WITH draft rules for implementing the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act in Maharashtra permitting developers to legally sell vehicle parking spaces to flat buyers, a small portion of black money in the cash-intensive real estate sector is expected to be demobilised. In 2013, the Bombay High Court ruled that approved parking spaces within a building were common areas for society members and could not be sold. Developers circumvent the restriction by collecting payment for car-parking spaces in cash.
Having failed to curb this illegal practice, the state government on Thursday legalised the sale of parking space. The draft rules for implementation of the law governing real estate were notified by the state Thursday. Under the new rules, approved parking spaces, both covered and open, can be sold. In a bid to regulate it, the government has mandated that developers must formally disclose details of this sale. The government has also permitted builders to demarcate such parking spaces sold. Prevailing rules grant the cooperative housing society the powers to distribute parking space among members.
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Maharashtra on Thursday became the country’s seventh state to notify draft rules for RERA’s implementation. Although the Centre — which passed the Act earlier this year — had asked all states and Union Territories to notify the rules by October 31, only Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Chandigarh, Karnataka, and now Maharashtra, have so far notified their state-specific rules.
Like most other states, Maharashtra has tweaked the rules drafted by the Centre for the implementation of RERA. A key exclusion in the state’s draft is the doing away of a provision requiring developers to make public disclosures pertaining to building approvals obtained on the proposed housing regulator’s website. Another provision in the Central Act requiring developers to make similar disclosures regarding their past track record of project delivery has also been omitted.On the other hand, Maharashtra’s rules mandate that developers make disclosures regarding the marketability of the title of the land, which is missing in the Centre’s draft.
“This will save the common man from examining voluminous documents pertaining to the title of the land,” a senior official said. For filing a complaint with the Housing Authority, a flat buyer or a complainant would have to pay a fee of Rs 10,000.While state officials argued that this would deter frivolous complaints, questions were being raised over this restriction imposed on aggrieved flat buyers. The state has invited suggestions and objections on the draft till December 23. Ongoing projects will have to register themselves within three months after the final rules are notified and the Housing Regulator is in place.