As per section 342 of BMC Act, 1988 (amended till date), the following “tenantable repairs”, can be carried out without obtaining permission from the ‘Building and Factory’ department of local BMC:
- Plastering, painting, pointing of your flat
- Providing guniting to the structural members or walls
- Changing floor tiles
- Repairing WC, bath or washing places
- Repairing or replacing drainage pipes, taps, manholes and other fittings
- Repairing or replacing sanitary, water plumbing or electrical fittings
- Replacing the roof with the same material
- Replacement of existing water-proofing material of the terrace.
The only pre-conditions to the renovation work to be done at residences are:
- The original tenantable structure (whether rental or ownership) must be legal, i.e. it is based on the original BMC-approved Building plan.
- Though no BMC permission for the above is required, it is advisable to do so under strict supervision of a registered Architect and/ or Structural Engineer
The “tenantable repairs” however shall NOT include the following:
- Replacing or removal of any structure members of load bearing walls
- Change in horizontal or vertical existing dimensions of the structure
- Lowering of plinth, foundations or floors
- Addition or extension of mezzanine floor or loft
- Flattening of roof or repairing roof with different material
- No merger of tenancies by removal or opening of any walls in between two or more tenancies.
- Changing location of bathroom/ WC/ kitchen sink, in a way that can cause leakage to residents below.
- Increasing the internal height of the structure
Notice issued by BMC under section 354 is a STOP Work Notice, if it feels ongoing work is unlawful. If there is unauthorised construction, then BMC can issue a Show-Cause Notice under section 351. This is NOT a Stop Work notice – it is issued when work is completed and persons are utilizing the said premises. If the officer is not satisified with the documents produced, then he has to give them an opportunity to revert the property back to the original legal status, after which BMC can inititiate demolition under section 488. The party can go to the civil court for a stay. Notice under section 381 is issued by BMC if there is nuisance to other members due to some work done by the resident.
For any construction to be legalized, there must be documentary proof (electric bill or property assessment etc.), that the structure existed prior to 1962.
Before starting renovation work on your property, if you are in doubt, it may be safe to take ‘dated’ pictures of the property. However, if you submit a letter to the local BMC office, attaching a copy of the Architect’s proposed plan, you may be requested to forward the same to Building Proposal department at Byculla, for written approval.
For debris lying on the footpaths or roadside or even inside your building compound, you may be liable to be fined. Since agents are always on the lookout to harrass citizens, collect the debris in the house and try to remove it on a Sunday. Debris has to be removed immediately by a contractor, who is authorized by the BMC to dump the debris in an approved BMC plot.
Under section 375A of BMC Act, Commissioner can give notice to owner of premises for removal of debris from their premises.
Newer buildings come with the permission to install grills. For the older buildings, grills can be “legalized” by writing to the BMC (Building & Factory department) and attaching the following documents:
- Landlord NOC or Society NOC under section 47 and 65 of model bye-laws
- Original floor plan of the property (flat)
- Approximately Rs 2,000 fee (exact amount depends on the area of window covered)
Lofts are governed by section 5 of Table 19 of the DC Rules, 1991 AND Mezzanine floor by Section 6 of Table 19 of the DC Rules, 1991.
Structures built outside the flat, are not allowed (as per DC rules 1991 – Section 44(4)(f). Also corridor or exit or passage must be kept free of obstructions as per section 43(2)(f) for fire safety. Its minimum width is as specified under Table 20 of the DC rules.
For Tenanted properties too, as per section 33 of MRCA (Maharashtra Rent Control Act), the right to possession of a flat also includes the right to enter and exit the property without any obstruction (in the passage and beyond too).
Other relevant rules under co-operative housing society Model Bye-laws:
- Section 139 and 7(d), the managing committe has the right to collect a deposit for renovation, because there may be damage to the society premises during renovation and society has the right to recover that amount from the member (even if the damage occurs inside the member’s house – for eg to the structure).
- Section 50 under New Model Bye-laws says that no member must cause nuisance or inconvenience to other members during their renovation work. And committee has powers to stop such a nuisance u/s 50(b)
- Section 168 takes into consideration the convenience of members, allowing usage of lifts to be regulated by the managing committee.
- Member has to make an application for usage of terrace u/s 65(a)(ix) of new model bye-laws. The committee can decide u/s 171 whether to grant permission or not, for temporary usage – and can also take a payment for the same.
The above is meant to be used as a guide, not as a replacement for legal opinion. For more information, please feel free to contact the local BMC office.