Should You Pay For Parking Space?
In many rulings, the Supreme Court and state high courts have maintained that the parking spaces in public areas, offices, malls and even in housing complexes are non-chargeable. However, unaware homebuyers have still fallen prey to illegalities associated with parking charges.
In case you are still unaware of the parking charges in public places, here is a lowdown for you:
Mandatory one free parking with each apartment
In a recent ruling, the Maharashtra Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (MCDRC) has directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), to make it mandatory for builders to provide a free car parking space with each apartment. At present, according to the prevalent Development Control Rules, a builder can get away with fewer car spaces than required. Eventually, a homebuyer has to pay over and above the price of an apartment for a parking lot.
A developer cannot sell you parking space
According to the rules notified by the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), a developer can sell a covered parking area and a garage but cannot charge for the open parking areas, included under the definition of common areas.
In 2013, the Central Mumbai District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum had directed and fined one of the leading developers for charging extra for a car parking space.
The ruling said: “Car parking area is the common area of the society. Therefore, the opponent (the developer) had no right to charge any amount for the sale or use of the parking space." The decision was taken after taking into consideration a ruling by the Supreme Court in 2010 which held that a developer can only sell a flat and has no right to sell a parking space.
In a case of buying an extra parking space, in January 2016, the Delhi High Court ruled in favour of one parking per flat. The court had ordered that the parking should be allowed in areas specifically meant for the purpose and not in any other common areas.
Moreover, in June 2017, Delhi's transport department introduced a new parking policy -- Delhi Maintenance and Management of Parking Rules. According to the new rules, parking in residential colonies is now allowed only in demarcated areas and open surfaces, for which the residents will have to pay a base parking fee. The three municipal corporations and the New Delhi Municipal Council will be responsible for the implementation.
Who owns parking space in apartment complexes?
A parking space is covered in common area and the apartment complex or the welfare association has the right to allot this space. In most of the complexes, there is a general body or managing committee that allots these spaces to the members on a rotational basis.
Parking spaces in public places
Acting on the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) submitted in the Delhi High Court on charging of parking fees by public and commercial establishments in South Delhi, the court has issued a notice to the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and sought its response. The petition by a city resident claimed that the SDMC in 2015 and the Delhi Police in 2016 had prohibited charging of fees from the general public for parking their vehicles in malls, hospitals or office complexes. However, these establishments were levying the fees under the garb of maintenance charges, the PIL alleged. According to the PIL, the corporation was not taking action against such practices.
Similarly, the Gurgaon Municipal Corporation exempted commercial properties, including malls on the MG Road and the Sohna Road from paying property tax levied on their basements so that they could waive off parking fees without incurring losses.
Usually, it is the parking mafias around the malls and the shopping complexes that are running illegal facilities and charging anything from Rs 30-50 depending upon the time. Though the civic authorities have given orders to take action against such rackets there are still 300 such slots in Noida alone.
With inputs from Housing News