Saturday, 28 February 2015

Tips on Electric Power Consumption

Most equipment and devices at home consume energy. But rarely are we aware as to how much energy they consume and how it can be reduced. An understanding of the main household energy guzzlers and how they can be more energy-efficient is vital both in our interest as well as in the interest of the environment.
All our equipments from lamps to heaters are marked by the amount of energy they consume for a very hour of usage. The electrical energy consumed per hour by any appliance is specified in Watts (W). 1000 W is equal to 1 kilowatt (1 KW), which is nothing but one unit of consumption. The Electricity Board charges us based on the units consumed.
In a summer month a normal household consumes on an average about 526 units a month. In a winter month, the same household consumes about 282 units. A break-up of this shows that bulk of the consumption in summer is in the usage of air-conditioners. It works out to about 53 per cent followed by fans and refrigerators, which are about 11 percent each. Television and lights each consume about 8 percent of the total energy. A 4-hour usage of computer consumes another 4 percent. It is evident that usage of the air-conditioner is the main source of energy consumption.
On a winter day, when no air-conditioner is used, the fans consume the maximum energy and the refrigerator is the next biggest consumer of energy at 18 percent. Water heaters and TV each consume about 17 percent energy and the lights at our household consume around 15 percent energy.
Obviously, the lower your electrical consumption, the lesser is your electricity bill. You will note that as our consumption goes up, the cost per unit increases as well. A bimonthly consumption of 600-800 units is an optimum level for a typical Indian middle class household and energy saving measures adopted by each one of us will go a long way in reducing energy consumption.
Saving energy at home is fairly simple; it just requires us to adopt some of the guidelines indicated below

Air Conditioners

Use leak proof doors and windows and seal all openings in an air-conditioned room to avoid leakage of cool air, thereby improving the efficiency of the air conditioner. Regular cleaning of A.C. filters (at least once a month) also improves the unit efficiency and reduces power consumption. In case the room to be conditioned has an exposed roof, then under deck insulation for the room is highly recommended to reduce the heat transmission from the roof slab. Set your air-conditioner thermostat to 25 Degree C of higher. For every degree you raise your thermostat setting above 22 Deg C, you can save up to 5-7% on your cooling costs.
Defrost the refrigerator once the ice gets more than quarter inch thick. Regular defrosting helps reduce the power consumption. Avoid placing the refrigerator near any heat source and locate the refrigerator at least 200mm away from the wall. Ensure that the refrigerator door is airtight to prevent leakage. Ideally, set your refrigerator temperature at 2.2 Deg.C. and your freezer temperature at-15 Deg. C. for energy-efficient operation.


Replace conventional fans with energy efficient fans. Use electronic regulators instead of electromagnetic regulators. Lubricate fan motor bearings periodically and clean fan blades regularly.

Replace T12 or T10 fluorescent tubes with T8 or T5 energy efficient fluorescent tubes which are more than 10 to 30 percent energy efficient. Use compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) which are 70 to 80 percent more energy efficient instead of incandescent light bulbs. Replacing electromagnetic ballasts in tube lights reduces the energy consumption by around 20 to 30 percent. Utilise energy efficient 36W slim tubes instead of 40W tubes. Use standard pins to tap supply from plug points. Reduce the wattage of bulbs in areas where less lighting is needed such as toilets store rooms etc.

Water Heaters

Lower the thermostat on your water heater since most factory settings of water heaters are at higher temperatures. A setting of 12o F provides comfortable hot water for most applications. Insulate your electric hot-water storage tank, but be careful not to cover the thermostat. Keep the area around your water heater clean and well ventilated.

Grinders & Mixers

Use energy efficient motors for the grinders. Use the gadgets to their full capacity. Avoid rewinding of the grinder & mixer motors.


Configure your computer to “hibernate” automatically after 30 minutes or so of inactivity. The “hibernate mode” turns the computer off in such a way that you do not have to reload everything when you switch on your computer on again.

The less energy we use, the longer the world's natural resources such as oil and coal, will last. Energy saving is essential because the world's energy reserves will be consumed at a slower rate.

