Due-diligence for Buying a Flat in a Housing Society

By Aditya Pratap, Advocate at Bombay High Court

Almost every apartment complex with 10 or more flats will be managed by a Housing Society. If you are shopping around for a resale apartment, you are likely to end up finding one in an existing housing society.

When you decide to buy a flat in a society, remember that you will be dealing with the flat-owner directly. Once the commercial terms of the deal are settled, no one, not even the housing society, can stop the deal from closing.

Maintenance Dues Must be Cleared

However, that does not mean that the housing society should be ignored. The primary responsibility of any housing society is the maintenance of the building. And for that, they require regular monthly maintenance payments from the flat-owner.

If the flat-owner has regularly shirked his maintenance dues, it is likely to throw a spanner in the deal works. In such cases, the new flat-buyer will have to clear outstanding maintenance dues before the society transfers the share certificates in his name.

Therefore, while buying a resale flat, check if all outstanding maintenance dues of the society are cleared. If not, then factor the same into your purchase price.

Say No to Arbitrary Transfer Charges:

The Bombay High Court, burning the midnight oil, has forbidden societies from charging indiscriminately high ‘transfer fees’. The Court has, in several rulings, held that Housing Societies cannot demand unreasonably high ‘transfer charges’ to the tune of several lakhs and hold up any deal.

Moreover, housing societies cannot charge a ‘percentage’ of the flat sale value as transfer fees. The maximum amount any society can charge is Rs. 25,000. This is the maximum permissible limit under the Maharashtra Cooperative Housing Societies Act, 1960.

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Advocate Aditya Pratap
About Advocate Aditya Pratap 65 Articles
Aditya Pratap is a lawyer practising in Mumbai. He argues cases in the Bombay High Court, Sessions and Magistrate Courts, along with appearances before RERA, NCLT and the Family Court. For further information one may visit his website adityapratap.in or view his YouTube Channel to see his interviews. Questions can be emailed to him at aditya@adityapratap.com.