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Maintenance fee to be charged only on uds
Source : The Hindu Property Plus Published On : 2009-03-14 City : Chennai

Under the sub-heading " The legal remedy" in this column, in reply to a reader’s specific query whether maintenance charges can be collected by an Association based on the area of each apartment in a complex, your have clarified that having regard to the totality of circumstances obtaining in the upkeep of an apartment complex, the respective associations can after evolving a consensus lawfully collect maintenance charges based on the proportion to the common area facilities owned by the owners individually.

Does this mean the levy should be on the undivided share notionally held by each or the area of the apartment as a whole? This doubt arises since the owners generally are never ever given the details in regard to how the common area break-up was arrived by the builder, apart from the plinth area mentioned in the agreement and the connected blueprint. Also, does that not imply collection of lesser amount than what the reader’s query purports, but contrary to the ground reality of being only the other way round, as practised by all associations. I shall be obliged if you can clarify this aspect of reckoning maintenance charge too.

M.R.Srinivasan, Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai-41.

Our panelist, Mr. R.L.Narayanan replies: The legal position is that the maintenance charges should be collected on the basis of the undivided share owned in the common area. This could be notional or can be specified by the Builder.

I am furnishing a list of things generally reckoned as common area and facilities, which include the land on which the building is located; foundations, columns, girders, beams, supports, main walls, roofs, halls, corridors, lobbies, stairs, stairways, terrace, compound walls, fire escapes, wells and sumps and entrances and exists of building; the basements, cellars, yards, gardens, parking areas and storage spaces; the premises for lodging of caretakers or persons employed for the maintenance of the property; water supply, sewerage and drainage connections and the installations of central services such as power, light, gas, hot and cold water, heating, refrigeration, air-conditioning and incinerating; the elevators, tanks, pumps, motors, fans, compressors, ducts and in general all apparatus and installations existing for the common use; automatic fire detecting and alarm facilities necessary to warn the occupants of the property of the existence of the fire; such other community and commercial facilities as may be prescribed; and all other parts of the property necessary or convenient to its existence, maintenance and safety, or normally in common use.

I am not clear on what clarification is needed on the aspect of collection of lesser amount.

So long as the levy is uniform and a basic methodology is adopted without discrimination, any reasonable amount can be fixed as maintenance charges. Whether the charges are reasonable or not will be determined on a case-to-case basis.

Need a patta

I purchased 3 grounds of land at Sriperumpudur one year back for Rs. 9 lakh and now I learnt that the land is going to be acquired. I heard that I need patta to get the compensation from the SIPCOT otherwise it may go to the initial patta holders. At this moment what I need to do to get my patta?

Dr.K.Aravindhan, Chennai-600005

Mr. Narayanan replies: The procedure is the same even otherwise. You need to make an application to the Tahsildar concerned for grant of Patta along with the copy of the Sale Deed in your favor.

The notice would have been issued on the basis of the existing Patta and as you have come to know of the proceedings, you can always make the claim for compensation by placing the facts and circumstances before the Authority concerned. There may be a problem in granting of Patta when the process of acquisition has commenced.

It is, however, possible that an endorsement can be made on the Patta to the effect that the land is covered by acquisition proceedings.

Coimbatore embraces global brands

The country is going through a slow down and spending has taken a hit, no doubt. But, does this trend extend to a population that is internationally mobile and aspires to adopt global lifestyles? Do they buy during distressed times too? They seem to, if Coimbatore is an indication. Even during the last few days, international players have ventured into the city and introduced new concepts on various home products, including bath fittings, tiles, modular bedrooms and living rooms and modular kitchen.

Coimbatore is the gateway to the entire Southern part of the State, says Ravi Karumbiah, Director of C.C. India Private Limited. The company has opened its concept living room and bedroom outlet in Coimbatore. Italian made furniture and furnishings are displayed.

Hansgrohe, the Germany bath-fitting manufacturer, has opened a display centre here.

In the city recently, its Sales Director for West Asia, Nicholas Matten, says the affinity towards brands is high in Coimbatore and consumers have knowledge about these products. Though the volume of sales may not be very high, people are conscious of quality.

Some of the other imported goods available in the city now are imported wood, wall claddings, and furniture and glass products.

Apart from the purchasing trend, entry of international products brings in a whole new set of standards and lifestyle.

For instance, Lorena Devecchi from the Export Department of Homes Group, Italy, says the company mainly supplies concept bedroom and living room products. It has a single catalogue for all its buying countries - Russia, West Asia, India and Europe.

“Each nation has its own taste. Our products are for every one.” Italy is a country known for style. The range of modern furniture sold by the group is updated regularly to suit the changing style trends.

Satish Santanam of Eldec-Sel says the footfalls are quite encouraging and the architects and builders are also visiting the Jaquar-Hansgrohe centre. Those renovating and building at least come to see what is new.

Individual home construction still continues though institutional activities have slowed down.

Cutting back happens only in symbolic or immediate spending. For those who plan their long-term investments, do look at durability and brands.

Given the current situation, there are pockets of economy that do well relatively, he points out.

M. SOUNDARIYA PREETHA, COIMBATORE.
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