A Landlord’s Guide: 4 Things To Consider While Renting Out Your Apartment

As buying land or property is typically an expensive affair, renting an apartment becomes the preferred option for large sections of people, be it the newlyweds or those moving out to live closer to a workplace. In an atmosphere where affordable housing is in high demand, renting out your apartment is beneficial to you. So if you are looking to do so, here are the four important things you should consider

I. Offer a market-competitive rent

Deciding on the rent you will charge is important. Renting out your apartment is a competitive affair. You will need to be aware of the average rents being charged in your area. Once you’re aware of the number, you can set your rate depending on more or less what you can offer to the prospective tenants.

Consider quoting a reasonable rate. If you quote low, you may end up with many tenants, but at an opportunity cost. On the other hand, if you quote too high, you risk not getting approached at all.

II. Draft a water-tight, but fair, rental agreement

There are just a handful of things you need to know about laws, including contracts and insurance. The laws are more or less balanced. They’re neither tilting towards the owner nor the tenant. Verification is made mandatory for signing the rental agreement.

Take professional help if required in drafting the rental agreement. It will make you as well as your tenants confident, as it will protect the interest of either party. Ensure that the agreement contains such information as the description of the entire property, facilities provided, the date on which the rent should be paid every month by the tenant, a clause related to termination, security deposit, maintenance charges, and TDS.

Add anything else you think is important, and state explicitly. Any difficulty in understanding the agreement should be avoided.

III. Ensure you have all documents ready

One of the three important documents, namely lease deed, rental agreement, and license agreement will come in to use while renting out your apartment. If you’re renting out your apartment for a period of fewer than eleven months, you will require the rental agreement. For a period of more than eleven months, a registration is necessary. You then need to issue a lease deed. The expenses will be shared between you and your tenant. The local police should have a copy of all the necessary tenant details.

IV. Get the house ready for the move-in

Renting out your apartment involves a certain amount of commitment on your part as well. It’s your responsibility to ensure that your tenants are provided with a healthy and safe living environment. Consider having the entire house cleaned up and checked for electrical safety. Ensure all leaks and breaks are fixed.

What is more is, you have to provide your tenants with a signed receipt for rent payments. Lastly, at the time of eviction, it is important to serve a notice period (by both you and your tenant.) This notice period should be specified in your rental agreement. Again, this helps safeguard both the parties in the agreement.

As a landlord, these are the aspects you need to address. Eventually, we are sure your apartment will be a popular choice among tenants.

The Indian Flag Code: everything you need to know this Independence Day

“A national spirit is necessary for national existence. A flag is a material aid to the development of such a spirit.” -Mahatma Gandhi.

With the 72nd Independence Day just around the corner, members of most apartment complexes will be gearing up to organise their own flag hoisting ceremony. The Indian Flag, or the tricolour, is a symbol of our country. As such, it should be treated with great respect. The Government of India has put down the code to ensure its proper construction and handling. Here is a reminder of the dos and don’ts of the National Flag etiquette.

The Flag

The Indian Flag Code specifies the dimensions of the flag and how it should be constructed. This is a measure taken to ensure that the flags used everywhere are uniform.

  • First, the Indian Flag should be a perfect rectangle, with a ratio of 3:2 between the length and the width. The flag’s size should be one among these  (in mm):
    Pick an appropriate size for display.
  • It should be made of handspun khadi, or of cotton, silk or wool. Avoid plastic flags because these are difficult to dispose of.
  • The flag should be split into three equal panels – saffron (not orange) panel at the top, a white panel in the middle and a green panel (described as India green) at the bottom. Be careful with the colours.
  • A navy blue Ashoka Chakra should adorn the centre of the white panel, with 24 spokes that are equally spaced.

The Display

The Indian flag hoisting rules also cover instances of the flag’s misuse and specify the proper procedure to hoist the flag.

  • During an Indian flag hoisting ceremony, the saffron panel should always be on top. The flag should never be hoisted upside down.
  • It should be displayed from sunrise till sunset, irrespective of weather conditions.
  • The flag should always be positioned to the far right.
  • There should be no other flag or emblem to its right or above it.
  • The Indian flag should hold no lettering or inscriptions of any kind.
  • During ceremonies, it is common practice to use flower petals within the unfurled flag. The Indian flag code prevents the use of any confetti or decorative materials other than flower petals.
  • In a procession, the Indian flag should either be carried to the right or in front of the central line.
  • It should never touch the ground or water.
  • There should be no other flags on the same masthead as the Indian flag.
  • The flag should never be flown at half-mast unless the government specifies.
  • The National Flag should not be used to cover any speaker’s desk, platform or monument.
  • Paper flags can be used during days of national importance. However, care should be taken that they do not touch the ground.
  • The national anthem should be sung once people salute the flag. (It is essential to follow the etiquette specified for the national anthem as well).
  • A damaged flag should never be displayed, and such flags can be disposed of in private, preferably by burning or in a method consistent with its dignity.

