• Previous dues of owner

Hello, 

I recently purchases a flat in Pune. The said flat is in a building which is NOT a co-operative housing society. I did the due diligence and made sure that all electricity, property tax, gas, etc. are all paid by the previous owner. 

However, all flat owners voluntarily contribute a sum of Rs.1500 per month for maintenance because the builder no longer maintains premises. The earlier owner has not paid this amount to the tune of Rs.22,000 and the other flat owners are asking me to pay this amount. 

My understanding is that since the building is not a co-operative housing society and I have a NOC from the builder - I cannot be held liable for paying previous owner dues. 

Is my understanding correct? 

Thanks
Asked 2 years ago in Property Law from Mumbai, Maharashtra
1. Legally speaking, the neighbours should have collected the maintenance fro the previous owner of the flat,

2. You are supposed to pay the maintenance after being the title holder of the flat & since this payment is not required to be made to govt departments like electricity, Municipality (for property tax) etc., it is not possible for you to ascertain the dues of the previous owner on account of maintenance privately done by other flat owners,

3. While your above arguments are acceptable, it is also a fact that other flat owners have fixed expenses for maintaining all the flats including yours for which they shall have to make payment & if you refuse to pay, they will not be able continue the said maintenance,

4. There are two alternatives left before them. One is to share the dues of the previous owner amongst the other flat owners or to pass on to you since you have purchased the said flat,

5. If you do not pay, nothing will happen to you legally but all other flat owners will certainly go against you,

6. If you are going to stay at your newly purchased flat, it will prudent on your part to pay off the dues of its previous owner on account of maintenance.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
13167 Answers
280 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. Since it is not a co-operative society flat, it must not have any bye-laws governing the rules of recovery of arrear maintenance charge.
2. In your case the association of flat owners, if any, is not authorised to recover any amount towards maintenance before the date of your purchase the flat.
3. If they adopt any coercive measure to recover the same you should bring the same to the notice of the local police.
Devajyoti Barman
Advocate, Kolkata
6442 Answers
71 Consultations
4.9 on 5.0
Since it is not a cooperative society they cannot recover the dues from you. They can ask you to oay the amount from the month you purchased or started saying. Issue them a notice that you are not bound to pay and is ready to pay the same after buying it.you can file a suit and give necessary direction that you are not bound to pay and file a consumer case for deficiency of services. Lodge a police complaint too
Jeshma Mohandas KP
Advocate, Kozhikode
567 Answers
1 Consultations
3.5 on 5.0
1) you must have entered into registered agreement for purchase of flat with the seller . 

2) there is generally  a clause in the  sale deed that seller indemnifies buyer against all claims made in respect of the said flat 

3) issue legal notice to seller to clear off the old maintenance dues . 

4) if he refuses to pay then you can pay the same under protest and recover the same from seller . 


5) in case you dont pay then other flat owners wont admit you as member once society is formed . share certificate wont be issued to you and interest on said dues would keep on increasing
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
26014 Answers
1415 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1.ur not liable to pay the dues of previous owner.

2. ask other flat owners to send legal notice to the previous owner and demand the dues of Rs,22000/ from him.

3. you also send legal notice to previous owner to pay the dues of Rs.22000/ to other flat owners.
R.K. Nanda
Advocate, New Delhi
457 Answers
0 Consultations
3.8 on 5.0
Hi, you are not liable to pay the previous maintenance charges due by your vendor.
Pradeep Bharathipura
Advocate, Bangalore
4184 Answers
149 Consultations
4.3 on 5.0
A. Is there any association formed by the flat owners in your case? They have no right to claim maintenance unless formed the association.

B. Flat owners had to collect the whatever arrears pending from the earlier owner, so you are not liable to pay the arrears maintenance amount.

C. You can issue legal notice to the old flat owner to resolve the issue because of there must be an indemnity clause in the Sale Deed.
B.T. Ravi
Advocate, Bangalore
743 Answers
34 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
You are not bound to pay that amount because it is responsibility of the society to collect maintenance amount in due course. If society has failed to do it then it is society's responsibility. This unpaid amount can't harm you form any angle. Society either registered or unregistered does not strike over substantive law of the land by its own bylaws. 

You should avoid to issue any type of notice either to society or over your previous owner. Because a notice is issued for the compliance of his legal duty or obligation, which is vested in the person to whom notice is issued, against you.   

Your previous owner is not under any legal obligation to pay that money to you because his duty / liability is against the society. 

If you have paid that amount then you can take it from the previous owner by filing civil suit ( if he refuge to pay)   and that civil suit takes many years to decide. So beware from giving any legal notice and making any payment to society.
Shivendra Pratap Singh
Advocate, Lucknow
2969 Answers
45 Consultations
4.9 on 5.0
1.  Legally speaking, you are not obligated to pay the dues of the previous owner as the agreement you executed with the seller must have indemnified you against any claim made in respect of the property purchased by you. However, refusal to pay the dues will disentitle you to membership of the society consequent on its formaation.

2. Legal prudence commands that you either pay the arrears of maintenance charges or issue a legal notice to the previous owner to pay the same. Alternatively you can recover the maintenance charges from the previous owner after paying the same.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
19108 Answers
484 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
seller indemnifies buyer about subject property.issue notice to previous person to clear dues .you are not liable to pay.
Brijendra Kumar Vishwakarma
Advocate, Kanpur
117 Answers
0 Consultations
3.3 on 5.0

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