Are You Using A Basement For Residential Purpose? It Is Illegal
With the growing space crunch and people looking for an affordable option to live in, especially in the rental properties segment, basements have cropped up as an option that many are choosing.
But, are basements meant for residential use?
Many new builder constructions that we see are now equipped with basement space. While some use it for parking, some for commercial or storage use, there are some who rent out this space for residential purposes.
MakaaniQ tells you more about the usage of basement:
What is a basement?
The lower storey of a building that is completely or partially below the street level is considered to be a basement according to building bye-laws. This is an additional space that can be used for multiple purposes and hence, has become popular among the recently or under-construction properties.
Can you reside in a basement?
- According to the National Building Code regulations, basements can only be used legally for commercial purposes, storage, parking, cellar, dark room or a space where air conditioning machinery can be installed. While many rent out this space for living purpose, under the law these is illegal. In fact, the building bylaws do not allow the usage of the basement for a kitchen or a bathroom.
- In case the basement is a part of a residential property, it is still legal to use it for commercial purposes once proper permission of the area municipality is taken.
What if I live in a basement?
On an online forum, a resident of Delhi's Punjabi Bagh posted that he has been living in a lower-ground floor property for past five years, but recently the Municipal Corporation of Delhi or MCD officials visited only to tell that they will soon receive a notice because living in a basement is illegal. The complainant put forth a request to understand a way out. Are you facing a similar case? Here is what you could do:
- If the objection raised by MCD official is based on specific rules and regulations of the Municipality Act, check whether or not it is applicable to you.
- You can consult a local lawyer who deals in municipality matters. He could help you plan the course of action.
- In case you receive a notice, you could challenge it in the High Court.
- Though the bylaws are different across states, many suggest basements as unsafe for dwelling purposes.