To read about the rules for the national anthem click

When planning to hoist the Indian Flag in your apartment complex, it is the duty of every Indian citizen to ensure that these rules are followed. Start a discussion on your ApnaComplex forums to raise awareness among the residents. The managing committee can take things a step further by printing out such rules and handing out copies. It is important to make sure that no misuse occurs, either deliberately or by accident.

The tricolour represents the Indian community. So this Independence Day, as you come together in your apartment complex remember to bask in this spirit of community. From everyone at ApnaComplex, we wish you all a Happy Independence Day!

Jai Hind! 

Disclaimer: This information is offered as a public service. While we try to make it accurate as possible as on the date of publication, the laws change and more importantly the way we interpret laws could also change. We cannot promise that this information is always up-to-date and correct. We strongly recommend you to always consult appropriate professional advisers for your society to ensure compliance. 

Pets in Apartments: the Rights and Responsibilities of Pet Owners.

Many people love the idea of having a four-legged furball at home. They tend to have a therapeutic presence. Animal lovers will do anything for their furry friends. But others consider them a nuisance. Pet-related activities are disapproved of and even opposed. Often, people forget that other species on the planet also need a place to live. Sheltering a few homeless animals, newborn or aged, is not a bad idea.

The perpetual debate of whether pets must be allowed in apartment complexes, or not, has made us realise that there is a need for a clear understanding of the situation  (especially before we jump to conclusions about the rights and wrongs).

Authorities within residential areas often send out circulars that have rules and regulations about pet ownership. These circulars contain ‘vital’ information about whether or not they can be allowed to live with their human caretakers.  What people are unaware of is there is no law enacted by the Parliament, or any State Legislature, that bans animal friends. At most, you may have to register your pet (In many parts of the country you are legally required to register your pet). More often than not people end up having to choose between their home or their animal companion. This violates a fundamental right of being a citizen of this country. The right to make personal choices is protected by the constitution of India.

Following are the issues faced by pet owners:

  • Pets being banned on society premises on account of being noisy.
  • Prohibiting homeowners from using parks, lifts and other facilities if they are accompanied by pets. Also, being charged for the same.
  • Being charged ‘pet rent’.
  • Forced usage of muzzles (on calm pets).
  • Discrimination as per the size and breed of pets allowed in the housing society.
  • Being asked for a pet resume before being given the flat on rent (A pet resume contains the pet’s basic details, previous rental experience, health, behaviour, references, etc).

To make matters clear:

  • No bans can be imposed on usage of facilities (like lifts and parks) by pets.
  • RWAs cannot impose any extra charges for this, either.
  • Pets and resident owners of the pets not violating any Municipal Sanitary Bye-Laws or Regulations are permissible to stay in the society or community.
  • Size of pets cannot be a valid reason to ban them from society premises.

Such rules are highly discriminatory and might lead to friction among the members of the society. But, it must be kept in mind that these objections have risen due to certain behaviours of pet animals that have inconvenienced people in some way or another in the past.

As has always been, rights come with responsibilities. Pet owners must come forward and offer to adhere to simple, implicit rules and mannerisms.  This will eventually resolve the issues that lead to discriminatory circulars.

So, to make things fair:

  • The pet owners must make sure that there is no nuisance caused in the society due to their furry pals.
  • When out of the house and in the premises of the complex, the pets must be accompanied by their owners or anyone who has them under careful observation.
  • Since there is no central law regarding cleaning pet excreta, RWA can request pet owners to do the same.
  • Training must be provided to the pets in apartments on identifying people walking in and out of the apartment wing. This will help prevent them from getting provoked when neighbours and children are around.
  • The animals should be taken to an obedience class/training class as well. A certificate is generally provided once the animal recognises behaviour signals.
  • Crate/kennel training is another way of training the pet to stay in one place as it provides a feeling of security to the animal.
  • The pets must also be trained, through positive reinforcement, to not get aggressive around other animals and prevent matters from going downhill.
  • Pets must undergo regular vaccinations and medications required to stay healthy.
  • The owners should take responsibility for their pets.
  • Children and residents must be asked to not provoke or tease the animals.

In conclusion,  the society representatives and pet owners, must organise regular meetings and address the issues each party faces, and meet each other halfway. Non-pet owners must be sympathetic and flexible towards pets and their owners. The latter must take precautions to ensure that they and their furry friends continue to behave like responsible members of the community.

(The Governing Body in India Concerning Animal Welfare- The Animal Welfare Board of India, 1962, was the first of its kind to be set up in the world, by any Government. It was established as a part of the Ministry of Environments and Forests, Government of India, in accordance with Section 4 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 (No.59 of 1960). It has a list of bye-laws for pets, and was created to advise the Government on matters concerning animal welfare and preventing the infliction of pain on animals.)

