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Flat owners win fight for parking lots
Hyderabad: In an important judgement, the Hyderabad District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-3 has ruled in the favour of two flat buyers and has asked the builder to provide parking space.
The judgement gains significance in the wake of builders promising car parking space while selling flats and not allotting them citing lack of space later. This has become one of the biggest problems in apartments in cities, including Hyderabad.
The forum ruled that not allotting flats is a consumer dispute and not a civil dispute. Apart from ordering the builder to provide parking space it also awarded compensation to flat buyers and rental loss.
The petition was filed by K. Subba Reddy, a resident of Banjara Hills and Deepa Kodur, a resident of Filmnagar, Jubilee Hills, against eight respondents, including builder G.C. Shekar Babu of R. Constructions, landowner, former and current office bearers of Elite’s Pride Owners Welfare Society.
The complainants had purchased two flats in the third floor of Elite’s Pride and in the two sale deeds it is was clearly mentioned two car parking lots were allotted to the said two flats. They alleged that the parking lots were not assigned to any owner either by the builders or by the society of the Elite’s Pride.
At the time of purchase of the two flats, the complainants noticed a temporary room in the cellar area, which was being utilszed by the builders to store building material. The builders promised to dismantle that room and use for parking space.
The complainants also approached the Aasra, a GHMC sponsor organisation for redressal of the grievance but didn’t get results. Due to non-availability of parking the complainants had to keep their flats vacant for three months, from September to November 2008 and again for four months from October 2009 to January 2010. The loss due to this is estimated at Rs 1.75 lakh and total loss at Rs 3,62,100.
The evidence of the complainants and the opposite parties coupled with documentary evidence clearly established that complainants were entitled to car parking lots but were not provided with the same, the forum said
Rules pertaining to Car Parking in Apartment Complexes
Parking spaces have often been a matter of prime concern for several apartment complexes. Often there are some disputes like allocation of spaces or the fee structures. In recent times, developers and builders charge anywhere in between Rs. 2 lakhs to Rs. 15 lakhs for dedicated parking spots, which at times are more than the value of the vehicle itself. If at all you are purchasing a new property and intend to negotiate with the builder then you must know that a builder is not authorized to sell parking spaces as individual real estate units.
What are the different types of parking?
1. Open Parking – These are uncovered parking spots within the apartment complex premises.
2. Stilt Parking – These are partially covered parking spots on the ground floor of the apartment complex.
3. Garage Parking – Fully covered complete parking structures
What does the law say?
According to the “Apartment Act” in most states, car parking is a part of the society’s common areas. Since the purchase of parking slots has been deemed illegal, the transaction to purchase would become null and void. Once the housing society is registered, it becomes the owner of all the common spaces of the apartment complex including the parking spots.
So, if there are limited number of parking spots, than the managing committee decides the basis of the distribution in consultation with the members. Some take the first come, first serve route and often perform quarterly reshuffles of parking spot to ensure no resident enjoys exclusivity. At times, if this is not practiced then the residents claim ownership of the parking spot.
When it comes to charges levied for parking spots, the law states “Under Section 84 of the MOFA Act, Every member who has allotted the stilt or the parking space shall be required to pay the parking charges at such rate as may be decided by the General body of the Society at its meeting, irrespective of the fact whether he actually parks his motor vehicle or not. The Society can recover different rates for different types of vehicles.”
Here are some FAQ’s about Parking Spaces and answers to them
1. Can a member hold a parking space if he has purchased the same?
A builder has to provide a certain number of parking spaces basis the number of units of houses. As per a mandate from the Mumbai High Court, the builder is not allowed to sell parking spaces outside the FSI consumed. This has been confirmed by the Supreme Court of India too.
2. How can the managing committee handle the allotment of parking spaces?
Parking spaces are common spaces which belong to the housing society. Allotment of the same is at their discretion and the same can be done by means of First Come, First Serve or however the managing committee deems fit.
3. Who owns the parking space?
• The apartment complex “Solely” owns the common spaces (Stilt or Open)
• The members DO NOT own these spaces
• Allotment of Parking space is a “Administrative function” and the Managing Committee as well as General Body are empowered to allot the parking space to its own registered members
• Registered members include family members and associate members
• Tenants are Nominal Members and have no rights of a regular member, which includes having no rights of parking in the CHS premises. However, at the discretion of the Managing Committee, parking can be an extended as humanitarian facility to the nominal members.
• Parking area (Stilt, Open or whatever) is not covered under Floor Space Index (FSI) and hence is not saleable.
• The bye-law provision pertaining to Parking “RIGHTS” is a gross violation of the various BMC & Fire act rules and has got no force of law, in Court of Law.
4. Can the Managing Committee refuse to allot parking space to its members?
Parking space number is decided basis the Lay-Out Plan (LOP) as approved by the civic body (BMC). It is also under the Development Control Rules and under the Fire Act rules. The managing committee has to adhere to these and basis that allot parking spaces.
5. What are the typical parking charges?
The typical parking charges are laid down by the general body. They may range from Rs. 10 to Rs. 10,000 per month. It also depends on the type of vehicle i.e. 2 wheeler, 4 wheeler and so on. It is applicable only to registered members. You can read the guide to maintenance charge calculation in one of our blogs.
6. Who is responsible for the maintenance of the parking space?
The Managing Committee is responsible for the maintenance of the parking space. Its upkeep and safety of the vehicles has to be ensured by the managing committee members. They also have to provide common area lights and security for the members and the vehicles.
7. Can parking deposit be collected?
Parking spaces are common areas and hence deposit cannot be collected even if it is passed in the General Body Meeting. MCS Rule 39 restricts these rights of society to raise funds.
You can always raise a ticket on your ADDA software to inform the managing committee if you are facing issues with regards to your vehicle parking.