Owning a vehicle is multi-pronged torture. The cars are costly, the fuels costlier and then there are parking spaces. While a hike in fuel prices is unfortunately perfectly legal, the ever increasing prices of the parking lot that comes with your flat isn’t exactly so.
Have you ever wondered why your builder is charging exorbitant price for selling out a parking space when it should be an obvious ancillary benefit with the flat you purchase? You are neither wrong nor alone. Builders across country have been minting money out of this ridiculous practice, tormenting the hapless flat owners who are usually left with no choice but to shell out the money. Several flat-owners all over our country have dealt with the menace of buying car parking space from builders at ridiculous costs. The price demanded by builders for a single parking space is anywhere in the range of one lakh to fifteen lakh rupees. Some of the richer flat-owners with a lot of disposable income even purchase multiple parking spaces for themselves.
So acceptable is this practise that no one normally even wonders if it is legal or not. But one harrowed consumer did notice this and contacted Akosha. And of course, our team diligently got down getting the exact legal position in this regard. We honestly weren’t surprised. This practise is indeed illegal, struck down by the Supreme Court itself.
Supreme Court, in its 2010 verdict has clearly stated that “Open-to-sky” areas or “stilted” (covered) portions of their flat complexes, usable as parking spaces, cannot be sold separately by flat builders/promoters/developers as “garage”. The court reasoned that these spaces are part of the “common areas” in flat complexes and are therefore “not saleable independently as a flat or along with a flat”.
In absence of legislation to the contrary, this verdict of Supreme Court is the law of the land and any builder “selling” out the parking space is clearly in violation of the law. The practise in short is downright illegal. High Courts and Consumer Forums across India have extensively struck down this practise based on this Supreme Court verdict. Any consumer aggrieved by this practise has sufficient grounds to approach the Consumer Forum for relief if the builder refuses to relent and continues to torment them with exorbitantly priced parking spaces.
(For a case by case legal analysis of the issue, refer to our Legal Eagle Reports.)