The long awaited ‘tough’ Maharashtra Housing Bill was finally passed by the Maharashtra Assembly on 16th July,2012.The law aims to plug the loopholes in the previous law, namely, Maharashtra Ownership of Flats act-1963.The new bill retains most of the contents of MOFA, but contains additional ‘tough’ provisions.
A joint select committee had submitted a report last week, recommending 26 amendments to the originally conceived bill after a public uproar over the ‘mild’ provisions in the earlier draft. After a lot of opposition from the public, the committee was forced to accept the changes as suggested by the people who have been at the receiving end since independence.
This law proposes for the first time…..
- Formation of a regulatory authority for the housing sector.
- Registration of all builders/developers with a 3 member regulatory authority headed by a retired govt official of the rank of Principal secretary.
- Developers will have to post complete details of their project on the govt website.
- Developers cannot sell 10% of the built up area until an occupancy certificate is obtained.
- 60% of society members can come together and apply for deemed conveyance.
- Developers have to seek the society members consent before modifying any plans and amenities.
- Open spaces can be reserved only after getting local authorities permission.
- Advertisements and brochures can only be issued after acquiring a registration code from the authority.
- If developer fails to keep his commitments,flat buyers can approach the authority,which can impose a 10 lakh fine and a 3 year jail sentence.
- Defect liability period of 5 years,during which he will be liable for any structural defects/exterior flaws like cracks etc.
- Power to debar the builder and prevent him from taking up any new projects.
- The authority will also decide in case the buyer defaults on payments.
The orders of the authority can be challenged before an appellate tribunal which will be headed by a retired high court judge.
Now for the bad news….
It will take another year for the full implementation of this law. It now goes to the president for her assent and after that it will take another 6 months to frame the ‘business’ rules.