Parking areas cannot be sold as flats or garages: Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has that ruled builders/promoters cannot sell parking areas in the stilt area as independent units as the same is to be extended as “common areas and facilities“ for the owners. The apex court passed the judgment while dismissing the appeal of the promoter, Nahalchand Laloochand Pvt Ltd, challenging the Bombay High Court ruling that under the MOFA (Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act), a builder cannot sell parking slots in the stilt area as independent flats or a garage.
“Open-to-sky” areas or “stilted” (covered) portions of their flat complexes, usable as parking spaces, cannot be sold separately by flat builders/promoters/developers as “garage”. These spaces are part of the “common areas” in flat complexes and not “saleable independently as a flat or along with a flat”, the court said in a judgment.
The judgment delivered Tuesday by a bench of Justices R M Lodha and A K Patnaik. Justices R M Lodha and A K Patnaik in a judgment rejected the argument of a real estate development company that they were entitled to sell garages/stilt parking areas as separate flats to owners who intend to use it as parking facilities.
“If a promoter does not fully disclose the common areas and facilities, he does so at his own peril. Stilt parking spaces would not cease to be part of common areas and facilities merely because the promoter has not described the same as such in the advertisement and agreement with the flat purchaser. “The promoter has no right to sell any portion of such building which is not `flat’ within the meaning of Section 2(a-1) and the entire land and building has to be conveyed to the organization. The only right remains with the promoter is to sell unsold flats. “It is, thus, clear that the promoter has no right to sell `stilt parking spaces’ as these are neither `flat’ nor appurtenant or attachment to a `flat’,” Justice Lodha, writing the judgment, said.