Cooperative housing societies have become an increasingly popular form of housing in Maharashtra, India. The government of Maharashtra has enacted various laws and regulations to ensure the smooth functioning and governance of cooperative housing societies. The Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act, 1960, the Maharashtra Cooperative Housing Society Rules, 1961, the Model Bye-laws of Cooperative Housing Societies, and the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Act, 2013, together provide a comprehensive set of guidelines and regulations for the functioning of cooperative housing societies.
These laws and regulations have helped in improving the governance and management of cooperative housing societies in Maharashtra and have ensured the protection of the rights and interests of the members.
Car parking refers to the designated area or space where cars can be parked. In the context of cooperative housing societies in Maharashtra, car parking is a designated area in the society’s premises where residents can park their cars. The significance of car parking in cooperative housing societies in Maharashtra is that it provides a safe and secure place for residents to park their vehicles. It also helps in reducing congestion on the roads as residents do not have to park their cars on the streets.
In Maharashtra, the government has made it mandatory for cooperative housing societies to provide adequate parking facilities for their residents. As per the Cooperative Society laws in Maharashtra, a cooperative housing society must provide at least one car parking space per flat to its members. Furthermore, the state government has also issued guidelines for the construction of parking areas in cooperative housing societies.
These guidelines specify the minimum dimensions of a car parking space, the distance between parking spaces, and other safety requirements.
In Maharashtra, cooperative housing societies are a popular type of residential community where residents collectively manage their housing needs. One essential aspect of housing management is car parking. With limited space in cities, housing societies have to plan their parking infrastructure efficiently to accommodate the vehicles of residents and their guests.
Open Parking: Open parking is the most basic form of parking where cars are parked in open spaces within the society premises. This type of parking is usually the least expensive and requires minimum maintenance. However, it offers no protection against the weather, and vehicles are exposed to natural elements such as rain, dust, and sunlight.
Covered Parking: Covered parking is an improvement over open parking, where vehicles are parked under a shed or canopy that offers partial protection against the weather. Covered parking can be designed as a standalone structure or an extension of the society building. It is relatively more expensive than open parking but provides better protection for vehicles.
Stilt Parking: Stilt parking is a type of parking structure where cars are parked on a raised platform supported by columns or pillars. Stilt parking is usually located at the ground level and offers protection against flooding during the monsoon season. It is a cost-effective solution for societies with limited space as it does not require excavation or digging of the ground.
Basement Parking: Basement parking is a type of parking structure built beneath the ground level of the society building. Basement parking is a popular choice for housing societies in Maharashtra, where land is scarce, and building vertically is a necessity. Basement parking offers full protection against weather conditions, and the vehicles are secure from theft and vandalism. However, it is the most expensive type of parking due to the excavation and construction costs.
Multi-level/Stack Parking: Multi-level parking is a structure that accommodates multiple levels of parking, usually above the ground level. Multi-level parking structures can be designed as standalone structures or as an extension of the society building. Multi-level parking is a suitable option for housing societies with high vehicle density and limited land space.
The choice of parking depends on factors such as available space, cost, and the level of protection required. It is essential for housing societies to plan their parking infrastructure efficiently to ensure the safety and convenience of residents.
Bye Law No 78(a) Policy for allotment of parking slots
The Society shall in the General Body meeting frame and adopt Parking Rules to regulate the Parking slots, in accordance with the Act and Rules there under.
Bye Law No 78(b)
The allotment of Parking Space shall be made by the Committee on the basis of “First Come First Served”, for available parking slots However the Member shall have no right to sell or transfer the Parking Slot allotted by the Society.
Bye Law No 78(c) Restriction of Parking Slots
No Member shall be entitled to utilize more parking slots than that officially allotted to him by the Society.
Bye Law No 79. Marking of Parking slots
Where any parking slots have been built or open space in the Society’s compound is available for parking of cars, the Society shall number and demarcate the stilts and / or the open space in such a way that no inconvenience would be caused to any of the Members of the Society. The Committee shall ensure that the space is used by the Members for the purpose for which it is allotted to them.
Bye Law No 80. Eligibility for allotment of parking slots
A Member having a vehicle will be eligible to have parking slot. Normally no Member shall be eligible for being allotted more than one parking slot. The vehicles may be owned by him or allotted to him by his employer, or the firm of which he is the partner or the company of which he is the director. If any parking slots remain unallotted for want of applicants, additional parking slots may be allotted to such Members who already have a slot allotted to them in normal course. Such allotment of additional parking slots shall be made on year to year basis, provided the same are not required by other Members, who have not been allotted even a single parking slot.
Bye Law No 81. If more eligible Members and less Parking Slots
In case the number of eligible Members for parking slots is in excess of the available parking slots, then the Managing Committee shall allot parking slots on annual basis by fair and transparent process, in concurrence with the General Body regulations.
Bye Law No 82. Applications for allotment of parking slot
The Member, desiring to have parking slot, may make an application to the Secretary of the Society giving necessary details. The procedure laid down under the bye-law No. 63 for disposal of applications, shall be followed by the Secretary and the Committee of the Society.
Bye Law No 83. Payment of charges for parking of vehicles
Every Member shall pay for the parking charges for the number of slots allotted to him / her at such rate as may be decided by the General Body of the Society at its meeting, irrespective of the fact whether he actually parks his vehicle or not.
Bye Law No 84. Parking of other vehicles
Every Member, having a scooter, a motor cycle, or an autorickshaw shall obtain prior permission of the Committee for parking his vehicle in the compound of the Society and pay the charges fixed by the General Body of the Society at its meeting.
