Legal Advice

Builder not providing parking spot as per the approved plan

Question: Of the total parking slots allotted, two flats, 1503 and (705-6) are allotted spots on ‘humanitarian grounds.’ These two homes pay INR 2500+ per month for parking. Nominal parking rates in the building are Rs 200 per month. These houses with nominal parking rates have bought/included a parking spot as part of their main agreement itself. Currently no parking in the building is under stilt or in the garage. All cars are parked in the open and have no assigned/designated spots. In 2017, a SGM resolution was passed to take parking charges from flat 1503 (mine) as part of monthly maintenance. However, since Jan 2023, I have been asked to pay these charges in advance. Parking charges have been paid up to September 2023 in two instalments. Both the above instalments have been paid under ‘delayed circumstance’ due to the ongoing discussions to add, A total of 45 parking spots have been approved by BMC K-Ward and 1 each has been made available to tenants/members in houses with carpet area above 70 M.sq. One of the two houses is mine, aka 1503. (can share the exhibit if needed) My question therefore is: 1. Can the builder and later the society make allocations against the BMC's approved list? 2. If yes, can I as owner and member of flat 1503 - question the MC/society and get my parking spot back? 3. Can the MC charge different rates for parking spots, those given via agreement and to those on 'humanitarian grounds'? How do I fight this and what precedences and legal recourse do I have? Details: I am the house owner. The house is in Andheri, Mumbai, Maharashtra The building has two banks - which have been allocated 10 instead of 7 spots as per BMC approved list (can share if needed).

Advise

The builder, as well as the society, cannot allocate parking spot in violation of the approved plan. If the BMC has approved 45 parking slots, each for the flat above the carpet area of seventy square meters, then the builder is obligated to allocate them accordingly along with the sale deed.

You are entitled to receive a parking spot for your flat 1503, as per the approval granted by the BMC. The allocation of one parking spot is an integral part of the sale deed if the carpet area of the flat exceeds seventy square meters.

According to Section 2(a-1) of the Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act (Act), the definition of a flat includes a garage (parking slot), which constitutes premises forming part of the building.

As per the approval given by the BMC, each flat above the carpet area of seventy square meters shall have a parking spot. Consequently, the parking spot becomes an integral component of the flat/apartment. Any breach of such approval contravenes the provisions of the Act, and therefore, an aggrieved person, such as yourself, can take legal action against the builder/society. Such an act is illegal and causes irreparable loss and injury to the flat owner, i.e., you.

Charging different fees for parking slot is a separate matter if the vehicles have been parked in common areas. The society/builder can charge varying fees if they are providing additional facilities. However, allocating common areas for exclusive parking is unlawful, as that area cannot be allotted separately.

Generally, the society charges extra fees for parking in common areas based on the rule of necessity (although it is illegal, it is done for the common interest of residents). If they are charging different fees for parking slots, such classification between different parking spots must be just, fair, and reasonable.

You can take legal action against your builder/society (as the case may be) either by filing a complaint with the appropriate authority of the BMC because they are violating the approved plan or by filing a complaint in the district consumer forum due to a deficiency in service on the part of the builder.

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

High Court Lucknow