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Thursday, 26 February 2015

Optimum use by dividing larger rooms

 Optimum use by dividing larger rooms
An unwieldly large, living space could be aesthetically, innovatively and unobtrusively partitioned for varied uses that individual rooms could have offered.
At times, people are perplexed over what to do with the large room in their house. The spacious facility there should be utilized to a varied and maximum usage. A spontaneous idea emerging out is to put up a temporary partition in the middle, so as to split the room into two. This simple solution with numerous artistic variations and creative diversities, but all with the common accomplishment of putting up a partition will lend the most elegant and contemporary touch to the entire milieu.
An easy way to demarcate spaces in a large room would be to simply make use of the available furniture itself. If a living-cum-dining room is already in existence, the living room furniture could be used to define the living room space – The sofa set could just be placed in such a manner that its back faces the dining room. A storage unit is a very popular method of dividing a large space. A unit that has open spaces and which can be used from both sides will be very ideal. To uplift and enhance lights could be added. Storage units are a very clear way of demarcating space and since they come in different dimensions and one can buy one that is most ideal and suited for the available space.
Since historical times, screens have been used to create private spaces and now-a-days enormous variety of screens are available in stores and suiting every level of budget. Some of the attractive and beautiful options can be selected from hand painted screens made of canvas fabric, silk and jute. These varieties come with added beauty of getting aborned with sequins and embroidery. Another method of creating the notion of partition is by suspending items from the ceiling.  Odd items like bells, beads, metal strips and shells could be suspended in a string, which will form an aesthetic curtain.
Some create a division in larger rooms by using or placing unusual objects. A couple were using a four-foot canoe in their living room. This serves two purposes. The curiosity it arouses becomes the interesting topic of conversation with those who converge there and simultaneously it is, effective in its function too. For persons who like plants, placing them inside can create a pleasant, refreshing and bringing-in-nature ambience. Adding a stray collection of pebbles, proper lighting and setting of candles, will certainly transform the somber ambience into a small oasis of greenery quite in the middle of the living room. 
Use of glass for forming partition is a modern option. Pebbled partition could be tried where pebbles are placed between two sheets of glass. Even going in for a low wall or ledge and growing plants over that would be an alluring alternative. Glasses could also be used in the form of blocks and stain glass is also good for this purpose. The additional advantage in using glass is that is gives an illusion of space.

If the interior already possesses and reflects ethnic décor then clay blocks or red bricks can be artistically used for separating the room for varied uses. But whatever the method one chooses to create a temporary partition, it should be ensured that one is able to see bits of the other room, rather than blocking it from view completely. This sort of partitions reflecting both transparency and translucency, creates a feeling of space and allows the commingling of different elements of nature into one organic blend.

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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Space Management - Better use of space

 Space Management - Better use of space
If one wants to give a spacious appearance to their apartment, they also find space for storage. Here are some handy ideas for doing it.
When one goes for shopping furniture then they should be one step ahead in their thinking. A chest of drawers can provide more storage room than a side table and at the same time it doesn’t have to be too large. A beautiful glass-topped table may look good but a coffee table with drawers may be used to hide things. An open and spacious appeal to their living room can be imparted by utilising furniture that serves a dual purpose.
An example of that is by choosing a bench which has a hinged lid for the end of a bed or beneath a window. The space inside may be useful to store sheets, blankets, extra towels, out-of-season clothes and toys. The centre table could be a piece with a hidden storage space for putting away magazines, newspapers and other miscellaneous household items.
Another area that can be cleverly put to use is the space under the staircase where one can build large shelves and get lots of extra space. A set of open shelf spaces can be created on a blank wall and these will have aesthetic as well as practical storage value. They can add some cheer to the room and will not intrude on space. Most things in their room are unlikely to measure more than 5 feet. So, they should make shelves 12 to 18 inches below the ceiling for displaying decorative objects, plants hats or photos. Ready made shelves with mounting brackets can be found in any building supply store. In addition, one can put up a structured wall unit or entertainment centre for housing books, electronic equipment and space for decorative arrangements.
One can make a home library with shelves extending from the floor to the ceiling and this bookshelf can act as a room divider rather than having a wall. A knee-hole desk with drawers can be used for files and office items instead of having the usual open writing desk. These ideas give plenty of storage room and do not intrude into the living area.
Imagine how much space there is beneath a queen or king-sized bed. One can raise it higher by providing taller legs. In order to have a dust-free environment without clutter, built in wardrobes that extend from the floor to the ceiling are perfect. One can made pull-out drawers under their bed for storing linen. An unobtrusive bedside table can be made by using wall space for a table that can be suspended. The headboard can be lengthened on both sides to use as a bedside table along with a lamp.
In the bathroom it is best to store things which are not decorative in a way that they will be hidden. They could enclose shelves and cupboards behind doors. Bars for towels may be fixed on the wall or can be hung on hooks installed behind the bathroom door. One could fix short narrow shelves both above and below the washbasin. Various accessories can be stored there.
All the available space on the walls and corners must be used up in the kitchen. Hooks over the cooking range can be used to hang big utensils that do not fit into drawers. A pull-out tray at the bottom of the cabinet can be used for smaller things. A low cutlery stand may be used as a counter table, chopping board and preparation counter. For this, it only needs to be fitted with a rubber wedge top. When one have to entertain Guests a tray rack on wheels is ideal. In short a little ingenuity will go a long way in giving a spacious home with plenty of storage space.

