RESPONSIBILITY OF OWNER OR OCCUPIER TO KEEP AND MAINTAIN EXTERIOR OF BUILDING IN GOOD CONDITION
RECENT AMENDMENT OF BMC ACT BY STATE GOVERNMENT
By Adv. Sanjeev Kanchan
The Maharashtra State has inserted new Section bearing No.354AA to the BMC Act, 1888 with effect from 3rd April 2011 and fixed ‘Responsibility of keeping and maintaining exterior of building in Mumbai in good condition by the owner or occupier of a building in Mumbai’. Similar law was also passed for buildings under other Municipal Corporations of State of Maharashtra.
Under the new provisions, it is provided that it is the responsibility of the owner or occupier of a building to ensure that exterior of the building is kept and maintained in good condition and is not in a state of disrepair or spoiled on account of cracks stains shabby enclosures hanging wires of cables or keeping of unwholesome articles which spoil the appearance of a building or part of it.
This provision is not applicable for area declared under Slum Act and buildings for which redevelopment plan is sanctioned or under consideration by the competent authority.
The Commissioner of BMC may issue Notice to the owner or occupier to carryout necessary works as specified in the Notice within 30 days.
After the Notice period, if owner/occupier of the building fails to repair, the BMC will repair and collect the expenses incurred within 30 days of receipt of Notice from the owner/occupier with interest @ 24% p.a.
Under the said amendment, if the owner/occupier is disputing the demanded amount he can file an appeal (within 21 days of demand) before Chief Judge of Small Causes only after deposit of full demanded amount with B.M.C.
If the Court reduces the claim amount, the said excess amount will be adjusted by B.M.C. against next Property Tax payable on the said building.
The introduction of said new Section 354AA is one more burden levied on the owner/occupier of the building in Mumbai and in other Municipal Corporations of Maharashtra State.