Mumbai: Goregaon housing society asks seller to pay five times the flat transfer fee

Vandana Rohera has filed a complaint against the society for seeking R1.33 lakh while the state government-stipulated transfer charge is just Rs 25,000

A housing society in Goregaon asked a flat seller to pay them R1.33 lakh to transfer the property in the new owner’s name when according to a state government circular, the amount set for flat transfer fee is Rs 25,000. The seller filed a complaint with the Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies on December 31 against the society and again yesterday asking the authorities to take action in the case.

The Ruby Isle building in Goregaon. Pic/Sameer MarkandeThe Ruby Isle building in Goregaon. Pic/Sameer Markande

The complainant Vandana Rohera (69), who sold her flat at Ruby Isle in Royal Palms Estate, Goregaon East, in November last year for R38 lakh, has yet not been able to transfer the flat in the new current owner’s name. Along with the transfer fee, the society is also asking Vandana to pay for the society’s welfare association, betterment charges, development charges and property tax deposit.

While Vandana said she has already paid the development and betterment charges to the builder, the society claims to have been abandoned by the builder and hence is charging for the amount of work they have done. Vandana’s son Prakash said, “We have paid all the money to the builder, especially the development and betterment charges, then why should we pay the society again? Apart from this, the welfare association means nothing to me as my mother is a member of the housing society and not any welfare association. So why are we being forced to pay for that?”

After she complained in December, the registrar’s office had sent a letter to the society asking for their explanation. Since then, neither has the society responded to that and nor have the authorities taken any step against them. After Vandana’s complaint yesterday, a senior officer from the registrar’s office in Kandivli claimed that they have called for a meeting of both the parties on February 17 to sort the matter.

On being asked to pay property tax deposit, Prakash said we paid maintenance, which covers the tax too. “In other societies the maintenance is lower than what we are paying, so why should I pay property tax in addition to that?" he said.

Expert speak
Advocate Vinod Sampat, who deals with such cases, said, “If someone is voluntarily paying more than R25,000 during the transfer then they cannot ask for a refund. But if someone is being forced to pay more then they should know that they cannot be charged anything other than Rs 25,000. Approaching the registrar’s office is best move in such a case.”

The other side
Meanwhile, the chairman of the society said they are not overcharging but doing things for the benefit of the society. “There was no society when had moved here and that’s why we started a welfare association. Only a few people were part of it so we are charging this money. Both the housing society and the association are registered. Also, we are taking the property tax as a deposit, which will be given back if the money collected is more than the tax amount,” said Rajesh Kulkarni, society’s chairman, while adding that they will soon send a reply to the registrar’s office.

Society demands
Flat transfer fee: Rs 25,000
Society Welfare Association: Rs 15,000
Betterment charges: Rs 27,200
Development charges: Rs 10,000
Property tax deposit: Rs 56,000
Total: Rs 1,33,200

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