June 2018 Vol 01


New DP to come into effect from June 23

The city’s Development Plan (DP) 2034 will come into force from June 23, exactly a month after a notification was published in a state government gazette. But the plan which comes into force will not include the Excluded Plan (EP), for which suggestions and objections are being sought from citizens. The DP is a blueprint for the city’s land use for two decades. The state urban development department had issued the notification on sanctioning of the DP on May 8. It had three parts — the sanctioned part (Schedule A), the revised part, called Excluded Plan (Schedule B), and Development Control and Promotion Regulations (DCPR) for its implementation.

The EP has newly-introduced provisions and significant changes suggested by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) planning committee and the state government and had been approved by the civic general body. The Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act requires that the government invite fresh suggestions and objections from citizens. Till June 22, proposals will be processed under the DP and DCR 1991, but from June 23, they will be processed under DP and DCPR 2034, but again taking into consideration which are the more stringent of the two, which means the DP and DCPR 2034, and EP provisions.

Source: The Times of India, Monday 4 June 2018

 Boost for redevpt: BMC uploads new policy on shaky bldgs

The BMC has uploaded its new policy on dilapidated buildings on its website, which civic officials say will speed up the redevelopment process. Disputes between tenants and owners often lead to a delay in vacating a building and redevelopment drags on for years, said civic officials The new policy lists detailed guidelines for declaring private and municipal buildings in the city in C-1category (dangerous and unsafe); it doesn’t cover Mhada buildings, cess properties, and port trust and defence properties.

Under the new policy, the BMC will grant sanction for redevelopment—intimation of disapproval—only after an agreement providing permanent alternative accommodation in a new building or a settlement is arrived at between the tenants and landlord. No commencement certificate will be issued too till then. Also, if a BMC employee refuses to vacate a C-1 category building, despite alternative accommodation being provided, a departmental inquiry will be conducted against him for endangering the life and property of himself and others, and he will be suspended from service, pending inquiry. In case the occupier is a tenant, the agreement licence with BMC will be terminated and he will be evicted.

Source: The Times of India, Wednesday 6 June 2018

Rainy Season – True Realty testers

While monsoons may be the time to stay indoors, realty experts suggest that it’s the best season to get out and evaluate the property you aspire to buy. Here’s why?

Many people avoid site visits or the purchase of resale homes during the rains. But these little hassles can save you from bigger losses in future. That’s because, buyers can evaluate the pros and cons of a home’s location, construction quality and the little details that comes with the purchase of a home and take a better buying decision.

A resale flat can be white-washed to look new or a developer can cover his construction faults and other aspects on normal days. But monsoons can lay bare the actual facts about the property you wish to invest in. While ascertaining construction quality may not always be possible in an under-construction property, the rainy season is the perfect time to check the quality of a resale house. The monsoon is generally regarded as a lean period for the realty sector. However, it is a good time for home buyers, especially for those looking at resale properties. This is the time when demand is less and sellers are willing to negotiate on lowering the price for serious buyers.

Infrastructure state: Real estate experts advise that home seekers should visit the construction site more than once, before making a final decision. There are several factors that can be gauged during this wet season which could be overseen at other times. Like visiting a site in the monsoons when the traffic is at its worst, in most places, will provide insights on the waterlogging situation, as well as travel and access to the area.

Construction quality: While ascertaining construction quality may not always be possible in an under-construction property, the rainy season is the perfect time to check the quality of a resale house. Buyers can gauge the flat / buildings actual condition pertaining to issues like seepage, leakage from the terrace, drainage issues leading to stagnation of dirty water, etc. In case of resale property, a thorough inspection can reveal construction quality and how the house has been maintained.

Access Road: Many people only look at the exterior and interior of the property they want to invest in. But it’s equally important to check out the access road leading to the property. Low lying areas are prone to flooding, leading to traffic jams and transportation woes which can be best judged in the monsoon season. Repair and mend: Some issues can be resolved like a leakage issue or drainage issue sorted if you are interested in buying the property nevertheless. If the flaws in the project become evident during the rainy season, buyers can bargain and also ask the developer to mend the same.

Source: Mid-Day, Friday 8 June 2018

Owners of more than one home get tax leeway

In a shot in the arm for owners of multiple residential properties, the Mumbai bench of the Income-Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) has upheld the right of a taxpayer to change his selection of a house that would be treated as self-occupied. Consequently, the notional rent from such a house will not be taxable. So for instance, even if a taxpayer has declared a particular house property as self-occupied, he can at a later stage during actual tax assessment substitute this with another house in a pos`her locality owned by him. This could help him reduce the notional rent that has to be offered for tax and thus lower his I-T outgo.

The Mumbai bench of the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) has upheld the right of a taxpayer to change his selection of a house property that would be treated as self-occupied and having a ‘nil’ annual value. Consequently, the notional rent from such a house will not be taxable. In other words, if the taxpayer has in his Income-tax (I-T) return declared a particular house property to be self-occupied, he can at a later stage during the actual tax assessment of his case substitute this with another house property owned by him, which perhaps is in a more posh location. By doing so, it may be possible for him to reduce the notional rent that has to be offered for tax and thus lower his I-T outgo.

Under the I-T Act, where an individual owns more than one house, he can only treat any one of his house properties as ‘self-occupied and having a nil annual value’. Annual value, in general terms, is the notional rent which the property would ordinarily fetch.

 Source: The Times of India, Friday 8 June 2018

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