Read more here: https://awbi.org/awbi-pdf/pet_dog_circular_26_2_2015.pdf

Disclaimer: This information is offered as a public service. While we try to make it accurate as possible as on the date of publication, the laws change and more importantly the way we interpret laws could also change. We cannot promise that this information is always up-to-date and correct. We strongly recommend you to always consult appropriate professional advisers for your society to ensure compliance. We are not responsible for any actions or non-actions that are done by you based on the information present in this article or any other article on this blog.

Goods and Services Tax - Real Estate - ApnaComplex

Impact of GST on Co-operative Housing Society and Real Estate

Basic Introduction of GST and its Perspective as a Contractor and a Developer
GST (Goods and Services Tax) is one indirect tax for the whole nation, which is meant to be a unified indirect tax across the country on construction services and will make India one unified common market. The present structure of Indirect Taxes is very complex in India. There are so many types of taxes that are levied by the Central and State Governments on Goods & Services. It has been long pending issue to streamline and subsume all the different types of indirect taxes and implement a “single taxation” system called “GST”.

Implementing the GST will ease the compliance, uniform the tax rates and structures, remove the cascading effect of taxes levied by States & Centre, will improve the business competitiveness and will benefit everyone doing trade in some or the other form whether as a contractor or as a developer.

In the current system in India, tax is levied at each stage separately, by the Centre and the State, at varying rates i.e. 10.5% / 6% / 4.5% for service tax and different rates by different States, on the value of construction services. But under the GST system that is set to be introduced, tax will be levied only on the value added at each stage by the sub‐contractors, main contractors and developers or builders. It is a single tax collected at multiple value additions with a full set‐off for taxes paid earlier in the value chain by sub‐contractors and main contractors. It is pertinent to note that the inter credit of different taxes paid in the current regime be a service tax, VAT, CST, etc. to Centre or States are not allowed and thus becomes a part of the cost on the suppliers. Thus, under GST the final buyer / client will bear only the GST charged by the last person i.e. developer or builder or the contractor.

Structure of GST in India

In India, a dual GST is proposed whereby a Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and a State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) will be levied on the taxable value of every transaction of supply of goods and services.

The Dual GST is expected to be a simple and transparent tax with one or two CGST and SGST rates. The structure of the model law comprises of CGST Act, SGST Act and IGST Act. The dual GST model would give adequate flexibility to the States to levy taxes on a comprehensive base of goods and services at all points in the supply chain. Thus, financial liberty of the States would be maintained. GST is a consumption based tax. It is based on the “Destination principle”. GST is applied on goods and services at the place where actual consumption materializes.

GST on Co-operative Housing Societies

The Centre and the States would have parallel jurisdiction for the entire value chain and for all taxpayers. The administration of GST under the three components will be as under:

  • Central GST (CGST) – to be levied on intra state trade and administered by the Centre
  • State GST (SGST) – to be levied on intra state trade and administered by the State Governments
  • Inter‐State GST (IGST) – to be levied on inter‐State trade and administered and collected by the Centre.

To the extent feasible, uniform procedure for collection of both Central GST and State GST is prescribed in the respective legislation for Central GST and State GST.

It can be noted that IGST will not be a Tax in addition to the SGST and CGST so one should not presume that IGST is a third tax but it is only a mechanism to monitor the interstate trade of Goods and services and further to ensure that the ultimate SGST is gone to the consumer state since the GST is a destination based tax.

Impact of GST on Co-operative Housing Society as well as Real Estate Sector
Implementation of the GST law will have a positive impact on the Co-operative Housing Society and on the real estate sector with expected reduction in its tax burden. The law will single‐handedly solve many of the challenges faced by the real estate sector. Heavy taxes that are being borne in a non‐transparent manner are expected to be very transparent in GST. It is unclear what would be the rate of GST applicable on construction services, hence it would be difficult to confirm the exact impact on GST on the Co-operative Housing Society. However going by the informal discussion, it is learnt that the rate is expected to be something between 18‐20%, which is what the current rate directly and indirectly being borne by the construction sector. Besides the simplicity in taxation, GST would bring in other advantages like transparency, seamless credits, ease of business by lack of border controls, promoting economic efficiency through a destination based taxation system. Overall Construction costs would be reduced to some extent which would benefit the end consumer. Apart from the advantages, the complexities in the compliance and assessments shall also be greatly reduced as the tax laws would also be unified.

There would be lesser burden of tax on purchases of major inputs like cement and steel, as tax credits would be available for set off at various stages which are currently restricted. The restrictions on credit utilization would be eliminated, thus strengthening the credit chain in the system. If this so happens, there will be increased credits available in the procurement chain and hence better utilization of input tax costs towards output GST Liability.

Since GST may be levied on a single value, the current issue of levying tax on tax (VAT on central excise duty) is likely to be removed. Hence the cascading effect of taxes shall be removed with the resulting transparency which will significantly reduce tax evasion through more efficient transaction‐tracking methods, and improved enforcement and compliance. Hence the implementation of GST will enhance the investment in Housing Societies & real estate sectors.

