CHENNAI: In a significant order, the Tamil Nadu Real Estate Appellate Tribunal has ruled that builders cannot sell open parking space or stilt car park areas separately. The cost of construction, i.e. the sq ft rate, (which, apart from your apartment, includes the cost of common areas) should include one car parking space. If you look at your sale agreement, you may find that your builder has charged you anything from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 4 lakh separately for car parking, which the tribunal says is ‘illegal’.
The tribunal has passed the order in a case filed by T Aananthi, a resident of Chennai. She had purchased a flat in VIHA apartments promoted by GKS Technology Park Limited in Anna Nagar and was made to cough up Rs 3 lakh for stilt car park. Under RERA or Real Estate (regulation and development), Act, 2016, a developer is only entitled to sell covered/garage parking but not the open parking spaces. The Act explicitly defines common areas which include open parking area, basement, etc, and the garage is defined as a place within a project, having a roof and walls on three sides for parking any vehicle.
Aananthi told Express that this is a grey area and the builders are blatantly violating RERA rules. “In my case, they did not just charge separately for car park but have even sold my allotted parking area to another resident. The CMDA has, for 87 apartments, approved 109 car park slots but the builder has made 152, deliberately with a view to sell them at high rates. It is a clear violation of the building plan approval.”
The three-member tribunal headed by Justice B Rajendran, after hearing all parties, found the builder guilty.”We find that it is a fit case where the builder has violated the approved plan, created extra car parks and sold the same at exorbitant rates. In this connection, we direct the CMDA to take necessary action and file a report of the action taken within 4 months.”
Also, it has ordered the builder to allot car park to Aananthi, which was originally promised and an integral part of her apartment.