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Paper jam in new housing rules

Housing societies will have to do a lot of paperwork,some of it allegedly unnecessary,before they get a conveyance deed along with redevelopment rights,rights to open spaces or exploit any additional construction rights.

Written by Shalini Nair | Mumbai |
August 27, 2009 1:17:18 am

Housing societies will have to do a lot of paperwork,some of it allegedly unnecessary,before they get a conveyance deed along with redevelopment rights,rights to open spaces or exploit any additional construction rights. Such rights should rest with societies but developers are rarely willing to surrender these.

The Maharashtra Ownership Flats (Amendment) Rules,2009,approved by the government,promise to make it possible for societies to get a conveyance deed within six months of making an application. The rules are aimed at benefiting over 60,000 housing societies in Mumbai and several more across the state.

What will make it difficult is the clause that societies “wherever possible” have to produce copies of 21 documents,including the registered sale agreement,property card,plot layout,non-agricultural order and urban land ceiling act certificate.

This will help them get a deemed conveyance order. After that,they have to approach the stamp duty office to pay stamp duty,the registration office to register the document and the land records department to transfer the property in their name.

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“The problem is that at each of these stages they are asked to unnecessarily submit all 21 documents and many more. This means that even after deemed conveyance is issued,officials in each department will have arbitrary powers to hold the society to ransom,” said Ramesh Prabhu,chairman of the Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association. He conceded,however,that the rules will provide relief to scores of flat-owners.

Another bottleneck is that the government has not yet allotted manpower to the three competent authorities in Mumbai (one each for South Mumbai,eastern and western suburbs) to handle the overwhelming number of applications that are expected to be filed. The rules will come into effect in another two months.

Housing secretary Sitaram Kunte said the department will soon make provisions to deploy staff to these authorities. “Two of the amendments have far-reaching implications. One is the provision for deemed conveyance and the other is for part-conveyance of buildings constructed on large layouts,as in the case of a township,” he said.

On large layout plots,the new rules state that the builder cannot withhold conveying the land and the building to residents on the ground that he will do so only after the entire plot is developed,a process that usually takes decades.

At Yogi Nagar,a housing society of 76 buildings in Borivali,the developer has not conveyed the property to the name of the society even after 30 years. “The builder retained the conveyance rights on the pretext that he is yet to fully develop the society. Over the years,plots earmarked as playgrounds and gardens for the society vanished and instead eight high-rises were constructed,” said society secretary GP Shah.

After a three-decade wait,the society hopes the new rules will spare them the need to pay the developer crores to buy over the right to redevelop their own society.

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