How to buy a flat and not lose sleep in Mumbai
In Mumbai, a builder must receive no less than around 50 clearances before he can start a project
Jul 03, 2013
Source : The Times of India


MUMBAI: the city where the dream of owning a cherished home can turn into a dreadful experience for the flat buyer. Mumbaikars have spent sleepless nights after authorities have ordered the demolition of their buildings for violations the residents were unaware of. The beleaguered residents of Worli’s Campa Cola compound, and those who later found that their buildings stood on forest land, are only two such examples.

TOI has therefore put together a comprehensive guide to help residents of the city when they are looking to buy a home, especially so one can ensure that the developer has not flouted rules and has all approvals in place.

Housing experts warn that prospective buyers should take the time to read the fine print in agreements before investing in property. There are several problem areas the purchaser needs to be aware of.

First, check whether the builder has in fact procured permission to conduct development on the land. In case the land has not been set aside for residential purposes, then the builder should have permission to convert agricultural or industrial land to residential. If the builder has gone ahead without securing this approval, the entire project is illegal.

Fifty nods

In Mumbai, a builder must receive no less than around 50 clearances before he can start a project. This includes having a clear land title and environmental and air traffic approvals. A flat buyer should check if the local planning body has given the builder all necessary approvals, including the all-important Commencement Certificate.

The builder has to ensure his project does not flout urban and town planning norms, and that it has unrestricted access to the road network.

Bank on banks

“One way for a flat buyer to avoid getting trapped in an illegal project is to invest in a project backed by banks,” said an official at a reputed financial institution. “Banks do not give loans to projects where due diligence and background checks show that approvals are pending. We also do a check of the land title for up to 30 years before sanctioning any loan sought by developers. We can, therefore, allay the fears of buyers to an extent with regard to irregularities in a project.”

Own it all

Find out if the builder has the authority to transfer the undivided share of the land to each flat owner and the entire plot to the society on completing the project. A Knight Frank research report, ‘Parameters for Buying a Home’, said buyers should ensure the builder does not reserve any right on any portion of their apartment or building, like balconies or terraces.

Hidden costs

Never forget to read the sale agreement. Developers are known to charge a huge price for additional features, such as a swimming pool or designer furniture. Check if all the promised amenities are incorporated in the agreement and that there is a penalty clause in case of non-fulfillment. Developers escape paying a penalty by inserting a clause that states they reserve the right to alter any promised feature.

Paper has more weight

Any sample flat shown to the buyer will be demolished long before s/he obtains possession of the house, leaving him/her with little evidence of the promises made in case the developer has to be dragged to court. To be safe, make sure the promises are on paper and scrutinize the approved construction plans to ensure they match what has been promised. Approved construction plans must be mandatorily displayed at the construction site at all times. Important approvals should be available at the builder’s office. Ask the builder for the requisite permits from the concerned authorities.

Under the Transfer of Property Act and Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act, a seller (builder) is required to disclose all facts relating to the property, including the various permissions acquired by him. If a builder refuses to do so, a prospective buyer has recourse to fight back through the same Acts.

“But if any of these documents are missing or the builder refuses to show them to you, it is best to simply stay away from the project,’ advised Ramesh Prabhu of the Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association.

Latest Realty News

No tax cuts, FSI sops for eco-friendly buildings in Maharashtra
Jul 03, 2013
MUMBAI: After dangling a carrot in front of developers and citizens to promote environment-friendly buildings, the state government seems to have yanked it away for now.
BMC will refund Rs 895 crore to citizens for extra property tax paid
Jul 03, 2013
MUMBAI: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has to refund Rs 895 crore to citizens who have paid extra property tax based on provisional bills sent to them since 2010, before the final ones based on the capital value system were sent early this year.
For a good deal, go house hunting in the rain
Jul 02, 2013
MUMBAI: Is it a good idea to go house hunting on a rainy day? Well, for all you know, your efforts might pay off: One is likely to bag a good deal on a house during the monsoon.
Builders may have to register with Pune Municipal Corporation
Jul 02, 2013
PUNE: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is planning to start a mandatory registration process for builders so that they can be held accountable for constructions carried out within the PMC limits. No construction projects will be allowed without registration.
Décor options galore in the Mundhwa-Keshav Nagar stretch
Jul 02, 2013
PUNE:The Mundhwa-Keshav Nagar stretch offers land not only in abundance but also at affordable prices. The developers in this belt are offering numerous facilities with their projects such as:
BMC extends property tax payment date
Jul 02, 2013
MUMBAI: The due date for the payment of property tax bills is extended upto September 30 in respect of properties having final property tax bills higher than provisional property tax bills issued for the period 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 due to increase in taxes.
Bengaluru most affordable, Mumbai most unaffordable
Jul 02, 2013
MUMBAI: Mumbai remains the most unaffordable market with 29% of the city’s total under construction units surpassing the Rs 10 million mark as compared to 11% and 5% for the NCR and Bengaluru markets respectively, said a Knight Frank research report released on July 1. Bengaluru remains the most affordable residential market with more than 77% of its total under construction units falling below the ticket size of Rs 5 million. This is followed by Chennai at 75%.
Ghatkopar-Vikhrolibhandup-Mulund ideal for mid-segment buyers
Jul 02, 2013
MUMBAI: It is a known fact that the Mumbai property market is the most expensive in the country. However,despite the exorbitant prices and premium localities, the city has, on a consistent basis, managed to nurture areas that can still be labelled as relatively affordable.
Mumbai real estate market most unaffordable: Survey
Jul 02, 2013
MUMBAI: The real estate market in Mumbai continues to be the most unaffordable with 29 per cent of the city's under-construction units priced at over Rs 1 crore, real estate consultancy firm Knight Frank said in a report.
Residential options galore in Ghatkopar, Mulund, Bhandup, Vikhroli
Jul 01, 2013
MUMBAI: Ghatkopar, Vikhroli, Bhandup and Mulund are situated along the central line in Mumbai. These localities have emerged as attractive destinations for buyers looking for areas that are close to the nerve centres of the metropolis.

Latest Realty News Of State

Realty Talk's