Real Estate

Over-charged for villas

I live in a gated community near Chinglepet, comprising 150 villas (individual residences, average built-up area of 2,500 sq.ft). The built-up area of 600 apartments vary from 650 sq.ft. to 2100 sq.ft. For common amenities like club house, gym, swimming pool, play area, roads, electrical and pipeline maintenance, the house owners’ association (HOA) calculates maintenance charges by dividing total charges by the number of units, and not according to the built-up area or UDS. Is this as per law? The HOA claims the Tamil Nadu Apartment Ownership Act does not apply to such a community comprising stand-alone villas and apartments. Is this right?

— S. Thiagarajan Chinglepet

In our opinion, the only legal provision governing payment of maintenance charges is found in the Tamil Nadu Apartment Ownership Act which states that common expenses shall be charged according to the percentage of the undivided interest of the apartment owners in the common areas and facilities. While this Act is applicable only to apartments, this rationale may be adopted by the association to villas as well. As your community appears to consist of both villas and apartments, the bye-laws of your association need to be examined to ascertain whether the levy of maintenance charges is in accordance with the law.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2022 6:11:38 am |