Maharashtra: Demand for transfer of land in name of societies

March 03, 2020

The Maharashtra Cooperative Housing Federation has demanded that the state government should transfer the title in the name of registered cooperative housing societies, which have completed 12 years, if their developers failed to convey the property despite receiving full amount from the residents.

There are approximately one lakh cooperative housing societies in the state, of which only 40,000 have been conveyed by the developer or by way of deemed conveyance, Suhas Patwardhan, vice-chairman of the Maharashtra Cooperative Housing Federation, said.

“Many housing societies have been pursuing with the developers to transfer the land of the society on the mutation extracts. However, such developers have been holding on to it as they want to keep the options of more construction,’’ Patwardhan, who is also the chairman of Pune district Cooperative Housing Federation, clarified.

Earlier, the federation had demanded that the state government should file criminal cases against the developers who were not signing conveyance deed for transferring the land of housing projects to societies. “Builders are unwilling to transfer the land as they want to continue to have a stake in the maintenance cost, open amenity area and redevelopment of societies. We tried demanding for criminal cases, but realized that developers have their own clout and can easily get away with political pressure,’’ he said.

Redevelopment of 30-40 years old societies are stuck in legal tangle as residents of such residential units have no ownership of land. The state government should give conveyance to such housing societies without asking for any documents, the federation demanded.

Patwardhan said the Maharashtra Ownership Flat Act, 1963, (MOFA) was soft on developers and must be amended. “Under RERA, the fine payable by the builder for delaying conveyance is up to 10% of the project cost, whereas under MOFA it is just Rs 50,000. The penalties should be high to ensure accountability,’’ a housing society member from Hadapsar said.

As builders were not executing conveyance, the state government had amended the MOFA to make provision for deemed conveyance in favour of cooperative housing societies. According to the amendment, after the expiry of four months of the formation of the housing society, the land and building is deemed to have been conveyed to the society and the society members can approach the government authority to seek the title of the land. However, for this too, there is not much response, experts said.

“Our society is 20-year-old and we want to redevelop it. However, we realized that the society has no ownership of land. Now, successors of the developer who constructed our building are claiming stake on the land and want share in redevelopment. They are also insisting that they will redevelop the society,” said M Thakur, resident of a Kondhwa society.

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