The Maharashtra government has relaxed the terms for the deemed conveyance (DC)-ownership right of plot certificate from the builder, by bringing down the number of documents required from 12 to 8 and stipulating that DC will be given even if the society does not have an Occupation Certificate (OC) or the Building Completion Certificate (CC).
It is mandatory for land-owners or developers to convey the title of the plot within four months of the formation of the housing society. In many cases, the builders fail to convey the title of properties to the housing societies, in the hope of availing more floor space index (FSI) that may become available in future, or to avail the benefits accrued to them in case the property is redeveloped.
If the builder fails to convey the property, the Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act (MOFA) allows societies to apply for DC. However, having OC was mandatory and was insisted upon by the officials of the cooperative registrar’s office. OC is given only when the building is complete in all respects and has complied with the mandatory norms laid down by the government authorities to make it ready for occupation. Since most of the builders abandon the projects before complying with the norms and conditions, OCs are not given to the societies. Developers just hand over the possession and exit the project, leaving the residents high and dry.
However now, the DC will be issued even if housing societies have submitted such documentary evidence as the formation of the society or the payment of property tax by the society.
As per the GR issued on 22 June 2018, by the state cooperation department, it has been made mandatory for the registrar of cooperative societies to register documents of the applicants within a day. Besides, as per the Maharashtra Right to Public Services Act, 2015, the DC should be issued within six months. If an official fails to provide and approve it within the prescribed period, then he or she will be penalised between Rs500 and Rs5,000.
The applicants should submit the applications with a court fee of Rs2,000. In case the FSI has already been consumed, a certificate of an architect that the total FSI has been consumed would suffice. In addition, they have to give an indemnity bond stating that they will take responsibility for the building and adhere to all required rules and regulations. If there are more than one society on one plot, the details of proportionate area and ground coverage should be furnished.
The documents required for conveyance include society registration certificate, approved layout, 7/12 extract, sale deed of each flat owner or heir document, list of registered members of the society, occupation certificate, non-agriculture certificate of that particular plot and notice copy etc. In the absence of sale deeds of all members, the sale deed of even one member would be sufficient, states the GR.
While submitting the conveyance application and documents to the registrar, a copy of the same application also needs to be submitted to the stamp duty and registration department for its speedy approval. The applications will be accepted online as well as offline. The officials of the concerned department such as urban, cooperative, forest and revenue department will have to work in unison so that the applicants are not required to shuttle from one department to another.
The system of issuing DC was started three years ago. However, due to stringent conditions there was no response from cooperative societies. Commenting on the issue, Ramesh Prabhu, Chairman, Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association said “This was a positive step. In many cases, the builders exited the project without getting the OC, and the residents had to bear the brunt. This relaxation will ensure that majority of the societies get deemed conveyance. By a fair estimate over 10,000 cooperative housing societies in Mumbai and neighbouring areas, are yet to get the DC. Now they should come forward to take advantage of these relaxed norms.”
There are a sizable number of housing societies in Mumbai that are struggling to get the DC. In absence of DC, redevelopment of some of the societies has been delayed. Some of the developers used to sell the flats till they held the ownership right of the layout and were misusing this right, causing impediment in the way of redevelopment.