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This article has been written by Sankeit Tanejaa Course, pursuing Diploma in Advanced Contract Drafting, Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from LawSikho.

Introduction

The Maharashtra Apartment Ownership Act was published in the Maharashtra Government Gazette on 19th February 1971. The aim of the act is to provide for the ownership of an individual apartment and to make it a heritable and transferable property. It is pertinent to note that the Act applies only to property. In order to apply the provisions of the said Act, the sole owner or owners of the apartment shall submit a declaration which shall be duly executed and registered.

Distinguish Between Maharashtra Apartment Flat Ownership,1963 And Maharashtra Apartment Ownership Act, 1970

With respect to Maharashtra Apartment-Flat Ownership Act (MOFA), 1963, a minimum of 10 members shall form a co-operative society whereas in Maharashtra Apartment Ownership Act (MAOA) 1970, there should be 5 apartments in one or more than one building. In MOFA there shall be registration of a co-operative society or Pvt Ltd company as specified under Section 10 of MOFA whereas in MAOA a declaration is required to be made before the Magistrate.

Important Sections Of Maharashtra Apartment Ownership Act, 1970

In order to understand the gist of the said Act, there are some sections which are pivotal and are the key aspect of the said Act:

Section 4 – Status Of Apartments

As per section 4, every apartment along with its undivided interest in the common area and facilities belonging to such apartment shall constitute for every person a heritable and transferable property. 

Section 5 – Ownership Of Apartments

This section states that the sole owner or owners of the apartment shall be entitled to exclusive ownership and possession of their respective apartment along with a Declaration which shall be executed and registered in accordance with Section 2 of the Act.

The sole owner or owners of the apartment shall be entitled to execute Deed of Apartment in the manner prescribed.

Section 6 – Common Areas & Facilities

This section stipulates that the common areas and facilities of the respective building in which shall be entitled to the sole owner or owners of the apartment and restricts the owner from carrying out a partition or division of common area except when the property has been removed from the provisions of this Act.

The apartment owner shall be entitled to an undivided interest in the common area and facilities as per the percentage stated in the Declaration. The percentage shall be calculated by taking into account the value of the apartment in relation to the value of the property.

Section 6a- Redevelopment Of Apartments

One of the vital aspects of this act is Section 6A as it talks about Redevelopment of Apartments. As per Section 6A of the act, and work with respect to the development of a particular building can be carried out with the consent of majority apartment owners residing in the said building.

However, it is pertinent to note that a building which has completed 30 years from the date of issuance of Completion Certificate by the respective Planning Authority or from the date of issuance of permission to occupy the building, whichever is early or if the concerned Planning Authority renders the building dangerous, unfit to reside or is likely to fall, then the Redevelopment of the Building altogether shall commence.

Section 11- Contents Of Declaration

This section gives details of the information which are required to be stated in the Declaration. Details such as the description of the land on which building and improvements are or are to be located, Apartment number of each apartment along with a statement of location, number of rooms and immediate common area to which the apartment shall have access to, Description of common area and facilities, Statement of Purpose for which building and apartment shall be used along with restrictions.

As per Section 11(2) of the act, a true copy of the Declaration along with bye-laws and all or any amendments carried out with respect to Declaration and bye-laws shall be filed with Registrar of Co-operative society if the building vests in the Co-operative Society and Housing Commissioner, if the building vests with Maharashtra Housing Board.

Section 12- Contents Of Deeds Of Apartment

With respect to section 12, Contents of Deeds of Apartment shall include the description of the land as mentioned in Section 11 above, post office address where the property is situated, date of declaration, apartment number as mentioned in the Declaration and other date which would be required for its identification, percentage of undivided interest appertaining to the apartment in the common areas and facilities and a true copy of the said Deed of Apartment which is required to be filed with the Competent Authority.

Section 13 – Declarations, Deeds Of Apartments & Copies Of Floor Plan To Be Registered

Section 13 object is to get the declarations, deed of apartments and the copies of the floor plan to be registered under the Registration Act, 1908 with the local authority.

Section 13(2) states that the along with the registered declaration, a set of the floor plan of the building which shall include the layout, location, dimensions of the apartment and a verified statement of an architect certifying that it is an accurate copy of plans of the building which is filed and sanctioned by the local authority.

However, it is pertinent to note that if the plans do not include a verified statement by the architect, then there shall be an amendment to the Declaration which shall be recorded prior to the first conveyance and shall attach a verified statement of an architect stating that plans filed along with the amendment, are fully and accurately, depict the layout plan and dimensions of the apartment as built.

Section 13(4) states that it shall be the duty of every Manager or Board of Managers to send to the Sub- Registrar of the sub-district and in case there’s no Sub- Registrar, then to the Registrar of the district, certified true copy of the Declaration and Deed of Apartment with respect to each and every apartment of the building which form a part of the property along with memorandum which contains particulars prescribed by the State Government. 

Section 14 – Removal From Provisions Of Act

Section 14, in a clear and simple manner, states that a property may be removed from the provisions of the act if the majority of apartment owners execute an instrument to that effect. Once the property is removed or no longer a part of the provisions of the act, the ownership of the property shall devolve in common by every apartment owner. 

Section 18- Separate Assessment

Every apartment along with its percentage of the undivided interest in the common areas and facilities appurtenant to such apartment shall be deemed to be a separate property for the purpose of assessment to tax on lands and buildings levied under such law and shall be assessed to tax accordingly.

Section 22- Disposition Of Property, Destruction Or Damage

As per Section 22 of the Act, within 60 days from the date of damage or destruction to all or any part of the property, it is not determined by Association of Apartment Owners by the majority to repair, construct or rebuild then in that case the following event shall take place:

  • Property shall be owned in common by apartment owners;
  • Undivided interest in the property owned in common which relates to each apartment shall be determined on the undivided interest of the owner in the common areas and facilities;
  • If there exist any encumbrances which affect or cause to affect the apartment or any part of such apartment, then it shall be transferred with the existing percentage of the undivided interest of apartment owner in the property;
  • The property shall be subjected for the partition of a suit of any apartment owner, in event the net proceeds of sale along with proceeds of insurance on the property, if there exists any, shall be considered as one fund and it shall be divided amongst each and every apartment owner as per their percentage which shall be equal to undivided interest owned by each owner after first paying out the respective shares of the apartment owners and charges on the undivided interest in the property owned by each owner.

Meaning Of The Act For The People Associated To This Act

The Act allows comprehensive ownership of the apartment to the owner along with the authority to form an association with other apartment owners which frame the bye-laws for the building on which apartments are situated.

All the apartment owners are legally protected as disputes which arise due to conflict in the said formed association of apartment owners, such disputes shall be governed under the civil jurisdiction of the law.

Conclusion

The Maharashtra Apartment Ownership Act 1970 authorizes the apartment owners to complete ownership of their apartment which shall consist of an equal share of the undivided common area and facilities which thereby entrusting the apartment owners with the responsibility for ensuring the welfare of the citizens of the said building and thereby promoting their rights. The apartments are competent to be transferred and heritable, thereby enabling the apartment owner to secure a mortgage of the said apartment. It is pertinent to note that a registered owner’s association is recommended at all times as it shall enable the association to defend their case legally in the future.


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