Under Section 22 of the Uttar Pradesh Apartment (Promotion of Construction, Ownership and Maintenance) (Amendment) Act, 2015, housing societies have now received legal sanction to collect maintenance charges through the pre-paid electric meters but there is no rider on the limit up to which these collections can be made. “Here the issue of transparency has not been dealt with. Ideally, it should have mandated the RWA to give a statement of account certified by a chartered accountant regarding the money collected and the rate at which it has been collected every month,” say legal experts.
The word ‘ garage’ in sub section (b) of section 3 of the Act has been substituted with the word ‘parking space’. In the earlier version, the entire basement, garden, parking area was a common area. Earlier, the entire basement was for common use and facilities, people had a right over the entire basement. Now only areas left for common use in the basement will be used as common areas.
Neighbourhood shops will no longer be part of common areas.Earlier both apartments and community shops were run by a common association, the members of which were shop owners. Shops in a residential complex were meant to cater to the people residing within the complex. The rule was five shops for 1000 people. Under the new Act, the neighbourhood concept of these shops has been done away with and that is contrary to the building byelaws. This will lead to conflict of interest, especially concerning use of common facilities by these shop owners, such as water meter and electric meter etc. Now there will be the residential RWA and a shop owners’ RWA deciding on similar issues.
Section 25 of the amended Act has been improved upon. Earlier, there were no punitive provisions for builders who did not discharge their general duties. The new Act clearly states that builders are duty bound to permit formation of RWAs, hand over the interest-free maintenance security to the RWA or if they fail to maintain the society or fail to file a deed of declaration, they can be jailed.