MHADA: Will take back homes rented by owners

Updated: Jan 16, 2020, 07:34 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

Despite a 2013 resolution allowing owners to rent their properties, housing body's Estate Department issues notice threatening to confiscate their homes

Residents of MHADA societies said they are getting repeated calls from officials asking about members who have rented their flats. Pic/ Sameer Markande
Residents of MHADA societies said they are getting repeated calls from officials asking about members who have rented their flats. Pic/ Sameer Markande

Flat owners in nearly 20 societies of the MHADA in Dahisar are in a tizzy over a notice sent by it, threatening to take back the houses allotted to them. A resolution passed by the MHADA in 2013 mentions that flat owners can rent their tenements. But its Estate Department is singing a different tune now, and has issued the notice.

According to the notice issued in December 2019 (a copy of which is with this paper) the department has asked nearly 20 societies including Shiv Samarth, Ravi Kiran, Dream Land, Vrindavan, Shree Samarth and Swapnapurti to furnish a list of flat owners who have given their houses on rent. The notice has been sent despite the resolution passed in 2013, and notification about the same issued by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority which allows the flat owners to rent the property.

"The notice issued to us categorically mentions that the Authority will take back the house as it is 'misuse' of the government scheme," said a flat owner whose society has been served the notice.

One of the societies, Shree Samarth, that has received the notice. Pic/Sameer Markande
One of the societies, Shree Samarth, that has received the notice. Pic/Sameer Markande

Initially, the notice was not taken seriously. But repeated calls from officials asking about the list of members who have rented their flats has started giving residents sleepless nights.

'Won't take back flats'
However, when mid-day called up MHADA to know further details, an official said the authority does not want to seize the flats. "We don't intend to take back these flats. A person had filed a complaint with the vigilance department complaining about flats being rented by the members. As a result we had asked for the list of members who have given flats on rent. But there is no intention of taking back their homes," the official said.

B Radhakrishnan, chief officer of Mumbai Board was not available for comment as he is on leave.

Senior IPS officer Sanjay Verma, who heads the vigilance and security division of the MHADA, did not respond to calls or text messages sent to him.

On Sunday the panicked flat owners came together and met to deal with the issue. Nearly 40 members who have rented flats attended the meeting.

"Initially we did not take the notice seriously as there is a MHADA resolution which allows the renting of flats. But then we were repeatedly called for information along with instructions to evict the families residing in rented flats," said a resident who attended the meeting. When this reporter tried to speak to Manoj Kondvilkar, chairman of Shree Samarth society (Shailendra Nagar), he refused to comment. The meeting of flat members was held in the premises of this society.

'Rule must apply to city'
A member of a neighbouring society told mid-day that after marriage she began staying with her in-laws and rented her flat. "I had taken a loan for the house. So renting it helped me pay EMIs and it is legal. If MHADA wants to take flats back from us then this rule has to apply to the whole city and not to a particular area," she said.

Earlier, there was a restriction on lottery winners from giving their flats on rent for five years after getting possession, but as per the MHADA resolution passed in a meeting on August 6, 2013, the owner can rent a flat without any restriction on period.

No penalty for not taking NOC

While relaxing the rule of five years to rent property, MHADA levied a fee for NOC. It is from R2,000 to R5,000 as per the size of the flats. But surprisingly there isn't mention of penalty or action against those who failed to take NOC from the Authority. mid-day inquired with the Public Relations Department of MHADA but they weren't aware of action or penalty for it.

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