High-5 for Infra

Here’s a closer look at the top five infrastructural projects that will make commuting (and living) in Mumbai a lot more seamless and hassle-free.

1) Metro Mania: The first two lines of the 200-km Mumbai Metro linkage system, Metro Line 2A (Dahisar-DN Nagar) and Line 7 (Dahisar East-Andheri East) are likely to finish construction by year end. The other three metro lines, Line 2B (DN Nagar-Mandale), Line 4 (Wadala-Kasarvadavali) and Line 6 (Swami Samarth Nagar-Vikhroli) will be operational within the next two-three years. The cumulative ridership on the entire Mumbai Metro is pegged at nearly 50 lakh commuters across nearly 100 metro stations in the city. 2) Road Connectivity: Since Mumbai is notorious for being one of the most traffic-congested cities in the world, building new flyovers and decongesting existing roads have been top priorities for MMRDA. The launch of two new flyovers Chunabhatti-BKC and Mankhurd-Ghatkopar proved to be a respite for commuters on the eastern corridor. This year will see further progress on the Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link (MTHL) worth over Rs 30,000 crore and the eight-lane multi-modal corridor between Virar and Alibaug. With the Supreme Court’s order to lift the stay on construction of the Coastal Road, this 30-km road will further improve commute between western suburbs and south Mumbai. 3) Water Transport: At a cost of approx. Rs 1200 crore, Mumbai will soon see water taxis plying from Thane to Vasai and South Mumbai. In Phase I of Thane-Vasai project, ferries would ply between Kalyan, Thane and Vasai through the Vasai creek, while Phase 2 will have two routes – Thane to Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.

Source: Times Property, Saturday 18 January 2020

Major queries on a Minor’s ownership of property, answered

In an exclusive interaction with Times Property, Farid Karachiwala, partner, J Sagar Associates, throws light on the laws that govern a minor’s ownership of real estate. Here are a few excerpts…

As per the Indian law, who is a Minor? As per the Indian Majority Act, 1875, the age of majority in India is specified as 18 years. Any individual, domiciled in India, who has not attained the age of 18 years, is referred to as a minor. Can a minor purchase property in India? As per Section 11 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, every person who is of the age of majority is competent to contract and therefore a minor cannot enter into contract, and any agreement by a minor is void in the eyes of law. Can the parents of a 15-year-old boy purchase property in his name?: Yes, parents can jointly buy property in the name of a minor provided the contract is signed by the parent as his/her natural or legal guardian on behalf of the minor.

Does our civil law bar parents from registering property in name of the minor? There are no legal impediments to registering property in the name of a minor. After valid execution by the natural or legal guardian, it can be registered under Section 35 of the Registration Act, 1908 in the name of the minor. Can a minor acquire property through inheritance, a will or the intestate succession law? Yes, any person can bequeath and devise property to a minor by way of a will. The law of succession defines the rules of devolution of property in case a person dies without making a will. In the event any person dies intestate or without will, his legal heirs including minors will be entitled to the share in all the properties as per the law of succession by which he/she was governed at the time of his/her death.

Can a parent write a will (concerning his immovable property) in favour of his/her minor child? A will is the intention of the testator, with respect to his property, which he desires to be carried into effect after his death. Legal provisions relating to will and probate are laid under Indian Succession Act, 1925, which is applicable to all communities except Muslims. On the contrary, if an individual dies intestate, then his legal heirs will be governed by the law of succession by which he was governed at the time of his death. This is different and depends on the religion that the intestate followed. An individual practising the Hindu faith would be governed by the Hindu Succession Act, 1956; whereas an individual practising Islam would be governed by the Muslim Personal Law and individuals practising Christianity would be governed by the Indian Succession Act, 1925.

Sale of minor’s property cannot be done without obtaining court’s permission. is it true? The disposal of property of a minor, by natural guardians under Hindu law is governed through Section 8 of Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 read with provisions contained in the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890. The natural or legal guardian of minor will have to file a petition under Guardians and Wards Act in the court of Guardianship Judge to seek the permission of the court to sell the share of the minor. Also, the property belonging to a minor cannot be mortgaged or charged or transferred by sale, gift, and exchange or otherwise without obtaining court’s prior permission as per Section 8(2)(a) of Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956. Disposal of such an immovable property by parents is void at the instance of the minor or any person claiming under him. However, when the minor attains the age of 18 years, the minor can exercise the option to repudiate or validate the sale deed if the same was made without the prior permission from the court of law, but he must exercise such option within the limitation period i.e. three years from the date on which he attains majority.

Source: Times Property, Saturday 18 January 2020

To buy or Not to buy?

Is this deal good enough to buy a house? Or should I wait? What if the prices drop? Or, wait a minute, what if they increase? We explore how buyers fall prey to their (over) thinking minds and let go of a lucrative deal. There must have been more than one occasion when you would have invited a friend who is a pro at bargaining, to shop along with you. Similarly, you also look at shopping during the festive season so that you can bag the best of deals and discounts. However, when it comes to buying your dream abode, where do you draw the line at waiting for a good bargain, or risk losing it to another home-buyer who didn’t necessarily outbid you, but rather, paid the reasonable price?