It is widely expected that GST would reduce the construction cost in the hands of developer and thereby aid in reducing or at least maintaining the current level of prices in the housing societies as well as in the real estate sector.

Occupancy Certificate and Partial Occupancy Certificate – All you need to know

When one purchases property to move into, or for investment purposes, its pros and cons come along with it. Formalities need to be completed and documents, such as an occupancy certificate or a partial occupancy certificate, need to be procured before one transports their belongings all the way across the country or hires movers to move them from the opposite building. These two documents are just as important as the rest, if not more.




On completion of a building / project, the builder must apply for OC to the local authority in charge. An occupancy certificate is issued to him, stating that the residences in the buildings constructed by him are fitted with all the facilities and utilities as promised at the time of construction. This means that the premises are fit for occupancy.


But when does the need for a partial occupancy certificate arise?

A partial occupancy certificate comes into the picture when there are blocks or phases of large projects to be developed with varying completion dates. When the construction of one phase is completed, the concerned authority grants a Partial OC to the builder after thorough inspection of the building. Similarly, phases that are completed after that are given a Partial OC as well.




A Partial OC is replaced by a consolidated document called the OC (Occupancy Certificate) stating that the entire project has reached its completion point and is now deemed fit for occupancy. All the Partial OCs for that particular project become invalid once the Final OC has been granted. Until then, they act as the OC for that particular phase. The concept of Partial OC has always existed but it is becoming increasingly significant nowadays, since townships and other residential areas are being built in phases.


An OC and a Partial OC certify compliance to –




  • Fire Service Department
  • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
  • Pollution Control Board (including Sewage Treatment Plant)
  • Forest Department
  • Parking regulations
  • Electricity Board (including elevators)
  • Waste Disposal and Management facilities
  • Rainwater harvesting facilities
  • Airports Authority clearance, if the project is within the range of an airport





How does an OC come into the picture at the time of redevelopment?

If there is redevelopment taking place or there are additional floors to be built, the developer obtains a Partial OC for every flat on every floor that is constructed and ready for possession. This Partial OC is also replaced by a final OC at the time of completion of project. If, for whatever reason, the project has not been completed or was unable to be finished within the specified duration or permissible time limit, construction should be stopped. After that, an inspection will follow, based on which a final OC will be granted to the residents.


Partial Occupancy Certificate


Importance of OC and Partial Occupancy Certificate:

  • Legal and immediate possession of a flat is valid only if there is the OC or Partial OC to show for it.
  • Builders cannot hand over flats to buyers without receiving the OC from the concerned authority in charge.
  • Without an OC, buyers / owners are not eligible for any insurance or compensation claims.
  • Possession of a Partial OC lets one apply for sanitary, water and electricity connections. Even if these facilities have been made available without an OC, they are liable to get disconnected.
  • OC is generally required to get a home loan sanctioned by a financial institution. With a Partial OC, one may not get an approval for their home loan.
  • Application for Partial OCs and OCs need to be submitted within 30 days of completion of the project / phase. The local authority, in turn, must respond within 30 days of receipt of the application, providing an acceptance or rejection and reasons for the same. The OC is a necessity when one wishes to sell their flat.
  • An OC or Partial OC tells you about the extent of deviation from the sanctioned plan and acts as an assurance to its regularisation, if the violations are within 5 percent of –
    (1) the setback that is to be provided around the building
    (2) plot coverage
    (3) floor area ratio
    (4) height of the building.
    The deviations are regularised after the modified plan is approved by the authority in charge.


If you have purchased a flat that is under the phased development plan, insist on getting a Partial OC. This is valid until the project is under construction. Then make sure you replace it with an OC once it is completed. Keeping these important documents safe and available whenever they are required is of utmost importance. These are synonymous with other necessary compliance that ensures the safety of the flat and the quality of facilities that are being provided. The amenities and services that a flat owner receives must live up to the quality that was promised by the builder. Getting an OC / Partial OC helps to acknowledge this.




Thoughts and comments

If you have any thoughts on the partial occupancy certificate, please do share them with us by commenting below.
Visit http://www.apnacomplex.com for more.

5 Things you Should ask your Real Estate Agent Before Zeroing your Apartment

Be smart, question your real estate agent before buying a apartment and stay worry free 

Owning a home is like a dream come true as the property squeeze has forced many prospective buyers to look at a relatively affordable accommodation. With busy lifestyles, people are looking out for accommodations which require low-maintenance and are complete value for money. The boom in the real estate sector has led to the emergence of several home developers who offer a decent standard of living to its potential buyers.

misisHowever, before purchasing any property ensure that you have gone through the following checklist. There would be some notable points that only you can collect information and your broker/real estate agent won’t tell you. These are –


Before settling for any property, do a background study of the developer and make sure that property which you will be buying has no legal issues. Consult a legal adviser for the same who can analyze the financial status of the developer better. As soon as you receive the confirmation from the adviser, you can proceed to the next level of putting in your hard earned money into the property.


