By Legal Bureau
To bring about uniformity in the sale of apartments in the state, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Maha RERA) issued a circular on Thursday defining carpet area calculation and asked builders to adhere to this standard while drawing up sale agreements.
The regulator’s circular has stated that the balcony, veranda and the terrace, even if exclusive to the flat owner, can’t be included in the carpet area even as internal walls are included in the calculation. While the new rules will result in the per square foot rate going up in certain areas, prices of apartments should remain unchanged.
The move, however, is expected to bring to an end the practice of builders selling flats based on measurements like the built up area (sum of carpet area, wall thickness, ducts, exclusive balcony and verandas) or super built up area (sum of built up area and common facilities like veranda, staircase, lift etc).
“We welcome this move by RERA as it defines carpet area and has set it as the standard. Now all builders will talk in the same language. Earlier, different builders used to ‘set’ their carpet area, built up area and super built up area leaving buyers confused,” said Shirish Deshpande, executive president of consumer rights group Mumbai Grahak Panchayat.
“But we are opposed to inclusion of inner wall in the definition of the carpet area as it defies the original definition of carpet area which literally goes for the area of carpet which can be laid out wall to wall,” said Deshpande.
The rule that flat must be sold on carpet area was there even under Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act but it was rarely enforced as there was no enforcement mechanism. “But now with MahaRERA coming into existence, one can sue the builder if he falters,” Deshpande pointed out.