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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Local materials enhance Ethnic Look decor

 Local materials enhance Ethnic Look decor

When deciding to have an ethnic décor, you must remember that comfort is not a strong point in ethnic furniture as modern furniture is usually more comfortable in home. For using constantly some of the ethnic furnishings may not prove very practical. For this reason totally ethnic décor is rarely found anywhere. It can be used as accents or points of focus for bringing something out. It is usually intermingled with practical and modern pieces.

Having an ethnic style of décor can range from anything like an ancient face, musical instruments, weapons and paintings to photographs of a bygone era. A primary role is played by artifacts.

For an ethnic appearance the flooring should be of stone. According to an interior designer a lot of ethnic material is available including yellow stone, granite, and Attangudi tiles. You may have a combination of a plain floor with some parts having tiles or inlay work of any of the variety of Indian stones available.

If there has to be ethnic décor in the whole living room the detailing would be from floor to ceiling. It can begin from the entrance with an ornate door and carved doorframe going to foot level. In the ancient designs there was a typical step over door frames with heavily curved wooden doors.

Tribal carpets from Kashmir can be used in place of durries. There is amazing tribal art and in an ethnic background they will look arresting. They are priceless antiques as they are made by a certain tribe that is going down in number. They don't cost much compared to silk carpets.

A vital part of ethnic décor is a swing. A well-decorated swing with elaborate pillars can become the focus in the living room. Cushions featuring ethnic upholstery can fill this with a background of planters and durries. Carved rosewood or teakwood sofas with a huge ethnic chair such as a carved Rajasthani chair having inlay work will complement this. On the opposite side you could have a long couch with two Rajasthani chairs on both sides having foldable backs.

You could have a whole wall of stone such as Dholpur stone or different kinds of slates to create an accent with a great ethnic effect. The effect would be complete with a heavily carved wood paneled ceiling. There should not be too much wood as it can make it heavy. In the window space a slim carpet can be hung in the middle with single point gathered curtains on both sides. There could be a backdrop of sheers.

It is better to mix schemes as showing only one theme may be humdrum and loud. One scheme should be highlighted with the remaining décor around it and blending with it.

Floor cushions lined with dull gold on low chairs with durries that go with it will make a nice setting. Guests usually avoid low chairs and floor seats and opt for high backed sofas which are more comfortable. It would be better to have a bench with many cushions and a silk bandhini throw.

A center table made out of a catamaran with a glass top would have a dramatic effect. It can be filled with things for an accent. Camel saddles used as chairs would be interesting but not comfortable. A heavily carved chest will make it complete. On the walls you have pencil drawings of rustic faces of India such as amazing moustaches, fantastic headgears and women at work which will look great against this background. Other pictures can be mixed with this showing a market scene with colours that go with the upholstery. Old musical instruments and weapons will go very well with them.

In the dining section you can have a dining table with a metallic finish or a carved ethnic piece.  Complement this by a carved antique China cabinet. It would be a more striking effect if antique pieces were mixed with modern ones. Too much of the same style does not attract attention.