Unless and until you won’t spend a considerable time at a particular place, you will not get a proper idea about the locality. Knowing your neighborhood is really crucial. You will get the idea about the crime rate, basic amenities and traffic snarls, if any. Speak to people in the locality and gather as much information as possible.


The increasing levels of pollution in metro cities has forced some people to move out from the place and settle in the vicinity. If you are one among them, check out that the building has allocated enough space for natural light and ventilation.


There might come a time, when the agent won’t tell you the ‘actual’ cost and take hidden charges in the form of maintenance. Find out whether the charges for car parking and using other amenities are inclusive of the price quoted. Apart from it, check with the association about the security measures that are in place.


Check with the agent or an expert architect to estimate the age of the building. Also, consult the developer if anything needs repair or replacement.

# # #

Land Patta And Its Importance As A Legal Document

Land patta is a legal document that states that the person in whose name it is registered is the owner of the land. The revenue record is maintained at the office of the concerned Tahsildar, and is issued by the Registrar of land holdings. A patta signifies the lawful possession of the land, and is therefore an essential document required property transactions.

How To Obtain A Land Patta?

Application in the form of a simple requisition to issue the patta has to be made to the concerned Tahsildar, along with necessary documents and relevant details. If the officer concerned feels that additional details are required, he or she may ask the applicant to provide those details in a particular format. Additionally, an enquiry or survey may be conducted before granting the patta.

Why Is It Necessary?

Patta establishes the lawful ownership and possession of a property. In case of disputes between the government and a land holder, or a third party and a land holder, the patta acts as a safeguard for the interests of the legal owners in whose name it is issued.

Further, in case the government acquires the land, the patta holder receive a compensation as he or she holds the first right over that property.

Patta also bears important details regarding the extent of the property and its measurements.

Should My Property Have A Patta?

Properties with buildings or structures clearly demonstrate their physical occupation and possession. In case of empty plots or vacant lands, a patta is the main document that establishes legal ownership and possession. In either case, an owner of a landed property must ensure that he or she possesses the required patta for the land.

Should My Apartment Have A Patta?

Patta is a legal document pertaining to land and not buildings, though it may include details about buildings on the land. In case of apartments, the land is generally registered in the names of co-owners who own the land as undivided shares. Patta is not issued for undivided shares of land. It is however possible to get the patta in the names of the co-owners jointly, but the patta will not specify the shares of the individual owners.

When Can A Patta Be Transferred?

Pattas are normally transferred in instances of sale of property, gift, or death of the patta holder(s).

In the case of death of the owner, the legal heirs of the deceased person are entitled to transfer the land patta in their names. If the deceased has left a will, the patta can be transferred to the beneficiary, provided that the immediate heirs of the deceased person do not object.

A patta is one of the most important legal documents pertaining to land. Make sure that your patta papers are in order to ensure that you don’t face any hassles or complications when conducting any land related transactions.

Get your Society on ApnaComplex – Today!
ApnaComplex is India’s most comprehensive web based housing society accounting, management and communication software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners a lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out the features of ApnaComplex and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer a free 30-day trial as well so that you can try before you buy!

How To Draft A Simple Rental Agreement

A rental agreement is a legal document drawn out between an owner and the tenants. It lays down the terms and conditions which determine the relationship between the landlord and the tenants. Here are some important points to remember while drafting a simple rental agreement.

10 Points To Include In A Simple Rental Agreement

Tenant Names

Besides the owner and the actual tenant, make sure you register the names of all the members who will be staying in the rented house, including children.

Rental Period And Renewal

Clearly specify the term of the rental agreement. You also need to mention the renewal policy and notice period for premature termination of the agreement.


The agreement should clearly mention the agreed rent amount, the due date for monthly payment, and the payment procedure-whether it’s a bank transfer, or payment by cash or check. In case of late payment, specify the grace period and fine amount, and also mention liabilities for check bounce.

Security Deposit

Specify the amount being deposited as a security, the return policy, and deductions for painting the house or any damages. Also, mention the date or time period within which the owner is supposed to return the deposit.

List Of Things

Include a list of things that come along with the property like the number of fans, light fittings, geyser, and other appliances.

Maintenance Fee

Clearly specify the liabilities of the tenant as well as owner for maintenance and repair. The tenant has to generally cover minor repairs, while the owner pays for any major maintenance work. Damages caused by tenants are to be fixed by the tenant. Chart out a garbage disposal policy, and make sure any preexisting damages are mentioned in the agreement as “preexisting”.


Identify the various utilities available in the house, and specify the payment policies for these utilities. Mention if the tenant will have separate meter, a shared meter or a sub-meter. Mention the policy for dividing the cost of shared utilities. In case the cost is included in the rent, specify it and mention that the owner is liable for the bills.

