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Are tenants entitled to parking space in a CHS?

By Vibha Singh | September 5, 2017
Are tenants entitled to parking space in a CHS?
Owing to a dearth of parking spaces, many housing complexes in metropolitan cities, often restrict tenants from parking their vehicles in the premises. We look at what the law says and how the availability of parking affects the rental market
In metro cities, many people who invested in properties looking for rental income, did not think that parking space could be a major issue between the owner and the tenant. Real estate agent Chandrabhan Vishwakarma, says that “In a city like Mumbai, one of the most important amenities that tenants look for, is adequate parking. Parking spaces have become such an important part of a rental property that it is one of the top frustrations and sources of conflict between landlords and tenants.” This problem is particularly severe for tenants of middle-income group (MIG) apartments, who often face difficulties in finding parking for their vehicles due to limited space and are forced to park their vehicles on the road.
Why tenants face problems in parking their vehicles
Rohan Talreja, a resident of Gurgaon, explains the issue he faced in his society: “The owner of my flat did not purchase any parking slot. Initially, when I took the flat on rent, there were very few residents in the building and I was parking my car in the open space in the premises. Gradually, once people started taking possession of their flats, the society told me to park my vehicle on the road and warned that they would fine me, if I parked my car inside.”

Manju Yagnik, vice-chairperson of the Nahar Group says that this is a common problem in many societies. “The intention of this condition, is to ensure that the residents have ample space for themselves. It is not a right practice and ideally, tenants should be given parking space. The developer has no right to sell the parking space but should provide the common areas to buyers or renters in this case,” Yagnik adds.

Rohit Poddar, MD of Poddar Housing, explains why this situation is so prevalent: “Very often, societies have inadequate car parking slots, especially open car parking. Hence, they ideally like to provide the same to permanent residents.”
In cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru, many tenants are unwilling to rent a property, if it does not have parking space. Others are happy to park on the street, as long as it is reasonably easy. On the other hand, there are also people who do not own cars are not prepared to pay extra for parking amenities. Punit Agarwal, MD and CEO of Nirvana Realty concurs that “It is unfair if a tenant is not allowed to park within the campus, even after paying rent and for all other facilities. The tenant has all rights to park within the campus, where his apartment is located.”
Avnish Yadav, deputy general manager, residential services, Colliers International India, attributes the problem to improper planning, where parking facilities are developed on the basis of the number of units. “Generally, the allotment of the parking facility, is done on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis or is decided by the managing committee. With limited parking slots in a society, it is the owner’s responsibility, to get the requisite parking facility for the tenant,” says Yadav.

What the law says

Development Control Rules, framed under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act, 1966, state that a tenant cannot be denied parking. A recent Supreme Court ruling also stated that a car parking space allotted to the owner, can be used by the tenant, as he has full rights over it. Amit Wadhwani, director of Sai Estate Consultants, elaborates: “As per the co-operative societies act, only members can occupy and use parking space. In case of excess parking, the committee is free to allot the space to a resident on payment. The charge is to be fixed by the general body and is binding on the residents. A society should not and cannot discriminate, as the parking rules are governed by the Developmental Control Rules and Fire Acts and if the owner is eligible, then, the tenant should also get the benefit.”

What can tenants do?

Tenants should go through the lease agreement thoroughly, before signing it. The terms of usage of the property should be clearly listed in this document. If there is a mention of parking space, then, it is within the right of the tenant to make use of it. Tenants can also approach the co-operative court, registrar’s office or consumer forum, for deficiency of service. Farshid Cooper, managing director of Spenta Corporation, says, “The contract letter is sufficient confirmation of privilege for parking the tenant’s vehicle. A tenant cannot be restricted from parking his vehicle if the property owner has one and if restrictions are placed, then, corrective action can be taken against the society. If the tenant is told not to park his vehicle, they can complain with the registrar of societies and after that, in the high court. The tenant has every rights that the land owner has in the property.”

Publication / Article Source: Housing

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