Participants included FAOA vice-president, Mr Gautam Gulati; and Sand Legal Service M D, Mr Sai Chandravardhan.
Points that emerged in their discussion:
1) Selling open-space parking lots by developers is a huge scandal;
2) Court orders, even Supreme Court directive, have been ignored by real estate developers;
3) Developers throw to the winds the commitments they make to the authorities while seeking permission to build;
4) Open space parking lots are sold openly, and blatantly. And developers have been getting away with it;
5) In confronting developers apartment owners associations have not much hope without a) their unity at all India level, b) class-action by a critical mass of apt.owners in such big numbers that courts are driven to action, and c) creation of an effective regulatory body.
6) Uniform regulation on a national level difficult accomplish because real-estate comes under state govt. jurisdiction.
7) Legislation governing real-estate in 8 states is based on the Maharashtra apartment ownership Act of 1963.
Apartment owners associations find themselves on a weak wicket because:
a) Ever increasing demand for housing; and heightened anxiety among apartment owners to take possession, because of inordinate delay in delivery by developers;
b) Developers, in most cases, get bookings from buyers within days of announcing a new housing project, when not even a single document is ready.
c) Many apt. owners go in for purchase even though they are well aware that developer cannot legally sell open-space as parking lot.
d) Apartment buyers act individually at the time of booking, signing of agreements.
e) Apartment owners association get formed only during occupancy of flats.
As the panelists viewed it, the way to go :
1) Consolidation of apartment owners association at all-India level - FAOA has till date only 15 associations as members.
2) Building database by FAOA for publicising the track-record of various developers for the benefit of intending apartment buyers..
3) A common platform of associations to create awareness among apartment buyers of their rights.
4) Filing class-action litigation..