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Using undivided share of land

There are instances where the undivided share of land has not been entirely apportioned to the owners, writes C.H. Gopinatha Rao

There are many instances where the undivided share of land has not been entirely apportioned to the owners. Either they are not proportionate to the built-up area bought by the owners or the developers have retained a part of it.

For example, in a building complex with eight flats of 1,200 sq.ft. each and situated in an 6,400 sq. ft. of plot, the undivided share of land that is to be apportioned to each flat should be 6,400 sq.ft. divided by 8, which is 800 sq.ft.

Instead, there are instances where the developer has transferred only 640 sq.ft, each and retained 1,280 sq.ft. for himself.

There may be many reasons for this. May be the developer has a proposal to construct one or more floors later. The developer may own an apartment for himself.

There has been an instance where the developer put up a shed on the terrace since he owns undivided share of land and let out the shed. This was later settled through the consumer forum.

Lower share

Buyers are also tempted to accept a lower share of land since stamp duty and registration charges can be reduced and money saved. The implications of this are many.

After a period of about 20 or 30 years when the building is demolished, either out of compulsion or redevelopment, the owners will have less share than what should have been due to them.

The compensation they would receive will be reduced since it will be based on the extent of undivided share of land they hold.

In case the developer had not purchased the property but has operated under the power executed by the owner in his favour, then the undivided share of the land retained by the developer will belong to the original owner or his heirs. If the owner is dead and the power executed by him is no longer valid, then the legal heirs of the deceased will acquire right over the retained undivided share of land.

When a building has a basement and it is sold separately for a commercial purpose, can the owner of the basement claim undivided share of the land?

The owner of the basement too is entitled for an undivided share and he must claim it.

Otherwise, when the building is developed or sold, the owner of the basement cannot claim any right over the property.

(The author is former National President, Institution of Valuers)

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