In a contemporary setting you can bring about the ethnic effect by making one ethic piece of the focus, for example a Rajasthani piece amidst furniture with straight lines. You can use white sheers for the windows in the background. Other aircrafts like sculptures, mirror frames, bells, and paintings will give an ethnic effect to a modern setting in apartments. Usually one finds American style sofas with an ethnic piece and aircrafts to go with it.

For walls you can have a dark color on one wall with a swing or bench in front. The remaining walls should be lighter with color thrown in through artwork and paintings.

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Monday, 23 February 2015

Ventilation at Homes

 Ventilation at Homes
Though all the five Elements of Nature are essential for the life of all living being on earth, air is without dispute  the prime  among them. And within the house, we need proper ventilation for a salubrious atmosphere and healthy living. For getting the welcome cool breeze inside the house, it is imperative that the air should be able to flow around the house freely. It is a proven fact that on the windward side the air blows with some force or energy so that it not only enters the house but also absorbs and carries the heat to the outside on the leeward side of the building. To facilitate easy flow of air, we should have lots of open space in the way of its entry and some space on the other side for its easy exit as well. But the availability of more space in an urban context can be just about 10 feet and in a metropolitan city like Bangalore, even 5 feet will ensure quite a bit of natural ventilation.
A big house should mean that we have open space around the house, especially on the windward side. It will be better and beneficial to plan houses in such a way that the open space around the house becomes part of the house, and extend the house outward visually so that we can feel the house getting extended to the open space.
The sensible way to get this done is by taking the outside inside by bringing the open space inside and make it part and parcel of the house. If we build from one end of the site to the other, covering more or less completely, then we are sure to feel cramped and ultimately suffer from lack of light and air. As far as light is concerned, the natural light can be compensated to a certain extent, by artificial lighting, but not the natural ventilation. A fan just churns the same stale air. The air conditioners merely cool the air, recirculating a part of the used and exhaled air to reduce the load on the system.
It is the nature of air to blow from an area of higher pressure to that of lower pressure. On the windward side the air pressure is higher, on the leeward side the pressure is proportionately lower. Therefore to facilitate this we need to keep bigger windows on the windward side and even small windows will do on the leeward side to exhaust the warm and stale air.   
Wind will have positive pressure on the south and west during the summer monsoon months and similarly there will be negative air pressure on the north and east during this season. We feel the flow of air only when it passes by our body as a stream. But it flows rather slowly most of the time, even if we do not exactly feel it. The reason for this is the pressure differential between the two sides of a building, either adjacent or opposite sides. Even this slow movement of wind brings many air changes per hour and provide the much needed relief from heat.

Air Circulation

Even when there is absolutely no air movement, or the condition which people normally call a 'still air' conditioner, there certainly will be air exchanges happening. In this case there will be gaseous movement due to air diffusion, which is nothing but gaseous exchange from a higher level of concentration to lower level. Generally carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, body odour, cigarette smoke etc., which is being generated inside the house will be exchanged to the fresh air from outside, carrying in the much needed oxygen to the inside. This exchange goes on in a passive way and even for this to happen we need sufficiently big windows to the outside.
Trees are always helpful in directing and cooling the breeze into the house. Trees with a large canopy not only cool the house, but also guide the breeze inside the house through the windows, likewise, shrubs and bushes could be strategically planted to guide useful breeze to the inside of the house and filter hot rays of sun.

Facing the Wind

Nowadays, it is a common occurrence to see the houses being constructed so close to each other that we cannot expect fresh air from our neighbour's site. One can depend only on the open space that is there around the house to allow fresh air to come inside. For this to happen, we need to keep more open space on the side from where we want the summer cool breeze to enter the house. This can be accomplished by keeping more open space on the south and west. The south side open space is more useful because the sun will be at high angle on this side and it is easy to control the sun by providing minimum projections. Even though we get a good breeze from the west too, because of the low angle of the sun from this direction in the afternoon, it is comparatively difficult to control sunlight penetrating the house.
However, we can keep large projections like portico and pergola covered gardens in the open space on the west and filter the sun light to a maximum possible extent, while allowing easy access to summer freeze.

