Fees hiked for selling flats on Collector’s land in Mumbai
The Maharashtra state government has announced a huge hike in transfer fees on sale of flats and apartments on collector’s land in Mumbai. Rates have been roughly doubled for houses in the suburbs and are up four times in the island city. The transfer charge will apply regardless of whether the owner is an ordinary citizen or from a special VIP category comprising bureaucrats, the judiciary and scientists. Many such houses and apartments are owned by former officials who were allotted land on lease at concessional rates. However, the fee structure will vary depending on whether the owner is an ordinary citizen or from a special category.
Sale of such flats without government approval has also been permitted on payment of a penalty. Penalty proposed is double the transfer fee, but will be calculated on the lower rate of transfer fees charged to ordinary citizens. There are around 3,000 housing societies on collector’s land in the city and around 22,000 across the state. Officials said land was leased by government to societies formed both by government staff and private citizens for housing.
Transfer fee has been increased in three slabs. And the most recent occupant will have to pay for all the past transactions if transfer charge has not been paid and that too with penalty. Residents of collector’s land housing societies in the island city will pay more than those in the suburbs since the land rate is higher in the island city, said a revenue official.
As in 2007, the government has increased the transfer charge in three slabs — five years, 10 years and 15 years. For those who have sold a flat in the island city after five years with prior permission, the transfer charge has increased from Rs 500 per sq feet in 2007 to Rs 1,000 per sq feet in 2017 in the non-special category, or 6% of the ready reckoned rate, whichever is higher. For the special category, it has been increased to Rs 2,000 per sq ft.
If ordinary category flats have been sold without prior permission, occupants will have to pay double the transfer charge as penalty. The special category has been spared the penalty.
The government estimates that over the years, several thousand flats have changed hands and new memberships granted without prior permission from the collector. “All these transactions are irregular and we are now offering an opportunity to regularize the purchase and become regular members of the society,” said the official. Residents of these societies are commonly known as occupants class II, meaning there are leaseholders.