• Questionable additional carpet area claimed by builder

Halfway during construction of flat, the builder claimed additional carpet area, to maintain good outward look of the building. The additional carpet area are mainly by adding a full height projection area as cupboard, and 3 feet height storage space under the windows, in each room. He did not specifically ask for my consent nor I have given him the consent.
Total SBA as per agreement: 2436sq ft. Corresponding carpet area: 1642 sqft
Now he is asking 2538sqft as new SBA, and corresponding carpet area as: 1710sqft.
Additional claim in carpet area= 68sqft.
Out of this we find the additional carpet area with full height is only 25sqft, and balance 43sqft (68sqft-25sqft) is actually 3ft ceiling height storage space under the window. As a layman, I find that this 3ft height space can not be used by me fully, and as per general information I know that the carpet area should have roof slab at normal height. My question is:
1. Am I legally obliged to pay for additional SBA of 102sqft?
2. Even if I agree to pay for additional carpet area, I think I should only pay for 25sqft carpet area, in place of 68sqft claimed by him.
Shall very much appreciate a clear answer.
Asked 2 years ago in Property Law from Bhubaneswar, Odisha
Religion: Hindu
1) the agreement signed by you must have mentioned carpet area of the flat . 

2) builder cannot increase carpet area of the flat without your consent . 

3) you are liable to pay only for the additional carpet area of the flat and not additional SBA 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
46704 Answers
2763 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1) if the agreement is as per SBA builder cannot increase SBA without your consent . 
2) check the building plans sanctioned by municipal corporation . it must be mentioning area of your flat as per sanctioned plans 

3) if builder refuses to give sanctioned plans file RTI application and obtain sanctioned plans from municipal corporation 

4) Carpet area shall mean the floor area of the usable rooms at any floor level . Carpet Area is the area where we can spread a carpet, means area calculated from inner wall to wall distance inside the house. This would also include steps if any, inside the house. So essentially, Carpet area is nothing but the net usable area inside the house. 

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
46704 Answers
2763 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. The agreement cannot be altered unilaterally. You are not legally obligated to pay for the differential SBA which has arisen due to the change proposed by the builder. What has not been provided in the original agreement can be incorporated only if there is a consensus between the builder and the buyer. If the builder does not agree to register the sale deed on the lines of the original agreement then you may sue him to seek specific directions from the court to convey the title and deliver the possession. The builder, who will be given an opportunity to defend himself, will have to justify that he could not foresee the requirement of additional carpet area at the time of execution of the original agreement.

2. If there is no mention of carpet area in the original agreement this is a big lacuna, which has now been maneuvered and consolidated by the builder in his favour. You should not have signed the agreement in the first place unless the carpet area was specified therein. Be that as it may, he cannot increase the SBA without your consent. The inclusion of carpet area, unless circumcised by the agreement to the contrary, is not to be necessarily proportionate to the roof or ceiling height.

3. The remedy available to you is to either cancel the agreement and seek the refund of the amount paid, or file a lawsuit against the builder to bind the builder to discharge his legal obligations under the agreement.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
23120 Answers
639 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Carpet Area: This is the habitable area measured from the inner faces of walls. It implies the area of an apartment which can be carpeted and includes the balconies. Terrace areas are mostly counted for carpet area at 30-50 percent discount. The ratio of carpet area and saleable area differs from builder to builder. The higher the ratio, the better it is.
Built-up Area: This implies the total area of a flat. It includes the carpet area, the space covered by the thickness of the walls and ducts. In most cases, it is 10-15 percent more than the carpet area of the apartment.
Super Built-up Area: This is also known as the ‘saleable’ area and is relevant to multi-dwelling units. It is calculated by adding the mark-up for common spaces such as lifts, staircases, security rooms, entrance lobby, corridors, pump rooms, electrical rooms, etcetera to the built-up area. Mainly, it includes all the common amenities that are built (excluding parking space), but not directly charged to the buyer.

Loading: The difference between the super built-up area and the carpet area is called loading.

 The jargon prevalent in the domain like Carpet Area, Built-up Area, Super Built-up Area, among others can be very confusing for investors who are not acquainted with the domain.
Yes, You Could End Up With Less Space Than You Thought!
At this stage, there isn’t much the buyer can do save regret. The builder and broker will take a neat exit by telling him that they had divulged all particulars about his apartment. They will fling some technical sounding-words at him, make certain calculations and remind him that they had previously done the same calculations for him before he had agreed to sign for the apartment, and then leave him to make his peace with his lot.

With the help of an architect, draw out the differences and grievances observed in the sale agreement and prevailing factors, chalk it out and issue a legal notice demanding your relief, failing to appreciate your genuine claim, the builder may be drawn to court or consumer forum seeking relief
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
36859 Answers
403 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1.The Agreement for Sale is required to be perused to afvise properly,

2. Does the Agreement state that the SBA as well as the carpet area may vary?

3. If not, then you can refuse to pay for what yiu have not agreed to,

4. However, if you do not pay for it, you will not be allowed possession and registration,

5. So, send the builder a letter stating that you have not agreed for the construction of the additional area and pay the additional amount under protest,

6. After getting the property registered, file a complaint case before the local District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum alleging deficiency in service and unfair business practice claiming refund of the additional amount with interest, damage and cost,

7. It is a very good case to win.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
18749 Answers
452 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. Yes, area having ceiling of 3 ft high can be called as carpet area,

2. Stairs inside a Duplex apartment is also charged as carpet area,

3. The area beneath the stair case of a Duplex Apartment is also charged as carpet area though some portion of it has a stairs on it starting from  just 6 inches and gradually increases,

4. Your strong point is that you never asked for it and it has not been mentioned in the Agreement for Sale executed  by you.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
18749 Answers
452 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

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