New Odisha Apartment Law To Safeguard Individual Owners’ Rights, Ensure Better Management

Bhubaneswar: The new legislation on apartments being brought by the Odisha government seeks to provide for adequate safeguards for individual owners.

The Odisha Apartment (Ownership and Management) Bill, 2023, tabled in the state Assembly on Monday, aims at protecting the rights of the individual owners and providing them with proper facilities. The objective is to put in place a proper regulatory mechanism for apartment ownership and management with an emphasis on protecting the interests of individual owners.

This apart, the new legislation, which seeks to replace the Odisha Apartment (Ownership and Management) Ordinance, has been designed to ensure proper maintenance as well as effective and professional management of apartments.

It may be noted here that the Odisha Apartment Ownership Act, 1982 was enacted with a view of making provisions for ownership of an individual apartment which came into force on May 1, 1984 and the Odisha Apartment Ownership Rules, 1992 framed thereafter.

According to Housing and Urban Development Minister Usaha Devi, who introduced the bill in the Assembly on Monday, it was seen in the course of administration that the provisions of the Act and Rules suffer from some operational deficiencies relating to appropriate definitions, jurisdiction and powers of the competent authority, inadequate safeguard of the interest of apartment owners.

Moreover, after the enactment of the Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016, it has become expedient to bring forth amendment to the Odisha Apartment Ownership Act, 1982. Therefore, a new legislation has been proposed instead of going for an exhaustive amendment in the existing Act.

The Act and Rules intended to promote apartment and group housing but over a period of time it had become essential to provide the individual apartment owners with the rights on common areas and facilities appurtenant to such apartment and the responsibility of its proper maintenance and to make such apartment and interest heritable and transferable, she said.

In the meantime, cases have also been filed in the Orissa High Court challenging the notification of Odisha Apartment Ownership Rules, 2021 on the ground of apparent contradictions prevailing between the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 and the said rules. In view of such litigation, registration of the apartments has been stalled and the state government is losing revenue as the sale deeds were not getting registered.

As the situation is prevailing for a long time and there is an immediate need for amendment of the legislation to address the impasse, it is considered necessary to enact a new legislation, the minister added.

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