The recent Supreme Court judgment that a builder cannot sell parking slots is expected to cause tussles and infighting among flat-owners in housing societies. Real estate lawyer Vinod Sampat explained: “Those members who did not purchase these slots from the builders would now demand the same as the court has defined the parking area as a common area.”
The SC had defined parking spaces as a part and parcel of the society building and not as separate premises available for sale.
Till now builders used to charge lakhs of rupees for parking slots and would give the buyer a Letter of Allotment wherein a token amount of just Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 was mentioned. When these buildings were constructed very few residents owned vehicles, so the builders sold off the parking slots.
But now with the advent of disposable incomes, many families own two vehicles and hence, parking slots are in demand. Housing activists have described it as a complicated issue. “It is tragic that the builder has left after making money and now the building dwellers will suffer,” said Shreedhar Sharma, president of Revathy Foundation.
He added that least those who have paid can now drag the builder to the Consumer Court, but they would hardly get any compensation as the quoted amount in the Letter of Allotment was a token one while what was paid was much higher.
The Supreme Court, on Monday, said that since the stilt parking was not included in the Floor Space Index (FSI) and was not accessed by the municipal corporation for taxes, it cannot be sold and is mandatory to be constructed according to the Development Control Regulations (DCR).
In recent constructions, sale of parking slots has been a lucrative source of revenue for builders and almost all have made it compulsory for buyers to purchase them. However, the Maharashtra Chambers of Housing Industry (MCHI) said it all depends in the disclosure made by the builder in the conveyance deeds. “This disclosure will play a vital role,” said Sunil Mantri, MCHI chairman.
But builders deny any sale. “We include the cost in our flat sales and do not sell separately,” said Sukhraj Nahar, director of Nahar Builders.