Apartment Ownership and Management in Odisha.

In recent years, the Odisha government has passed the ‘Odisha Apartment Ownership and Management Bill 2023’ to prevent infighting among owners as builders slip through loopholes, though there are separate laws to regulate the sector. In this regard, it is said that this bill has come because of the lack of administrative flexibility in the previous Act, it is not possible to fully protect the interests of the apartment owners.

After saving money with great difficulty, the gentleman decided to buy a flat in Bhubaneswar odisha. Lured by an advertisement in a newspaper, he paid a down payment to buy a flat. Then regular installments were also paid. The builder promised to hand over the house within two years. But after three years, neither the construction nor the registration of the house was completed. The transfer of the house is far away. The builder kept delaying with various excuses. The gentleman went to the police station to complain about this injustice. Builder’s sweet relationship with police station. So there too, in desperation, the nobles wandered through twelve gates and many pindas.

The flat that was found in the fourth year was not even furnished. The quality of paint and floor work is pathetic. A few other buyers also had problems with him. A flat owner who took possession explained to Babu- ‘Kandutha, whatever we get is bound.’ But once and twice 15/20 days late payment, that’s why the gentleman also counted the straw. The common space within the premises of the building was also not properly sub-zoned by the vendor. The condition of roads and canals is also the same. A few days later, it was found that the builder had resumed construction at the common site.

Even among the occupants of the apartment, which had been taken with great difficulty, quarrels continued over small matters. When mud was thrown at each other for the appropriation of public space, the silence of the apartment owners association intensified the disagreements, disagreements and then the police station.

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In Odisha, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela, Baleshwar, Puri, Sambalpur, etc., such frauds have been happening in the sale of flats sold by builders. An estimated 80 to 90 percent of flat owners are victims of builders’ fraud in one way or another. However, due to lack of time and courage, the apartment buyer could not raise his voice against it. In many cases, the police are taking action against unscrupulous builders involved in such frauds.

However, since the manufacturers involved in this business are very powerful in terms of money and power, it is not unusual that not all of them muster the courage to take on the armed forces. The big thing was that even after finding a house, family peace was disturbed due to disagreements among themselves.

Apartment Ownership and Management in Odisha.
Photos Credit Google

It was enacted as a new law without amending the existing Act. Earlier in 1982 ‘Odisha Apartment Ownership Act’ was promulgated. It was mentioned that the ‘Transfer of Property Act 1882′ will also be applicable in this case except for the clauses inconsistent with this Act. The Appartment Bill provides for the creation of an Allottee’s Association Fund for general expenditure. The Act contains detailed guidelines on the rules, objectives and management for the formation of allottees’ associations.

The main reason for disagreement between flat owners is over the use of common areas. Car parking, grass carpets, lobbies and stairwells are also used for bicycle, bike or shoe stands. While the new bill contains provisions related to registration of public sector, it also provides for the registration of these unions with the competent authority.

Only seven owners are allowed to apply for registration after the house is handed over and the builder is directed to inform the authorities in the prescribed form within one month of handing over. A single set of terms and by-laws has been made to guide how the association is to be managed after registration. While clarifying the responsibilities of the patrons, the relations, rights and responsibilities of the Apartment Ownership with the association have also been determined.

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It is expected to put an end to the encroachment of public spaces by builders even after handover of houses, as it provides detailed information on the use of public spaces. Henceforth, the control of the management of the public space will remain entirely with the union. The promoter is required to submit all the original documents of the project to the owner association within 30 days of receiving the handover certificate. Approved plans, completion certificate, insurance certificate etc. are under this document.

Apartment Ownership and Management in Odisha.
Photos Credit Google

Along with this, the security deposit, outstanding amount, corpus fund or advance amount is also directed to be paid to the Owners Association within 30 days of the possession certificate being received by the promoter. The builder will be obliged to correct the construction defects within 5 years of handing over the house. Apart from that, the builder will take responsibility for the maintenance of the public space until the apartment owners association is formed.

Of course, for this he can take some money from the living owners. Many inconsistencies could have been eliminated in the Orissa Apartment Ownership Act, 1982 section 7-(1) to (6) regarding the constitution, rights and responsibilities of the owner association. But due to weakness in the implementation of the law, the apartment owners could not benefit as expected from the law. So time will tell how far the Apartment Ownership and Management Bill 2023 will be implemented.

Real estate business is not limited to apartments only. Therefore, the Bill is not a fully applicable Act in the field of real estate business. Apart from apartments, it cannot be applied in the case of group housing scheme, flat scheme etc. Owners have been waiting for the universality of this new bill while buyers for decades faced various difficulties in purchasing land or houses.

As there is a risk that only after the completion certificate or the possession certificate, the promoters will be able to delay the application for the completion certificate to harass the buyer and delay the formation of the association. So if it was made as broad as the ‘Reva’ Act, all types of property buyers could have taken refuge under the umbrella of this Act.

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The Act provides for formation of a union by 7 owners or 50% owners (whichever is minimum). In the colony where 500 or 1000 flats are being built, 7 numbers are very small. In that case, it is considered to be impractical from the point of view of democracy. The objective of this Act will be achieved only if Odisha Government is aware of these weak points.