Restricted Entry

A simple rental agreement should also clearly demarcate the areas that come under the rented premises. Entry restrictions to particular areas, parking policy, and the use of the garage should be clearly written in the agreement.

Guest Policy

The owner may not charge a “guest fee” for a reasonable number of guests visiting for a reasonable time. However, certain owners are very particular about guests. It’s always better to have a guest policy in the agreement. The number of guests allowed, their duration of stay, and guest fee applicable, if any, should be mentioned in the agreement.

Pet Policy

If the tenants have any pets, this should be mentioned in the rental agreement. Many owners have strict policies for pets including the type of pets permitted, breed, weight, and the number of pets. In case pets are not allowed, it should be mentioned in the agreement.

A well prepared simple rental agreement will prevent any future disputes or disagreements between the owner and the tenants. Make sure you include all the points mentioned above.

Have more points to share with us? Let us know in the comments below!

Get your Society on ApnaComplex – Today!
ApnaComplex is India’s most comprehensive web based housing society accounting, management and communication software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners a lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out the features of ApnaComplex and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer a free 30-day trial as well so that you can try before you buy!

All You Need To Know About Service Tax On Apartments

The Union Budget for the fiscal year 2012-13 has raised the service tax on apartments to 12.36 % from the proposed 10.3% in the 2010 Union Budget. The new service tax is applicable to building constructions including apartment complexes, flats, row houses, and industrial and commercial complexes.

The new tax policy poses many important questions such as whether the builder or the buyer will be liable for this service tax, will payment for amenities like preferred location charges, apartment maintenance fee and parking space charges also attract service tax. Here is a breakdown of how the new service tax is likely to affect home buyers.

Applicable Service Tax On Apartments

According to the Union Budget 2012-13, under construction buildings and properties will henceforth attract a service tax. A building is considered complete only after a completion certificate has been obtained by the builders from the concerned authorities. Since most buyers book their houses when it is still under construction, all payments made by the buyer during the construction period will be taxable.

The good news is that the cost of land, materials, and other construction related expenses, which comprise around 67 % of the property price, do not come under the service tax bracket. The buyers are required to pay service tax only for the remaining 33 % of the cost of the property.

Any modification within and without a building complex will also attract a service tax, as will preferential location charges, and cost for amenities such as swimming pools, landscaping, pavements, and lakes.

Maintenance fees, if above a threshold of Rs. 5000 per month, as against the previous threshold of Rs. 3000 in the 2010 Union Budget, will also attract a service tax.

Exemption Of Service Tax

  • Buyers are exempt from service tax if the total payment is made after the builder has obtained a completion certificate for the property.
  • Resale of properties will not attract a service tax as the property would already have a completion certificate.
  • Parking spaces will no longer attract any service tax as per the latest Union Budget.
  • Construction done under the Rajiv Awaaz Yojana and the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, as per notification no. 28/2010, dated 22nd June 2010, are also exempt from service tax.

The new service tax on apartments leaves a few doubtful questions such as whether or not a buyer is liable for service tax for partial amounts that are paid after the builder has obtained a completion certificate. Moreover, if a buyer decides to withdraw from a housing scheme, how will the service tax be adjusted on the amount refunded to the buyer? Further, if there is a significant delay in construction, will the builder be required to refund the service tax to the buyer if they choose to withdraw or the project is indefinitely closed?

Have more information to share with us? Let us know in the comments below!

Get your Society on ApnaComplex – Today!
ApnaComplex is India’s most comprehensive web based housing society accounting, management and communication software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners a lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out the features of ApnaComplex and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer a free 30-day trial as well so that you can try before you buy!

Guide to Buying a Property in Bangalore from a Legal Perspective

This a guest post from Mr. Satish of dbs Legal Solutions in Bangalore.


Once you decide to buy your dream house or any commercial property, there are many documents you need to look into thoroughly before closing the deal. If you ignore this, you may be in for an enduring trouble.

People in the real estate business narrate many such stories from their vast experience. However, they also add that after the technological improvements brought about by successive governments in the registration process (the encumbrance certificate will have the photographs and thumb impressions of the sellers and the buyers each time the property changes hands), such experiences are on the ebb. Yet, some gullible persons could fall prey to the machinations of others, they point out.

If you are the kind of person who hates to encounter unsavoury incidents and loves to lead a peaceful life, the advice from experts is to verify or scrutinise documents in the initial stages itself.

It is always advisable that property buyers must insist on seeing the original documents of the house before making the advance payment. It is prudent on your part to make a huge advance payment only when you are satisfied with the authenticity of the documents. Once you make a hefty payment while signing the sale agreement and later encounter problems, you and your family may feel insecure till you get back the amount.

Eventually, he will return your money. Suppose, if he returns that money in instalments, then your plans of buying another property will go awry. Hence, ensure that all the documents are in order.

