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Permission is needed for any construction on roof

A no-objection certificate from the residents of the topmost floor is required.

In a recent judgement, the Mumbai high court ruled that even after a housing society’s residents’ welfare association (RWA) grants consent for installing a hoarding on the roof of a society, the RWA and the company installing the hoarding will have to ask for a no-objection certificate from the residents of the topmost floor and all the residents affected by the installation.

General scenario

In general, any property owner living on the top-most floor will have to seek development authority’s permission before carrying out any construction work. If the RWA plans to build an extra floor, they will have to seek permission from the authority concerned. In an apartment project, the rooftop is common to all members of the society like other common spaces, such as veranda, green space and parking. Thus every society member can use the rooftop. So if there are, say, two owners occupying the top floor, permission will have to be taken from both occupants.

What the ruling means for you

Most apartment Acts have provisions for the usage of the roof. If you are one of the occupiers of top-most floors, you can object to any illegal structure being installed on the roof if it is causing problems. But you cannot claim your ownership on the rooftop. Neither can you lock it for your personal use.

Prospective buyers

If you plan to buy an apartment in a housing society and happen to opt for the top-most floor, check with the RWA or the developer if there is any plan for any such installation. But in case the installation, say a telephone tower, has already been done, you cannot do much about it. Usually, top-most floors come at lower rates compared with those on or near the ground floor. All you can do is to ask the seller to lower the property value if you think it may pose problems.

If RWA or company seeks no permission

In various cities, especially the metros, the development authorities have asked the police to keep an eye on all such illegal construction within the premise of an apartment complex.

If your RWA has not taken your permission and you have problems with the work on the roof, you can report the matter to the police. They have the authority to stop the installation or the construction work.

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