However, the Uttar Pradesh Real Estate Regulatory Authority (UP-RERA) has now prepared draft guidelines to give some logic to formation of residents associations in housing sectors and high-rise societies. The authority has also sought suggestions from homebuyers associations in the national capital region on its draft guidelines on formation of residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) and Association of Allottees (AOA).
Balvinder Kumar, member UP-RERA, says, “What we have noticed is that in the last two years, buyers’ awareness has increased. They know about their rights, and now they want to enforce those rights through RERA authorities. To reduce disputes between buyers and promoters related to the maintenance of common areas, we have prepared one draft on maintenance and formation of AOA/RWA and the same has been sent to the UP state government for approval. Once this draft gets approved we will release these guidelines and hopefully both the parties will comply with the provisions and residents associations will be formed amicably.”
According to the UP Apartment Act, a promoter is responsible for making an association once there is an occupancy of 33% or more but in many societies this rule is not being followed even after the occupancy certificate is received.
In some societies residents are not happy with the maintenance while developers feel that the quality of services is subjective and may vary from society to society.
“We have tried to balance both the parties. All completed projects where occupancy certificate is received then AOA should be formed as early as possible. Residents associations should take over and maintain the common areas. A builder is required to form an association of residents but in many cases there is a delay. Sometimes there is a delay from residents side as well who do not want to take over the society. To address all these issues, we have come up with these guidelines,” adds Kumar.
New Guidelines for AOAs/RWAs will ensure that buyers have their own associations to maintain common area services and builder hand over the same in a timely manner.
As per the UP Apartment Act, the promoter needs to maintain the common areas and facilities till the Association is formed. For that the promoter can levy maintenance charges on residents, but sometimes residents contend that charges are too high and not as per the services. There have been many disputes between residents and developers in the past related to hike in charges and quality of maintenance services. Due to conflicting views, the services of common areas often suffer.
As more and more housing societies are getting completed and more buyers are moving into their housing projects, the maintenance remains a critical issue for both residents and developers.
According to UP-RERA, several resident associations have demanded the authority to intervene in the maintenance handover process and ensure smooth transfer of the same from developers to associations. However, in some societies residents are not in favour of forming associations as they feel it will deteriorate the quality of maintenance services.
Due to requests from the associations and promoters, the UP-RERA has decided to strike a balance in the new guidelines to form RWAS and AOAs. In some sectors and societies there are multiple AOAs and RWAS which is creating a lot of problems in fund management and delivering services.
Residents in UP now want that there should be clear-cut rules related to formation of associations, maintenance charges, quality of services and other related issues in the RERA guidelines. Now UP-RERA is hopeful that new guidelines will help both the developers and residents to resolve their disputes amicably.