One of my client narrates the experience of his friend who had made a hefty advance payment while signing the sale agreement. He says his friend, who had full trust in his real estate agent, paid Rs.5 lakh as advance amount to a person who claimed to be the rightful owner of a property.

“The person came in a swanky car along with the agent and said that he is the owner of the property. My clients friend believed them and made the payment. After a few days, when my  clients friend insisted on registering the property, both started acting smart. First, the agent said the person is not in station. Later, on one pretext or the other, both kept on postponing the process. Finally, my clients  friend had to lodge a police complaint. The police had to trace the two persons and then recover the amount,” he explains. His advice: always approach the rightful owner of the property.

One of my client, a real estate agent, has an interesting story. A person who had two wives built two houses in different localities. Before his death, he had taken care to register the houses in their names separately. However, the documents of both the houses remained with the first wife. After his death, the second wife’s children tried to sell the house but in vain.

They obtained a copy of the document by claiming that the original was lost. Even then, when they attempted to dispose of the property, they could not do so as the first wife’s children always came in the way. The contention of the second wife’s children was that they had a share in the property. “Many buyers rejected the offer as they perceived it to be an insecure investment,” he says. He says that he takes extra care while dealing with an inherited property. He ensures that all the members of the family are present while signing the agreement and at the time of registration.

Unexpected trouble
“A lot can happen between the time of signing the sale agreement and actual registration,” . Some peeved family members may not turn up at the time of registration or create a scene for a higher share, says that in his eagerness to help an aged person, he lost a few thousand rupees. “The person had bought the property in 1967. He wanted to sell the property and told me to look for a buyer.

He said that due to some personal problems he had not paid the property tax for a couple of years. He told me to pay the tax so that I can take it back once the property is sold. On the day of registration, another person showed up claiming that the property belongs to him too. The deal fell through. Later, the old man returned the customer’s money but I could not recover my money,” he said that in one deal, he had to obtain the signature of 17 persons. “Among them four were in the U.S.,” he chuckles.

All of them say that if anyone has an iota of doubt on the documents they are dealing with, they should release an advertisement in a newspaper.

It should be stated in it that they are interested in buying a particular property and if any other person had a claim on the property he/she should bring it to the notice of the advertiser.

  • Verify/scrutinise documents in the initial stages itself
  • Pay advance only after seeing the original documents.
  • Have them scrutinised by an advocate.
  • Always ensure that you are dealing with the right owner.
  • Have all the members of family of the owner present during registration.
  • Have a peace of mind to enjoy your property.

The improving infrastructure, the leading IT hub and the commercial advancements in Bangalore have made it witness a real boost in the real estate sector. The strategic location and the developing road map have seen a clear rise in the demand of purchase, selling and reselling of properties time and again. This adds to the complexity of the matter as you have to doubly ensure that you are not investing your lifetime savings into a fraudulent property. To prevent yourself from getting duped you can always take the help of a professionally qualified solicitor to get all your legal paperwork verified. For this reason, if you are planning to buy a property in Bangalore then refer to the below mentioned checklist, which should definitely come handy so that you can acquire a clear title. The paperwork required for authentication of the title varies from property to property and the region it falls in. The checklist needs to be verified before purchasing any property. Do not forget that the original documents of title like sale deed, partition deed, gift deed and will etc., are to be verified on a mandatory basis.

Purchasing a Flat/an Apartment in Bangalore

As the real estate market in Bangalore has become all the more dynamic due to the purchase, sale and resale of flats/apartments, it becomes all the more crucial for the buyer to handle the entire procedure very carefully. If you aspire to own a flat or an apartment in Bangalore and wondering where to start from then have a look at the following checklist and the information you must possess from the developer/promoter before you seal the purchase.

I. Purchasing a Residential Flat/Apartments:

  • Mother deed/ Sale deed: This is the most important document for tracing the ownership of the land. It gives details of the property as to how it was acquired at the initial stage and the subsequent series of transactions it has undergone. You should also check for the original sale agreement showing the builder/developer duly registered.
  • Khata certificate & up-to-date tax paid receipts: In case of a joint venture, the Khata should be in the landowner’s name. If you purchase the property directly from the developer the Khata should be in the name of the developer/promoter.
  • Joint Development Agreement: The agreement should be examined thoroughly if it’s a joint development. You must clearly understand the ratio at which the build-up area is divided between the promoter and the landowner.
  • Encumbrance Certificate: A latest Encumbrance certificate having the details of last 30 years should be checked. It can be obtained from the sub registrar.
  • Approved Plan: Check for a copy of the approved building plan by the respective government authority and also for the portion of the apartment being purchased.
  • Sanction Plan: Verify whether the building plan of the apartment is sanctioned and also check the validity of the sanction plan. You must also check the commencement certificate and take a confirmation from the Municipal authorities if the building adheres to the norms of the laws.
  • NOCs: You should obtain NOCs under the provisions of Income-Tax Act and Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act if required.
  • Occupancy certificate: This is issued to the developer by the apartment corporation/BDA/CMC. A buyer should insist for this.

