Introduction: One of the major problems by faced by the home buyers’ forum in Karnataka is the deprivation in the allotment of common area. They are striving hard for years to get the allotment of such common area but it resulted in vain. Recently, in a landmark verdict, the Karnataka Real Estate Regulatory Authority has ordered the builder to handover the common areas to the home buyers. The seminal verdict was delivered on 21st July 2023 in the case of Sandeep G. W. & Jianli Das vs M/s. Signature Dwellings Private Ltd. The landmark judgement is considered to be a solution for the problem being stressed by the Karnataka Home Buyers’ forum for a long time.
The Present Complaint was filed by the Complainants under sec- 31 of the REAL ESTATE REGULATORY & DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (RERA) Act 2016 and the Complainants prayed for the order as:
1. Allotment of individual parking.
2. Refund of the difference charges between super built-up area & carpet area.
3. Transfer of Common area to the society after its duly formation.
Brief Facts of the Case: The Complainants have booked a Flat No. 107 situated on the Ground floor of Block- B in the Signature Crest Project developed by the respondent M/s. Signature Dwellings Private Ltd. Later on, 27-11-2020 a sale agreement was signed between the Complainant & Respondent. The said Apartment was to be built in Sy. No: 44/4, Gonighatappura Village, Sarjapura Hubli, Anekal Taluka, Bengaluru, having 576 sq. Ft of carpet area plus additional balcony area of 26 sq. ft. & super- built-up area of 860 sq. ft consisting of 2 bedrooms, hall, kitchen, balconies & toilets along with proportionate 375 sq. ft of undivided share with one covered parking space at the stilt level and having propanoate interest in the common areas such as passages, lobbies, Lift & Staircases and other amenities in the project. Thereafter, the builder i.e., Respondent has executed a sale deed in the favour of the Complainant on 20-12-2021. The Total Price of the Flat based on super-built-up area is Rs. 24, 75, 510/-.
The Complainants later contended that the Parking Space provided by the Builder was congestion in nature, as a result the cars of the Homebuyers’ got scratched. The parking provided by the Respondent was not according to the agreement and it is not an individual parking. The Complainants further contended that there were two parking areas with area of 7.5 Width & 11.5 Feet. Thus, the allotment of parking is done by drawing lotteries which is purely based on the luck basis. The Complainants have paid more than the settled price of parking 9.4 %. The other contention made by the Complainants was that the RERA act mentioned that the sale of Flat shall be on carpet area basis. But the Respondent Builder not adhering to the RERA provisions sold the flat on Super built-ap area basis mentioned in the page- 4 of the agreement.
The Respondent rejected all the allegations made by the Complainants. He further submitted that the parking was allotted on the lucky dip basis & the Complainants were present at the time of draw and they were aware of the same. He further contended that the Complainants were much aware of the terms & conditions specified in the sale agreement executed on 20/12//2021. With regard to the formation of Association of Allottees the respondent stated it is still under process. Thus, the complaint needs to be dismissed.
Findings by the Authority: The grievance of the Complainants is that the car parking area provided by the builder measuring (2.30 X 4.80) cm which is inadequate and not up to the minimum size (2.50 X 5.0) specified by various government agencies )Tripura Building Rules 2017 & West Bengal Municipal (Building) Rules 2007. When the plan is being approved before RERA it is specified in that the builder will built total 132 car parking’s of the same size for 120 floors and 10% for guest parking. But the builder has managed to build only 120 car parking’s. It is also observed that the Complainants had paid full price of the parking more than the settled 9% of the cost of the settled flat but he has charged 9.4%. It is also essential to consider that the builder has sold the flats on super built-up area basis, but the RERA act provides that the flats should be sold on carpet area basis, at any rate. In this case the builder has flouted the guidelines of the RERA.
Verdict: Considering the supra observations, the authority has made the following order:
1. The builder is obliged to provide the car parking space as mentioned under Section 16(a) of BBMP bye- laws 2003, which states that each off the street parking facility provides for the motor vehicles shall not be less than 18 sq. Metres (6 meters X 3 meters).
2. With regard to the second prayer pleaded by the complainant i.e., to refund the difference charge amount between the super built-up & carpet area is deficiency of service & does not fall under the ambit of this authority. For obtaining the aforesaid relief the Complainants are at liberty to institute a de novo suit before the competent authority.
3. As the builder has already started to form an Association of Allottees and till then he will be maintaining the apartment building. When the association is formed the maintenance of the building will be transferred to the Association. Until then it is just and necessity to transfer the common area to the Association of Allottees.
4. The Complainants are at liberty to institute a new suit for claiming an amount of Rs. 1,00,000/- for mental harassment against the builder before the adjudicating officer, KRERA and obtain such relief.
Conclusion: The verdict given by the Authority is a landmark one. As it strengthens the interest of the home buyers. One of the major problems faced by the home buyers across the State is that the act of builders retaining the title of the common area and subsequently it was misused by the Promoters for mobilization of resources. This verdict gives an appreciable solution to such concerns which were being raised by the Karnataka Home buyers’ Forum which was unaddressed for years. The verdict also states that allotment of car parking must be confronted with the measurements of government laws. Undoubtedly it is essential to mention that the builder selling the flats must act according to the provisions of the RERA act and any act violation of RERA will be set aside. Ultimately the verdict is a powerful weapon to the home buyers’ as it acts as shield to get protection from the malpractice of the builder with regard to the allotment of common area.