Your property-related legal queries answered by S.C. RAGHURAM, Partner, RANK Associates, a law firm
There are 110 flats in our multi-storey apartment. Of the 110 owners, two have not paid the monthly maintenance since two years. Kindly suggest how we can recover the dues. Is it possible to attach their property against our dues through the deputy registrar or under the Apartment Owners Act? Can we publish the defaulters in the local daily and caution the public/would be purchasers of these flats?
M. Jafarullah Khan
If there is a registered Association in your complex, these issues have to be dealt with as per your bye-laws. If there is no Association/bye-laws, your first step is to get the same duly in place. If your existing bye-laws do not cover such eventualities, the bye-laws can be amended in the AGM or EGM and based on the decision of majority, certain measures can be implemented including a process of arbitration for recovery of arrears. Unpaid maintenance charges levied by the registered associations will operate as a charge over the property under the Apartment Ownership Act. Normally, bye-laws will provide for obtaining a no due certificate from the association before sale/transfer of property.
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