Consent of all flat buyers needed to change plans

Irrevocable blanket consent taken from flat buyers will not help builders who want to construct additional floors that were not mentioned in original plans at the time of sale, the Bombay high court (HC) has said.
“No such irrevocable consent can be imputed or taken since express previous consent is required to be obtained for all additions and alterations after the plans and specifications (of the building) are disclosed,” said Justice Roshan Dalvi. “No such consent can be expressly given and every (developer) would be required to take express previous consent of all the flat purchasers for all such additional construction… not incorporated in the approved plans.”
The HC upheld a civil court order restraining city-based builder Shah and Modi Developers from adding more floors to Swapnalok building in Malad. Advocate S C Naidu, counsel for the developer, said there was express consent given by the flat buyers at the time of purchase that no permission would be required from them if the developer wanted to make any additional construction and they would not raise any objection.
The judge said that such a clause was “wholly inconsistent with and contrary to legislative mandate” of section 7 of the Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act. The provision says that a builder has to take the consent of all flat buyers for making any alterations in or additions to the structure of the flats or of the building after plans and specifications are disclosed at the time of sale.
Shah and Modi cited another clause in the agreement which mentioned that the developer can acquire additional construction rights in the form of TDR (transfer of development rights) to add floors. They also pointed to the foundation plan of the building, which showed that it was capable of bearing up to six floors.
But the HC said this did not constitute express consent and the approved plan disclosed at the time of purchase was admittedly up to four floors.
“Upon seeing the lack of consent… a prima facie case for restraint on further construction is made out,” said the HC while dismissing the builder’s plea to vacate a stay on construction from the sixth floor onwards.

For the Times of India story – Click here

For the judgement of the High Court given by Justice Roshan Dalvi – Click Here

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