Saturday, August 1, 2015

Importance of undivided share in Indian flat system
Kamini Subbiah

While buying an apartment, Indian home buyers concentrate on flat area but clueless about the actual land ownership - Undivided share of land. The property appreciation depends on the land value (UDS) and not the concrete building. It is important to understand and ensure the UDS of the individual flat before buying it.
In India, a majority of home buyers prefer living in apartments as it provides all the contemporary amenities, maintenance, security etc., along with quality housing. Even affluent senior citizens sell their bungalows and move to posh retirement apartments for the comfort and security it offers. Before buying, home buyers usually ensure the builder profile, project layouts, location and connectivity but often overlook the undivided share offered.  
While buying an apartment in a multistory residential complex, we carefully analyses the carpet area, built up area and super built up area but the ownership doesn’t depend on the flat area but the undivided land share. In a flat system, it is necessary to check the undivided share (UDS) which will determine the value of the property.
What is UDS?
An Undivided share is a share of land allotted to the flat buyer while purchasing a property and it is registered in the name of the owner. When a home buyer purchases an apartment, he/she is entitled to 2 things: the constructed building and the proportionate share of land, where the whole building is constructed. The price appreciation of the property is the actual appreciation of the land and not the building, so the property price depends on the undivided share.
Why is it important?
Have you ever thought what will happen to your apartment in case of natural disaster like an earthquake, building collapse or if government wants to acquire the property for a public project? Even if the apartment society wants to redevelop the property after decades, the building will be demolished and only the undivided share of land maters. It is crucial to understand your undivided share in a multi-storey residential project.
The sum of all the undivided shares must be equal to the size of the land in which the apartments are constructed. The more UDS one buys, the better value for money in future. In case of co-operative societies, the UDs will be in the name of the society as the flat owners are the share holders of the society. Otherwise, the flat owners should check their share of UDS in the sales agreement.
How to calculate UDS?
The UDS is based on the percentage of the super built up area of the apartment to the total super built-up area of all the flats. For instance, if 4 equally sized apartments of 1000 sq ft were built on one ground of land which measures 2400 sq ft, the UDS will be calculated as below:
UDS = Super built-up area of individual flat / Sum of all flats’ built-up area X Total land area
UDS = 1000 X 2400 / 4000 
UDS of individual flat = 800 sq ft.
Check before Registration
To avoid fraudulent deals and to be cautious, one can check the undivided share mentioned in the agreement before registration. Some builders will be reluctant to show the agreement copy; instead they share some other agreement copy during site visits. It is important to know your undivided share of land before hand and verify the same with the actual sales agreement before registration. You can go an hour before and confirm the details, if required get legal help from advocates. This way, home buyers can be sure of receiving their entitled UDS while purchasing their dream home.