Apart from Cooperative Society Byelaws there are other laws related to car parking in cooperative housing societies which are as under:
Legal position under MOFA 1963 as interpreted by Supreme Court.
A Bench of Justices R M Lodha and A K Patnaik in a judgement rejected the argument of a real estate development company that they are entitled to sell garages/stilt parking areas as separate flats to owners who intend to use it as parking facilities. “The promoter has no right to sell any portion of such building which is not flat within the meaning of Section 2(a-1) and the entire land and building has to be conveyed to the organisation. The only right remains with the promoter is to sell unsoldflats.
“It is, thus, clear that the promoter has no right to sell stilt parking spaces as these are neither flat nor appurtenant or attachment to a flat, Justice Lodha writing the judgement said. The apex court passed the judgement while dismissing the appeal of the promoter Nahalchand Laloochand Pvt Ltd challenging the Bombay High Court”s ruling that under the MOFA (Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act) a builder cannot sell parking slots in the stilt area as independent flats or garage.
Indian Registration Act 1908 & Transfer of Property Act, 1882
As per the provisions of the Indian Registration Act 1908 and Section 54 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882, if any immovable property having value of Rs.100 is intended to be sold, the agreement has to be compulsorily registered.
i. Open parking areas are provided free of FSI;
ii. Promoters are not entitled to sell / allot open parking areas for monetary consideration;
iii. Open parking areas, garage and covered Parking space should be specifically marked and numbered at the real estate project site in accordance and as per approved / sanctioned plans and tagged to the apartment to which it is allotted; and iv. Garage and/or covered parking space when sold/ allotted for monetary consideration, the type, numbers and size as well as the place where such garage or covered parking space is situated should be mentioned in the Agreement for Sale being entered into and the plan showing the exact location / allotment along with the particulars as aforesaid should be annexed to the Agreement for Sale.
The Apartment Acts in various states, such as Maharashtra and Delhi, allow the Managing Committee of a housing society to establish their own car parking rules. Once a housing society is registered, it becomes the owner of all common spaces and parking spots, according to the “Apartment Act” in most states. The developer or builder must hand over the property once the municipal corporation issues an Occupation Certificate in the society’s name. Therefore, purchasing common parking spots separately is not allowed.
National Building Code
Additionally, the National Building Code requires that one parking space for a four-wheeler should be at least 13.75 square metres, and for a two-wheeler, it should be at least 1.25 square metres.
Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has established model building bylaws and parking regulations for residential areas in India. These regulations state that there should be two Equivalent Car Spaces (ECS) per 100 square metres of floor area in residential premises. This means that each resident should receive one spot for every three bedrooms and two spots for every four bedrooms.
Judiciary on Car Parking in Cooperative Housing Societies
In 2010-11, builders attempted to sell parking spaces as separate units, but the Bombay High Court ruled that parking space is a component of common facilities. The Supreme Court upheld this decision, making it part of parking regulations in India’s residential areas. Following the 2010-11 Nahalchand Laloochand Pvt Ltd vs Panchali Cooperative Housing Society case, it is illegal for a builder to sell parking units to non-society buyers or residents as separate real-estate units. Allotment of parking space is an administrative function, and the Managing Committee and General Body are authorized to allot parking space to registered members, including family and associate members.
Car parking is a persistent problem in many cooperative housing societies in Maharashtra. With limited parking space and an increasing number of vehicles, enforcing parking rules and regulations has become a necessity to avoid chaos and ensure safety within the society.
Penalties for non-compliance
One of the most effective ways to enforce car parking rules is to impose penalties for non-compliance. The society can issue fines to residents who violate parking rules, such as parking in a non-designated area or parking in a way that blocks other vehicles. The amount of the fine can be determined by the society’s managing committee, taking into account the severity of the violation. The fines collected can be used for the maintenance of the society or for any other welfare activity for the society members.
Dispute resolution mechanisms
Disputes related to car parking can arise between residents or between the residents and the society’s managing committee. In such cases, it is essential to have a dispute resolution mechanism in place. The society’s managing committee can appoint a grievance redressal committee that can resolve disputes related to car parking in a fair and transparent manner. This committee can include members from different sections of the society to ensure that the decision-making process is unbiased and just.
Clear communication of rules and regulations
Clear communication of car parking rules and regulations is crucial to ensure compliance. The society’s managing committee can communicate the parking rules and regulations through notice boards, emails, or WhatsApp groups. They can also conduct awareness campaigns to educate the residents on the importance of following parking rules and regulations. Providing clear signage and markings to designate parking areas can also be helpful in ensuring compliance.
Regular monitoring and enforcement
Regular monitoring and enforcement of car parking rules are critical to ensure compliance. The society’s managing committee can appoint a security guard or a parking attendant to monitor the parking areas and ensure that residents comply with the rules. The security guard or parking attendant can also report violations to the managing committee, which can take necessary actions to enforce the rules.
By following these mechanisms, cooperative housing societies in Maharashtra can ensure compliance with parking rules and regulations and create a safe and secure environment for all residents.
In conclusion, addressing car parking issues in cooperative housing societies in Maharashtra is a critical need of the hour. Lack of proper parking facilities can lead to frustration, inconvenience, and even conflicts among residents. However, with the implementation of effective solutions such as constructing multi-level parking, using technology-based parking management systems, and encouraging carpooling, we can alleviate the problem and create a more harmonious living environment. It is crucial for cooperative housing societies to prioritize this issue and take necessary steps towards resolving it for the betterment of all residents.
BY MR. VIRAJ PATIL (LLM NLSIU BANGALORE)
CO FOUNDER & PARTNER SAARATHI LAW LLP
ADVOCATE BOMBAY HIGH COURT