Besides the above steps to be followed you should also ensure that the developer has obtained approvals from the Municipal Corporation, Electricity Boards, Area Development Authorities and Water Supply and Sewage Boards. It is advisable for the apartment owners to file a joint declaration under Karnataka Apartment Ownership Act, 1972, get duly registered and attain the rights and legal safeguards.

II. Purchasing a Commercial Flat:
Purchasing a flat in Bangalore for commercial purpose also includes more or less the same steps as in the case of a residential flat like deeds for absolute sale and conveyance. These offer a record for absolute and exclusive property rights of the commercial flat, confirms the usage rights, amenities and infrastructure.

Karnataka Ownership Flats (Regulations of the Promotion of Construction, Sale, Management and Transfer) Act, 1962 governs all the matters related to both residential and commercial flats.

Purchase of agricultural land in Bangalore

If you intend to purchase any agricultural land in Bangalore for non agricultural purpose then you must have the approval as per the provisions and rules under Karnataka Land Reforms Act (1961) and the Karnataka Land Revenue Act of 1964. The regulating authority for approving any layouts on the outskirts on Bangalore rests with the Bangalore Metropolitan Regional development Authority or BMRDA.

Before investing in any agricultural land you must adhere to the checklist which follows:

  • Mother deed/ Sale deed: This is the most important document for tracing the ownership of the land. It gives details of the property as to how it was acquired at the initial stage and the subsequent series of transactions it has undergone.
  • Search Report: It provides details of the original property holder, property history, charges on the property, current property status (all dues paid or still pending) and the number of times the property has changed hands before being owned by the present seller. Your advocate will fetch you all these details and confirm whether it is a legitimate property for sale or not.
  • Agreement: Once the property is decided, make an advance payment and get a written agreement on a stamp paper duly signed by both the owner and the buyer in the presence of two witnesses. An agreement must state: the advance paid, actual price, duration of actual sale, and legal actions to be taken in case of a default from either party.
  • Stamp Duty: This should be paid in full and on a timely basis. To get an agreement stamped it should be without any signature or date and the agreement can be implemented only when the Stamp Office fixes stamps on it.
  • Registration: Get the deed registration done in a sub registrar office within the timeframe mentioned in the agreement. For registering a property you need: house tax/property receipts, original title deed, and previous deeds etc., two witnesses are also required at the time of registration.

Apart from the above measures to be followed you should also get hold of an Akarbandi, an Encumberance certificate, Saguvali chit, Conversion order, Payment Challan, Up-to-date Tax-paid receipts, Land Acquisition Status, Mutation Extracts, NIL Tenancy Certificate/ Form No. 7 Endorsement, Podi Extracts, RTC (Record of Rights)/ Phani, Section 79A & B endorsement U/KLR Act, 1961, Patta Book, and Tippani. You should also have the family tree of the vendor, the comprehensive development plan or CDP and a Zonal recognition map to aid you. Another important thing to be remembered is that the property should not be located in the Green Belt Area.

Purchasing Revenue Land in Bangalore

Purchase of Converted Revenue Lands requires the following documents- Conversion Order from the Deputy Commissioner, receipt for the paid conversion amount, RTCs for last 30 years issued by the village accountant, documents of ownership, Mutation Register Extracts, Akarbandi/Tippani/Podi Extracts, Tax paid receipts, boundary map, village map, Nil tenancy certificate, approved layout plan, Khata certificate issued by Revenue authority, Encumbrance certificate, Zonal regulation map, power of attorney (if any) and an evidence from the respective authority that no acquisition proceedings exist.

Purchasing BDA (Bangalore Development Authority) Sites

The various documents necessary for purchasing a BDA property are- allotment letter, receipts of payment for the site, possession certificate, absolute sale deed, khata certificate from BDA, khata certificate (to be obtained from Bangalore Mahanagar Palika if the property falls under the corporation revenue jurisdiction), up-to-date income tax paid receipts, tax paid receipts from Bangalore Mahanagar Palika, Encumbrance certificate (from allotment till possession date) and a re-allotment letter or re-conveyance deed in case the property is re-conveyed by the BDA.

It is highly suggested that acquiring a property through Power of Attorney should be avoided to prevent any litigation in the future. Documentation is the major step in the acquisition of an immovable property of any kind so utmost care should be taken while carrying out all the paperwork. All the agreements should be stamped according to Karnataka Stamp Act, 1957 following all the rules therein.

This article aims at providing information for benefit of ApnaComplex customers and blog readers. The author of this article, Mr. D B Satish is from DBS Legal Solutions and specializes in Property related matters. You can contact at the address below:
Contact dbs Legal Solutions – “We are your Voice in Legal Matters”

#25,2nd Floor, 4th Cross
Sampige Road, Malleshwaram,
Bangalore-560 003

Please visit dbslegalsolutions.com for details of Mr. Satish

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