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Clubhouse woes

If the club premises or its facilities have not been handed over to you yet, do not wait. Act immediately

realestate Updated: Jun 06, 2013 20:00 IST

Sanjiv Sinha, a resident of Indirapuram, paid R1,50,000 for club membership and the same amount as parking charges at the time of booking his flat. He moved into the society three years ago but to date there is no sign of the club or the world-class facilities — the infinity pool, the gymnasium and the deck — described in the brochure and promised in the sale deed.

Dhruv Tuteja has been facing a similar problem for more than two decades now. He moved into a Gurgaon apartment in 1991 and to date there is no club in sight. “The community centre is part of the common area and ought to be handed over to its residents. After all we paid R50,000 for it. There are a total of 1400 apartments in the complex. This means that the builder at that time collected roughly up to R7crore,” he says, adding, “we all feel cheated”.

“The construction is yet to begin, forget about the facilities. We fear the facilities have not been readied because the developer does not want to relinquish his rights over the piece of land where the club is expected to come up even though it is part of common areas. This only goes to show that even if you invest in a R4-crore apartment, you actually own only the doors and the walls and the rest belongs to the builder,” he says.

If you delay your EMI you pay a penalty at the rate of almost 18% whereas the builder pays at the rate of R5 or R10 per sq ft if he delays the delivery of your flat. The same principle should apply for delay in handing over club premises and facilities, he says.

As per a 2010 Supreme Court judgment, clubs are part of common areas and have to be eventually handed over to the buyers as the latter have paid extra for it. No builder can deprive residents of the facilities after possession has been given, says M L Lahoty, a Supreme Court advocate.

When an individual buys an apartment, he necessarily buys into a common undivided share of common facilities such as parking, clubs etc. This is where his rights emanate from. He has undivided ownership of the property as money has been collected by the builder for both the club and the parking areas, points out SK Pal, advocate, Supreme Court.

As far as the UP Apartment Act 2010 is concerned, there is one grey area. The development authority allows for part completion certificates. This means that even after completing three towers, a builder can get partial completion certificate. But it has a rider — even if the builder has completed three towers, he has to complete common areas as they are an integral part of the sale deed and he has charged for them.