Question: I have a flat in the apartment. The housing society has provided me with one car parking in the basement. I have three cars and two of them have been parked in the common area. Now the housing society is demanding extra charges for car parking in the common area. It has charged 200 rupees daily for one car and 500 rupees daily for the additional car. These charges are illegal.
The housing society has provided one underground parking for each flat owner. Some flat owners have more than one car hence, they are parking their car in the common area. Now the housing society is demanding extra charges for parking. However, the common area where we are parking our cars is not creating any nuisance. I want to take legal action against the housing society.
Asked from: Uttar Pradesh
The housing society has the right to collect extra charges for the parking in the common area. Actually it is in the interest of society to defeat the culture of increasing the number of unnecessary cars. If the member really needs more cars than one then he has to pay the extra charges.
Car parking, lawns, corridors etc consist of common areas. This area is common for all owners. No owner can claim his exclusive right therein. The housing society bears the responsibility to maintain this area. Therefore, it can levy charges for maintenance and repairing of the common area.
Members can use the common area for their car parking if society allows. Hence, they should contribute in the form of a stipulated fee to manage expenses for the management and repair of common areas.
Members cannot use the common area for the car parking or any other purpose as the matter of right. No law which gives power to claim a particular right towards the common area.
If a certain portion is allotted for extra car parking then members who are using that area have to pay the maintenance charges. The charges are fixed by the society after consultation with the members. Hence, you cannot say that charges are unreasonable.
The society can levy heavy charges to discourage parking of cars in the common area. If you are availing that facility you have to pay the extra charges. If not then no need to pay that charge.
Society cannot make a general rule and apply it universally. The member who is not using the common area for car parking is not liable to pay the extra charges.
You have no right to park multiple cars in the common area without paying any fee thereof. In Anup Mittal (HUF) v. M/s. Kanungo Co-operative Group Housing Society Limited & others (2016) 228 DLT 528 the Delhi High Court has opined that:
The common areas are meant for the utilisation by all members and no one member can appropriate the same to his personal use, even temporarily.
Thus you have to follow the rules and pay the extra fee for the car parking in the common area. So far as the amount is concerned, you can raise your objection in the annual general meeting or call an emergency meeting for restructuring of fees.