Q.What is the difference between carpet area, built-up and super built-up area?

A.Before purchasing property from a company, it is necessary to verify with the Registrar of Companies that the property is not mortgaged or is not being used as a security against a loan, otherwise it is not considered a freehold property.The area of an apartment or building, not inclusive of the area of the walls is known as carpet area. This is the area that is actually used and in which a carpet can be laid. When the area of the walls including the balcony is calculated along with the carpet area, it is known as built-up area. The built-up area along with the area under common spaces like lobby, lifts, stairs, garden and swimming pool is called super built-up area.

Q.How is the maintenance charge calculated?

A.Legally, the actual area owned by the individual is the basis for calculation of maintenance charge.

Q.Why do Co-operative Housing Societies collect a Sinking Fund?

A. Co-operative Housing Societies have a statutory obligation to collect a Sinking Fund. This is done so that in case the building needs to be repaired or reconstructed in the future, the society has sufficient funds to carry out the work. The amount to be contributed is decided by the General Body of the society; it should be at least ¼ percent per annum of the cost of each apartment, excluding the cost of the land. This fund may be used after a resolution is passed at the General Body meeting with the prior permission of the Registering Authority. This could be to carry out reconstruction, repairs, structural additions or alterations to the building as the architect thinks is required and certifies.

Q.What is the meaning of a property’s market value?

A. The price that a property can command in the open market is known as its market value.

Q.Are there any benefits in converting a leasehold property to a freehold one?

 A. There are several benefits: if you convert the property to a freehold property, you become a full-fledged owner by getting the sale deed and having it registered. A freehold property has better marketability and can be sold, mortgaged or kept for standing security, which cannot be done with leasehold property.

Q.Are there any income tax considerations while transferring newly acquired property?

A.If the transfer takes place within three years of purchase, the income tax exemption under Section 54F of the Income Tax Act does not hold good.

Q.What is meant by valuation of property?

A.The valuation process evaluates the market value of the property. Demand and supply forces operating in the market, as well as other factors like type of property, quality of construction, its location, the local infrastructure available, maintenance, are all taken into consideration before the market value is decided.

Q.How does property valuation help?

A.Typically, if a real estate agent is asked to judge the value of a piece of property, he would do so based on information of recent sales or purchases of similar properties in that area.

Though this may give a fair idea of the property’s market value, an official property valuation would carry more weight. E.g. if you need to use this piece of property as a security against a loan, the bank’s loan approval process would be faster and smoother if the property is certified by an official valuer. Many banks now insist on valuation certificates before issuing loans using properties as security. The value thus certified may also have chances of getting a higher amount of loan sanctioned.

Another benefit of official valuation is that it is a useful negotiating tool when selling the property.

Such certification also becomes essential in situations where the correct value of the property has a legal bearing—such as, a will statement, insurance papers, business balance sheets etc.

Q.What constitutes conclusion of sale of a property?

A.An agreement of sale, coupled with actual possession of the property would be considered as a conclusion of the sale. Usually, the entire amount is paid at the time of handing over possession.

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