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You must examine two points in this regard. Has the society passed a resolution in the general body fixing the non-occupancy charges?

Written by Vinay Singh | Published: September 3, 2011 12:27:46 am

I own a flat in Surat and for 5 years,the society collected maintenance charges from everyone. Since the past year they have been demanding 50 per cent more,for rented flats as compared to owner-occupied flats. I have been trying to convince the society to charge equally or take 10 per cent higher as per rules but they are not agreeing and have started harassing me and are even keeping prospective tenants away. Are there any laws specific to Gujarat on non-occupancy charges? How can I resolve this?

—Surya Prakash Loonker,Delhi

You must examine two points in this regard. Has the society passed a resolution in the general body fixing the non-occupancy charges? Secondly,is there any limitation under the law? For example,societies in Maharashtra are barred from charging non-occupancy charges in excess of 10 per cent of the administrative charges. In the absence of any specific rule or judgement,you can challenge the charges levied upon you as being unreasonable as a society is not formed for earning profit.

I have booked a flat in Gurgaon where the builder advised me the total chargeable area as 2,250 sq. ft. I have made 20 per cent payment. Construction has yet not started. Now the builders are saying that HUDA while approving the layout,has increased the area to 2,600 sq. ft. where as the actual plinth area has decreased from 1,725 sq. ft. to 1,660 sq. ft. Is this justifiable? Where can I make my complaint as the builder is not listening.

— VK Goyal,Pune

Please read your agreement and compare it with the approved plan you can obtain from HUDA (use RTI to obtain the same if necessary). You can complain to the jurisdictional consumer forum which is your best (and fastest) bet for getting justice.

I had purchased a house from Eldeco in 2005. I got possession in 2008. In 2006 my builder informed me that the government has imposed service tax and asked me to deposit around Rs 40,000 which I did. I came to know that service tax has been imposed only from 2009. When I contacted my builder for refund I was told that I would get it as soon as it was refunded to the builder. I am regularly following up with the builder but to no avail. How can I get the refund? Is there any authority to whom i may lodge a complaint for redressal? Please advise.

— RK Arora,Kashipur

Since no service tax was payable by you,it is a mistake of the builder and you are not concerned with when he obtains a refund. I suggest you send a legal notice demanding the sum with interest and if the builder refuses,approach the consumer forum for redressal.

—The expert is a Mumbai-based CA
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