The Maharashtra Apartment Ownership Act 1970 empowers apartment owners to fully own the apartment, including the proportional share in the undivided common areas and facilities. It also makes the apartment transferable and heritable, enabling apartment owners to secure a mortgage on the apartment. This, of course, proves beneficial to both the apartment owner and the builder, who is able to use the freed up capital to start new constructions.
Besides all this, the Act helps apartment owners come together and form associations, which in turn take responsibility for ensuring residents’ welfare and promoting their rights. Although unregistered apartment owners’ associations also exist, it’s always wiser to register your association so that you can defend yourself legally in case of a conflict at a later time.
Following are The Key Features Of The Act :-
1. You’re Deemed The Owner Of The Apartment
Under the Maharashtra Apartment Ownership Act 1970, you will be deemed the owner of a particular apartment in the building along with a proportional share in the undivided common areas and facilities. Simply put, you become the independent owner of your flat, i.e., the complete physical structure, besides having all the rights of an owner.
2. The Apartment Becomes Heritable And Transferable
The said apartment will also become heritable and transferable, which means, among many things, that you can raise capital on your apartment. As an owner of the apartment, you will have the right to transfer the apartment to anyone else, as long as the transfer is being accomplished as per the bye laws.
3. Your Flat Becomes An Independent Unit Owned By You
Other legislations in Maharashtra, such as the Cooperative Societies and Companies Act, treat a flat as a part of the building and unit owned commonly by the company or society. The Maharashtra Apartment Ownership Act 1970, on the other hand, considers a flat as an Independent unit of ownership, despite actually being a unit of the building.
4. You Can Form An Association Of Apartment Owners
- All apartment owners willing to join the association need to come together at one place to complete the formalities.
- The eligibility for forming an association is that one or more buildings should have at least 5 apartments.
- At least 7 members above the age of 18 years need to come together to form the association.
- A Memorandum of Association, comprising details such as name, address, and occupation of all the members of the association and the name and objectives of the association.
- The rules and regulations of the association, called the bye laws, also need to be filed along with the Memorandum of Association.
5. The Share Of The Common Expenses For Common Areas And Facilities
Common expenses need to be paid by every apartment owner. Each owner’s share is proportional to the percentage of his or her undivided interest in common areas and facilities.
6. What The Act Means To The People Involved
- As this Act grants complete ownership of the apartment to you, it gives you the power to come together with other apartment owners and form an association that frames bye laws for the upkeep of the whole apartment complex.
- There is sometimes a tendency for conflicts to occur within the association. Such disputes come under the jurisdiction of a Civil Court. Thus, every apartment owner is protected legally.
The Important terms used in the said Act.
Memorandum Of Association
Memorandum of Association contains the name and objectives of the society, the address of the registered office of the society, names, occupations, and addresses of the governing body, as well as the names, addresses, and signatures of people subscribing to the Memorandum of Association.
Common Areas And Facilities
Common Areas and Facilities constitutes the land on which the multi-storied apartment building is located, the gardens, basements, cellars, parking areas, and any other such creations, and all the structural elements like lobbies, corridors, fire escapes, and beams and columns.
Common expenses are sums of money, lawfully assessed against the apartment owners, which go into administration, repair, and maintenance or for modifying common areas and facilities.