As per the government’s rule, basement spaces cannot be allowed for residential purposes. A basement is the space built below or partly below the ground level.
What does the rule say?
If you own a house on an independent plot, you cannot exceed the permissible floor area ratio (FAR), which denotes how much (according to the development plans and zoning laws of individual states) area you are allowed to construct on a given plot size.
Under the building by-laws for storage and parking, basement space cannot be a part of FAR. Also, basement space can be carved out only under the building and not adjacent to it.
What can Basements be used for?
According to the regulations of the National Building Code or building by-laws, a basement can be used only as a storage, dark room, bank cellar, parking space or to keep equipment requiring constant air conditioning. According to the building bylaws, kitchen, bathroom and toilet are also not allowed in a basement, unless the sewer levels permit the same and there is no chance of back flow and flooding of the sewerage.
Commercial purposes: The government allows you to build offices in basements. However, the space will be included in the calculation of FAR usage in this case.
For group housing: Here, basement construction is allowed for parking, utilities and services and is not counted in FAR. Thus, the concept of basement parking is now getting popular in housing projects.
Approvals and documentation
The construction of a basement in an immovable property is allowed in accordance with land use and other provisions specified in the building by-laws and the masterplan of the city, if any. If you are already living in a building and plan to build a basement, you will require prior sanction from the local development authority.
Indemnity bond: Besides, you will also be required to indemnify the local development authority of any loss at the time of digging of the foundation of the basement or during the course of construction. For this, you need to submit an indemnity bond as prescribed by the local development authority. For example, if you live in Delhi, you need to fill an indemnity bond on a non-judicial stamp paper of Rs 100. The same will have to be attested by a first class magistrate. The authority, in turn, will ask you to pay for the damage in case a nearby sewer or pipeline is damaged.