Escrow Rent Account Must In Maharashtra to Redevelop Cessed Buildings
The state housing department has now made it mandatory for the BMC to issue the Commencement Certificate (CC) for redevelopment of cessed buildings after verifying that the developer has deposited 11 months rent in an escrow account and submitted written proof of the deposit.
The decision has been taken to protect the interests of tenants and prevent exploitation by developers. The move will benefit the residents of over 14,000 cessed buildings.
Issued on Thursday, the housing department’s new government resolution (GR) outlining the new guidelines has also scrapped the September 11, 2019 GR which had stalled any new clearances from the Mumbai Building Repairs and Reconstruction Board (MBRRB), a part of MHADA. The guidelines were approved by the state cabinet at a meeting on October 29.
As per the earlier process, the owners of cessed buildings took consent from 51 per cent tenants, appointed a developer, and approached MBRRB for a no-objection certificate (NOC) for redevelopment.
The board checked the eligibility of the tenants and granted NOC to the builder. The developer then obtained Intimation of Disapproval (IOD) and CC from the BMC, provided transit accommodation or transit rent to the residents of the building before starting construction work.
Developers are expected to complete their project within 36 months. However, there have been innumerable instances where the project has been delayed indefinitely, with the developer not paying rent to tenants. The MBRRB is presently issuing show cause notices to over 400 such developers who obtained the NOC but did not start construction for long periods of time.
Fresh guidelines will make it impossible for developers to exploit tenants by not paying them rent. The condition of documentary proof of depositing money in an escrow account will now have to be mentioned in the NOC issued by MBRRB, the GR says.
Another guideline in the GR proposes to set up a monitoring committee comprising MBRRB’s executive engineer, deputy engineer, the architect of the project, and three representatives of tenants from the cessed building. The committee is expected to visit the site of construction every three months, and submit a progress report through the MBRRB chief officer to MHADA within 15 days. The CEO should review the progress of all projects where NOC has been granted, and submit a quarterly progress report to the government.