Housing Society Problems & Solutions: Combined Redevelopment of Multiple Societies; Validity of Conveyance Deed in Maharashtra
Shirish Shanbhag 01 March 2024
Although there are many problems that are common for redevelopment projects of single housing societies, undertaking such a project for multiple societies together is a much more troubling process that comes with a lot of uncertainties. As multiple societies are involved, every possible minor dispute can impact the chances of a redevelopment project being held up in various complications. 
 
All housing societies that decide to participate in such a joint venture should first amalgamate into a single entity and such a decision should be approved in a special general body meeting. This process is complicated, as it first requires cancellation of the existing registration with the deputy registrar, followed by a joint application for registration as a single entity. Furthermore, during redevelopment, there might be disputes concerning the use of floor space index (FSI), as multiple societies are involved with their own stake in the project. 
 
This week, I will address one such case where two societies are contemplating the process of combined redevelopment. I will also address a question on the validity of conveyance deeds in Maharashtra and the misuse of an apartment complex as a hostel for students. 
 
Combined Redevelopment of Two Cooperative Housing Societies (CHS)
 
Question: Our Society has called a special general body meeting and is hosting it with another Society's special general body meeting. This is for the combined redevelopment of the two buildings. Please advise whether it is permissible to do so and if such a combined redevelopment would be valid for both Societies. 
 
Answer: My advice would be to not go for the combined redevelopment of the two buildings, as this eventually leads to a lot of disputes based on FSI available on the land of one Society being used by the other. 
 
Also, even if you go for the redevelopment of your Society as a stand-alone building, the Society should first get its building and land's conveyance done, update land records at talathi office and the city survey office, by transferring the name on key documents it in the Society's name.
 
Cancellation of Conveyance Deed in Maharashtra 
 
Question: After completing the legal requirements of a conveyance deed, the concerned Society has to record its name in the saat-baara (7/12 extract) to complete land ownership. However, as per my understanding, there are two new developments –conveyance has been abolished by the state of Maharashtra and a property card has been introduced in its place. To add to the confusion, there is no clarity on the saat-baara, whether it is also done away with? Saat-baara has to bear the Society's name before it can undergo redevelopment. But we are not sure whether saat-baara is still being used or it has been abolished as well. Can our CHS take for granted that saat-baara stands automatically abolished when its parental conveyance deed has been dissolved because the former is only an annexure to the latter? 
 
Answer: The conveyance deed has not been cancelled in Maharashtra. You have misinterpreted some government notification that leads you to believe so.
 
With the sub-registrar of assurances certified copy of the conveyance deed and its Index-2, kindly go to talathi Office, make an application in a prescribed form which is available there, and transfer the 7/12 extract and the land's mutation entry in form-6, in the Society's name.
 
With the sub-registrar of assurances certified copy of conveyance deed and its Index-2, kindly go to city survey office, make an application in a prescribed form available there, and transfer the property card of the Society's land in the Society's name.
 
When the property card of the Society's land is transferred in Society's name, apply for a survey of Society's land at the city survey office, to do a survey of your Society's land and get your Society's land map with the Society's building's outlines shown on it.
 
When your Society gets all the above documents, apply with a copy of these documents at municipal ward office, to transfer municipal property tax bill and municipal water bill in Society's name.
 
NOTE
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Apartment Complex Turned into a Hostel for Students
 
Question: I am a resident of a housing society which is registered under the West Bengal Apartment Ownership Act 1974. My sales agreement clearly states that no apartment should be used as a boarding house, but many owners have rented their apartments to college students. They are using these apartments as college hostels. The students create a ruckus at midnightshouting, partying and sometimes using foul language; girls and boys are cohabiting. Day by day, it is becoming difficult to stay there peacefully with families. Management committee knows this but till now they have taken no action against the concerned owners. Please advise what to do.
 
Answer: In your case, the tahasildar should take action against a complaint by neighbours of such flats, i.e. for commercial use of residential premises, co-habitation by male and female students in the same premises and nuisance caused during the night.
 
On the strength of a complaint (from you or any affected families) tahasildar will ask the police to take action against such students and flat-owners will be asked to vacate their tenant students.
 
Disclaimer: The guidance provided in these columns and on our Legal Helpline is on the sole basis of the facts provided by the reader/questioner and does not amount to formal legal advice in any form whatsoever. 
 
(Shirish Shanbhag has an MSc in Organic Chemistry, a Diploma in Higher Education, and a Diploma in French and has completed his LL.B. in first class in 2021. Before his retirement, he was a junior college teacher at Patkar College from July 1980 to May 2012, teaching theoretical and practical chemistry. Post-retirement in 2012, he started providing guidance and counselling to people on several issues, specifically focusing on cooperative housing society-related matters. He has over 30 years of hands-on experience in all matters about housing societies and can provide out-of-box solutions for any practical issue.)
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