Q: What is the future for the redevelopment of co-operative housing societies?

 A: The future of redevelopment in Mumbai city is very bright since there are constraints on the availability of open land within the city and suburban limits coupled with fast growing demand for houses and shortage of housing stock.

There are thousands of buildings which are in bad shape and dilapidated due to their age, atmospheric wear and tear and other reasons. They have reached a stage where it is not possible to carry out structural repairs and rehabilitation as the same are not economically viable and may not be guaranteed for more extended service life of the buildings.

Redevelopment of such old buildings has become a necessity since many buildings collapse each year, killing or injuring many people. The other reason being the requirement of an extra space by the Society members is due to increase in family members. The Government has allowed incentive FSI for carrying out redevelopment schemes in the city as well as in suburbs.

Q: Does the process take too much time?

A: The redevelopment process takes time which includes the following Stages.

Consent of Society members
Extending EOI (Expression of Interest) by Society
Furnishing documents to developer
Addressing Society problems
Appointing consultants
Tendering/ short listing
Selection of best option
Extending LOI (Letter of Intent)
Deal structuring
Municipal approvals
Execution of DA & POA
Shifting to Alternate accommodation
Demolition & re-construction
Granting possession
Admission of new purchaser as the members of Society
Final handing over to the Society.

Since the redevelopment work is of common interest, it requires the major decisions to be taken by the Society with the consent of General Body. Necessary Resolutions should be approved in the General Body Meetings.

The Government of Maharashtra has issued specific guidelines to streamline the process of redevelopment so that the problems in the redevelopment can be eliminated at the initial stage resulting in the reduction of the time required for the redevelopment process.

Q: What are the remedies with Society if a builder does not keep up the promise?

A: The Society should hire a professional and competent advocate who should be careful in drafting the Redevelopment Agreement and should not leave the same to the Developer. The terms and conditions of the agreement should legally and practically take care of the in interests of the Society and each of its members. While drafting, one needs to visualize every possible setback and should provide answers and remedies against possible eventualities so that the Builder’s interest in completing the project continues till the end.

The Bank Guarantee should be drafted simultaneously along with the Development Agreement. The draft of the Bank Guarantee should be simple and not tied up with conditions. It should state that except calamities like floods, earthquakes or a war, the reconstruction will be completed in the specific time or at the very least, within the grace period.

Failing this, the Guarantee can be invoked. The Society should take PDCs for the future rent and compensation at the time of vacating. To ensure that the Builder completes the reconstruction project, he should be permitted to give possession of his sell portion only after offering possession to the existing flat owners.

The Development Agreement should be properly stamped and registered as an unstamped and unregistered document is not enforceable in law. Every detail pertaining to the construction specifications, construction and material, amenities should be specified in the redevelopment pact. Anything that is vague will work against the interest of Society members. The Development Agreement should have a provision of arbitration.

TDR should be loaded in the name of Society before vacating of the premises but after execution of the Development Agreement and consent of all members in respect of the Development Agreement and the proposed plans. It is one of the steps to safeguard interests of the Society. Stamp duty provisions relating to TDR transactions need to be complied with.

The Society should appoint an architect or engineer for the verification of their carpet area and supervise the quality of construction, amenities promised by Developer of the proposed building. The architect should physically verify the area once the typical floor slab is casted.

The approved plans should be submitted to the Society within specific period after approval and to the architect to verify periodically that the construction activities are carried out as per the approved plans.

Q: What are the advantages of Redevelopment?

A: There are many advantages for various bodies, for people, for Government and for the local Municipal Corporations as well. The advantages for the Developers are that, there is no huge investment regarding the TDR of such properties unlike new plot development and these projects are always with clear title.

Though the time frame for the agreement procedure from the occupants or Society members is more and the matter also requires frequent dealings with lawyers and court etc., the investment for such projects happens to be much lesser. The Society gets Better standard of living and latest amenities for the members. Better level of infrastructure and services like new and better construction with elevation grand entrance lobby and lifts of reputed make better productive plan for the new flats, more open space along with Recreational Facilities, Separate Society Office / Separate Toilets available for servants, Provision for Seismic Design for the building with latest Fire Fighting Systems, Health Club and Gymnasium with Ample Car Parking.

The other advantages being the increase in flat value and­ more saleable value of the flat with more carpet area than that of the existing building since the structure is new with provision of modern amenities and improved life style.

Maintenance of inherent features of existing project, no obstruction of the view, proper air ventilation catered in layout, natural light catered in planning and emergency of the building lights is maintained with a stand-by generator facility. Since all the redevelopments are providing either basements or podiums or stilts for parking the vehicles of the occupants, the traffic blockages due to vehicle parking on the road can be less thereby assuring better conditions for the traffic and lesser problems for the Municipal Corporation and the other Departments related. Due to redevelopments, Govt. also gets benefited with additional revenue of new taxes.

Q: What best offers normally Societies expect from a Developer?

A: Society expects one additional room per flat and monitory compensation so that the additional maintenance and the normal furniture expenses are covered and reimbursement of rental expenses necessary for the alternate accommodation till the new flats are handed over. Societies also expect modern amenities and quality construction with parking facility, modern elevation and better usable planning.

Q: If Society does not have conveyance or any other relevant documents, what are the remedies?

A: Though the government is drafting the procedure for deemed Conveyance, the Society should appoint / hire professionally competent advocate having expertise in Conveyance Cases for legal solution.

The following property documents can be obtained from respective departments Property Card and CTS Plan from city survey office, Old Building approved Plans and other permissions from BMC office, Property tax paid From BMC’s Assessment Department. ULC order from Collector’s office, Non-Agricultural Order and N.A. Tax Paid Receipt from Collector’s office, DP/TP remarks from respective departments, Registration receipt and Stamp duty paid proof from the Registrar’s office, Registered conveyance / Index II from the Registrar’s office, Search report from an Advocate and Title Clearance Certificate about the property by an Advocate.