this policy, we will immediately cancel the lease for violating the terms,” Sawant said, adding that the corporation is yet to ascertain the number of properties with this condition now eligible for the sub-leasing policy.
“Generally speaking, almost all properties have breached various conditions of their lease agreements and we are aware that many have already sub-let,” Sawant said.