BHUBANESWAR: The government is planning to make formation of housing societies in apartments a time-bound process. It is also mulling to give tenants the same rights and responsibilities to use apartment facilities as that of owners.
These were the initial suggestions made during a recent deliberation on amendment of the Odisha Apartment Ownership Act 1982, sources said. CRISIL, a policy advisory company, has been helping the government to make relevant changes in the Act.
CRISIL has done a comparison of apartment ownership Acts of Maharashtra, Bihar and Odisha. "We had a meeting with various stake holders including builders, Odisha State Housing Board, city development agencies and registrar of cooperative societies to get their feedback on the required changes in the three-decade-old Act," director, town planning, P K Patnaik told TOI on Thursday. "We will make a draft of the proposed amendment bill soon," Patnaik added.
Though the existing 1982 Act also stipulates formation of apartment owners' association (AOA), there is no clarity on when the association should be formed and under whose initiative. Several apartments are functioning without formation of such formal associations. Under the proposed amendment, it will be the responsibility of builders to form the association, register it under the Societies Registration Act and handover the control to owners. The AOA will be required to make financial accounting and disclosure of accounts as required under the Societies Registration Act.
Apartment owners or tenants not abiding by housing society byelaws such as contributing for common expenses will face legal action. Though the existing provisions also make payment of such charges binding, there is no clarity on what will happen if one doesn't pay the charges.
CRISIL has suggested that tenants should have similar rights and obligations towards the apartments as that of the apartment owner. The existing provisions are silent on them. The agency also suggested that when an owner transfers or sells his house, he has to take no objection certificate of AOA. In case of conflict of ownership of an apartment, the AOA would be custodian of the property.
Realtors said the government should make wider consultations before preparing the draft. "The government should take suggestions from all quarters before making a draft. Disputes and litigations involving apartments are on the rise as the apartment living population is increasing at a fast pace," said real estate developers association of Odisha president Pradipta Kumar Biswasray