Psychologist Harish Shetty opines that the habit of waiting for a good deal to materialise is difficult to break, especially for Gen Y as they have multiple options to choose from, adding to their indecisiveness. “Some people are very meticulous and have far too many boxes to tick. They are not looking at the best available option right now, but for the perfect made-to-order kind of situation. It can be an obsessive-compulsive trait, but not necessarily a disorder; a patient in her early 30s employed in a corporate consulted me after she was driven to frustration because her father was too picky in buying a home despite having the resources.”

Source: Times Property, Saturday 18 January 2020

A home-seller’s checklist: Selling your Home in 2020? A 13-step Toolkit

If you plan to sell your abode, here’s how you should go about it. While hiring an estate agent or listing your home on an online portal are the obvious first steps, what are the other key steps that one tends to overlook? There might be several toolkits on ‘how to buy a home?’; however, here’s a ready reckoner on ‘how to sell your home?’:

1) Do your Research: Figure out the prevailing rate in your area. If required, visit a few properties just to get an idea of your competition. The age of your property, the perks (a balcony or high ceilings), the distance to social infrastructure, etc play a crucial role towards how much your apartment can fetch. 2) Time your Sale: Families don’t move in the middle of the academic year and professionals won’t move places in-between a financial year. Depending on where you live – close to schools and colleges or commercial hubs – pick the right time to put your property up for sale. If a major infrastructure project is coming up in the vicinity, hold on to the property; chances are that the rates will improve. 3) Declutter Now: This will not only reduce your load while moving, but also make your home look pretty when the buyer is visiting. Keep your home as clean as possible; this way the buyer can picture their furniture and belongings in your home. 4) Fix your Home:  Take care of the leaking tap/squeaky door, etc. Your home will look well taken care of, and, hence, more appealing to the buyer. Do not bother painting the house (unless asked for or absolutely required), as the new owners may want to furnish the home according to their taste. 5) Get Paperwork in Order: Check if you have all the necessary documents handy. Consult your lawyer and check if any documents are missing or if require to be updated. If you have taken a loan to buy the home, this is a good time to sort the paperwork with your bank.

6) Take account of Everything: If you are going to leave some of the existing furniture in the house – wardrobe, geysers, AC unit – then, add that in your final offer price. You can negotiate later. 7) Stage your Home: Home staging is a business in the West; ensure that you make your home look pretty when a potential buyer is visiting to check the place. Walk through all the rooms with the buyer in mind; evaluate your home and fix whatever you think could be a deal breaker. 8) Found a Buyer? Talk about the moolah at the earliest. Figure out if they would be applying for a loan and the payment structure.

9) Additional Expenses: …like agent’s fee, moving costs, stamp duty charges, lawyer’s fee, etc. Factor these in so that you can grasp exactly how much you get in hand. 10) CHECK FOR PERKS: Figure if there are any tax benefits/perks you can avail. You can talk to your bank or accountant for this. 11) Consult your Lawyer: Keep your lawyer in the loop at every step of your paperwork process. It may seem like a futile activity but it has the potential to save you from any unforeseeable troubles. 12) Settle the Bills: Once you finalise the deal, it is time to take care of all the pending bills, maintenance, electricity, water bills, etc. Now is also a good time to inform your insurance companies and other subscriptions about your address change. 13) Ensure you have a Copy of all the Documents: Among all the moving and packing, do not forget to keep a copy of all the documents; even the most inconsequential ones can be a game-changer. Keep all the receipts handy as well.

Source: Times Property, Saturday 18 January 2020

Self-redevelopment only solution but ‘Not Foolproof’

The real estate slump, housing experts say, leaves societies with the only option of redeveloping their properties themselves, which too is still in an experimental stage. With the real estate market facing a slowdown, housing experts believe that self-redevelopment could be the only way forward. Over 3,000 redevelopment projects have come to a halt in the city and MMR region in the past few years. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray too had expressed his concern over these stalled projects while launching the book ‘Compendium of Self Re-Development for Cooperative Housing Societies’ authored by former bureaucrat Subhash Lalla and Ramesh Prabhu, founder of MahaSEWA.

“Barely one or two self-redeveloped projects have seen completion in the last few years and a few more are in the pipeline. The CM has now shown a keen interest in self-redevelopment which,” Prabhu said, “could give it momentum provided the state government adheres to the 20-point benefits that the previous BJP-Sena government had announced a month before the elections (September 2019) to housing societies opting for it.” “It is very important to understand the challenges and the risks associated with redevelopment rather than concentrating on the benefits of extra area and corpus alone,” MahaRERA chief Gautam Chatterjee observed in the foreword of the book.

Source: Mid-Day, Wednesday 29 January 2020

Compact living in Cities

For many Mumbaikars, having one’s home within the city limits is far more important than having a bigger apartment farther up in the distant suburbs, as they can save time in commuting to and from office every day. Compact homes promise them all this, within their budget. Developers are trying their level best to find the right price and size for their house on offer which will match the requirements of the end-user. Some developers in the country have been launching projects with small unit sizes (800-1,200 sq ft). The trend is especially catching on in cities such as NCR, Bangalore, Mumbai and Chennai, where the market is gradually opening up and trying to solve its large unsold inventories.

The Compact Concept: While the non-availability of land and the high costs are driving the demand for compact homes, another major reason for the trend is the conscious effort by developers to create affordable projects for middle and lower middle income groups. The aim behind launching such projects is developers trying to improve their own cash flows, as there is a lot of latent demand in this category.

Source: Mid-Day, Friday 31 January 2020


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