Undivided Share of Land and Rights of Apartment Owners

Aditya Pratap is a lawyer practicing in the Bombay High Court. He can be reached at aditya@adityapratap.com

What is Undivided Share of Land (UDS)?

Undivided Share of Land or UDS is a part of the plot given to the owner of the flat in an apartment complex on which the entire structure is built. This share of land has no defined boundaries and each and every flat built on that particular plot will have associated UDS.

Simply put, when you buy an apartment, you technically buy two things. One, the constructed part of the building where the owners will actually reside, while the second is a proportionate share of the land on which the property is built. The latter share of land allotted to the flat buyer is known as an undivided land share or UDS.

Rights of the Apartment Owners

In the case of Jardine, Skinner & Co. v. Rani Surut Soondari Debt (1878), it was held that a right of occupancy might be acquired in respect of an undivided share of a property. Following are the rights of apartment owners:

  • A resident has the right to attend the general assembly meeting and discuss the subjects.
  • A resident has the right to get a copy of the co-operative society act and the bye-law.
  • A resident has the right to get the list of members and managing committee.
  • A resident has the right to get reports such as balance sheet, profit, and loss A/c, details of income and expenditure of the society.
  • A resident has the right to get attended or addressed his complaints and grievances.
  • A resident has the right to take the decision about the penalty to be charged on members, violating by-laws of the society, and to determine its amount.
  • A resident has the right to participate in all activities of the society.
  • A resident has the right to the occupation of flats as well as the undivided share of land.
  • A resident has the right to transfer/inherit the property.

Importance of Undivided Share of Land

Price appreciation in real estate is actually an appreciation of land prices. This is the reason that the amount of land you own would matter. Following is the importance of UDS:

  • It is your right: The worth of your property is primarily decided by your undivided share inland in an apartment building. Buying a flat is not exactly a great investment because the value of the constructed area depreciates with time. The older the construction, the lower the market value of the property. The land on which the building is built appreciates, but the building itself depreciates in value.
  • It decides the legality of the structure: The legality of a housing project also depends on whether UDS is in compliance with the FSI (floor space index) permitted to the developer. A look at your undivided share in land and such detail would reveal the illegality of a structure.  
  •  It is a criterion to get a home loan: In case you are taking a home loan, the bank will look for the UDS while granting you credit. In case you are buying a property in resale, they will check for the share certificate from your housing society along with other documents to process your request for a home loan. At the time of property registration, too, the sub-registrar would check the share certificate.  The home loan insurer would go for a similar exercise.
  • Your future depends on it: In case of a natural calamity, a buyer is compensated depending on his UDS. In case, if  the government decides to acquire the land and take down the project or the project is taken up for redevelopment, the same would be true. If you decide to sell your property in future, you will naturally have to show proof of your undivided share of land.

Legal Implications of UDS

Legal implications of UDS whether stated explicitly or not, do exist. For example, if an apartment building is to be demolished for reconstruction or comes under acquisition for a government project to be made available for demolition, the compensation administered to the flat owner depends on the percentage of the undivided land share in the property.

The sum of all the undivided land shares for each apartment owner must be proportionate to the area of the land in which the apartments are constructed.

In case of co-operative housing societies, the UDS must legally be in the name of the society as the flat owners are the shareholders of the society.

Conclusion

There are a lot of factors that a buyer needs to address while buying a new house to get the perfect property. Many buyers decide on their purchase based on the built-up area offered and the additional amenities attached to the flat. However, they often overlook the most important factor in any real estate purchase, which is the actual land that one will own. This is more so in the case of apartments.

It is important for the buyers of apartment flats to understand that, as a matter of fact, they do not buy a structure alone. They also buy a part of the land upon which that structure stands and it is their right to own an undivided share of land.

About the Author – Aditya Pratap

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.

Cases argued by Aditya Pratap can be viewed here.

 

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