Permission for Repairing a House & When It is Required!

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Every material has some specific life. With passage of time all the materials and hence the building also deteriorates, looses strength and becomes weak. Prevention is always better than cure. In building also periodical maintenance or repairs are necessary to avoid costly repairs. Timely repairs can keep the building in healthy condition.

Most of the people are not aware that permission from local authority is also needed for repairs. It is also seen that largely the repairs are ignored.  Many times repairs are also delayed due to abnormal delay in granting permissions by the local municipal authority.

The repairs can be mainly classified into three categories from permission point of view:-

a) Repairs where permission is NOT required from the local authority.

b) Repairs which REQUIRE permissions from the authority.

c) Repairs – not recommended.

a) Repairs not requiring permission from the local authority:
The repairs which does not change the basic structure of the house/ building, its FSI, ground coverage nor deviate from approved plan, does not require any permission from the local authority.

Following repairs do not require such permission from the authority.

  • Plastering & pointing (External as well as Internal)
  • (External as well as Internal)
  • Changing or repairing of floor tiles.
  • Replacement of existing water-proofing material / treatment on the terrace
  • Repairing or replacing of drainage pipe joints, taps, manholes and other sanitary fittings.
  • Repairing or replacing of sanitary/water, plumbing, and electrical service lines.
  • Repairing and or replacement of roof with same material
  • Repairing of W.C., Bath, Toilets and Washing places.

In brief only repairs where there is no addition vertically or horizontally generally do not require permission.

However most of the times, the repairs happen simultaneously with additions and alterations and permission become mandatory in such cases.

b) Repairs which require permission from local authority:

Repairs involving the removal, addition, alteration or re-erection of any part of the building which is already legally approved by the competent authority needs permission.  As per municipality act,  the following are few repairing works which requires permission prior to commen cement of actual works.

  • Increase in original approved builtup area by changing horizontal or vertical existing dimensions of the building. i.e. increase in F.S.I or ground coverage / foot print including construction of additional floor, room on floor etc.
  • Change or replacement of any structural R.C.C. members such as colums, beams etc. Any unauthorised additions/ removal thereby over loading the existing structure for which it is not designed
  • Removal of load bearing walls with provision of alternative load transferring members.
  • Construction / extension of mezzanine floor / loft or conversion of  a loft or attic into a liveable space..
  • Flattening of roof with R.C.C. or repairing and replacing of roof with different materials / technology.
  • Enclosure of balcony to merge it into adjoining room.
  • Change in location of bathroom/ WC/ kitchen sink  in such a way that it can cause leakage to residents below/ sideways.
  • Conversion of any place for human habitation of the building not originally constructed for human habitation like parking, basement for storage etc..
  • Conversion into more than one place for human habitation of a building originally constructed as one such place, which affects its drainage, ventilation, sanitary arrangement, security or stability.
  • Change in dimension of windows/ ventilators affecting light & ventilation of the house.
  • Change in projection / extension or projection over existing street / road/ side margins.
  • Guniting or structural repairs to structural members or walls.
  • Any changes which affect the safety of structure.

The commencement of repairs, additions or alteration works without getting permission from local authority are against the law. Hence penal action may be taken as per rules of the authority.

Must Read: What is Non Agricultural Permission & Why it is Required?

c) Repairs – Not Recommended

Certain repairs are harmful to the structural safety or stability of the building. So, it is not advisable to do such repairs without consulting structural engineer nor do following repairs unless same is permitted by the authority.

  • Removal of columns without provision of alternative load transferring members.
  • Removal of load bearing walls without provision of alternative load transferring members.
  • Lowering of plinth.
  • Constructions of Lofts / Mezzanine floors supported on partition walls which are not load bearing walls.
  • Construction of additional floor without consulting structural designer.

Procedure for obtaining permissions

Wherever the permissions are required from local authority for above mentioned repairing works, the applicant has to apply to the competent local authority along with the following documents :-

  • Appointment letter of a registered structural Engineer/ architect under whose supervision the work will be carried out and as per his designs.
  • Submission of the application to the concerned authority in format given by the registered structural engineer/architect so appointed.
  • O.C. from the Society / Owner for the proposed work if applicable.
  • Existing plan and plan showing the details of proposed repairs, additions or alterations.
  • Copy of the last property tax paid.
  • Certificate from the structural engineer to the effect that proposed work does not affect the structural stability of the building.

The applicant has to submit the completion certificate from the structural engineer/ architect  on completion of the work.

All such repairs, additions alterations etc. are governed as per the rules & regulations of the local authority / state government. Hence owners are advised to contact the local authority or architect / engineer before commencing such works for avoiding legal / technical problems.

Time limit for granting permissions

If application is submitted with all required documents and the same is in order, the concerned officer of the authority has to issue such permissions within 30/90 days, which is a mandatory time limit. ( Different time limits have been prescribed by different authorities.)

Such permission does not empower the applicant to carry out the work in an unauthorised building or it does not give any authorisation of the building in which such work is to be carried out.

Besides, If you are a lessee you may first need to get permission from your landlord.

If you are residing in co operative housing society, you have to follow rules of the society/Association of persons.

For example

  • The managing committee has the right to collect a deposit for renovation work because there may be damage to the society premises during renovation and society has the right to recover that amount from the member.
  • The member must not cause nuisance or inconvenience to the other members during their renovation work. The committee has powers to stop such a nuisance.
  • The usage of lifts for material or debris handling shall be decided by the managing committee.
  • Permission for usage of terrace.
  • Dumping of debris in such a way so no harassment is caused to the other occupants.
  • Use of water and power owned by the society either free or at pre decided charges.
Also Read: Which Permissions do I Need Before Commencing Construction of a House?

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