We have very little control over the open spaces around only site. For this specific reason, it is all the more important to leave sufficient open space around the building within our site since every inch of space cost multiples of hundreds of rupees in urban areas, we have to leave it where it really adds to the quality of living in the house and most importantly, open space has to be left taking into consideration the summer wind directions.

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Saturday, 21 February 2015

Inheritance of Property

 Inheritance of Property

What are the categories of heirs among Christians for inheritance property ?

Indian Succession Act 1925 deals with the inheritance to intestate property among Christians. Sections 33 to 49 are relevant sections.
The heirs are of two types. (1) Relatives by blood (2) Relatives by marriage. The brother would fall in the first category, whereas wife will fall under the second category.

What is meant by consanguinity, kindred and lineal descendant?

Consanguinity means members of the same family, the relatives who are related by blood to the person, which may be lineal or lateral. Kindred means and includes all those who are related by blood through lawful wedlock.
Lineal descendants means the descendants in direct line comprising of sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters through them would be all lineal descendants subject to legitimacy.

How the property of  Intestate devolve?

The property of a person who dies without making a will (Intestate) devolves upon the spouse, that is husband or wife or those of kindred of the deceased in the order and according to the rules.

What is the position of widow in case of intestate property?

In case the deceased intestate has left widow and lineal descendants, one third of the property will go to the widow and remaining two thirds to the lineal descendants. In case of only widow with kindred but with no lineal descendants the widow will get 50% of the share in the property and the remaining 50% will go to the kindred. In case of absence any kindred or lineal descendants, the widow is entitled to full share in the property.

In case the deceased intestate has left no widow and no kindred, who will inherit the property?

Generally, the property will be inherited by widow, lineal descendants or those kindred to the deceased. In the absence of any of these heirs, the property will go to the government.

What is the right of widower to the property of his wife dying intestate?

The right of the widower to the property of his wife who dies intestate is similar to that of a widow to the property of her husband dying intestate.

A Christian dying intestate has left no children but has left grandchildren who are the children of his deceased sons. Please advice how the property is devolved?

All the grand children share the property of their grandfather equally. We shall examine an example Mr. Stephen had two sons, Robert & Noble. Mr. Robert has one son & Mr. Noble has two sons. Both Robert & Noble died before their father Stephen. Mr. Stephen died intestate, leaving behind three grandsons. In this case each grand children will get equal share.

A Christian dies intestate leaving lineal descendents, but all of them are not of same degree of relationship. What is the procedure for devolution of property?

To make the issue very clear we shall look into an example. Mr. Stephen has two sons, Robert & Noble.
Robert dies before his father leaving behind two sons. Mr. Stephen dies leaving behind his one son Mr. Noble and two grandsons (children of Mr. Robert) Mr. Noble the only surviving son of Mr. Stephen will get 50% of the property and remaining 50% will shared equally between two grandsons.

Who is a Minor?

Minor is a person who has not completed the age of eighteen years. So a minor attains majority on completion of eighteen years of age and not on reaching the eighteenth year of age.
Previously, the minors for whom guardians were appointed by the court, the prescribed age for attaining majority was after the completion of twenty one years of age. This has been amended and all minors attain majority on completion of eighteen years of age.

What is the position of the mother, if the father appoints a guardian to minor person, property, by will?

Father may appoint a guardian by Will to the person and property of his minor child. However such appointment of a guardian by Will does not have any effect if the father dies leaving behind his wife (mother of the minor child) who is the natural guardian of the minor child. The mother, (natural guardian) will succeed as guardian and not the person appointed by Will of the father. She may appoint a different guardian by her Will; who will succeed as guardian, on the death of the mother. In case, she does not appoint any guardian, by Will, the guardian appointed by the father by Will, will succeed as guardian of minor on the death of the mother. The guardian will act only until the minor completes eighteen years of age.

Can a guardian be appointed to the minor’s undivided interest in joint family property?

The Kartha is head of the Hindu joint family who is empowered to manage the property. In such cases no guardian shall be appointed. The Kartha takes care of the person and the property of the minor who is the co-parcener. However the competent court may appoint a guardian for undivided share of the minor in the joint family property also.

Who is the natural guardian of an adopted son?
The adoptive father, and after the adoptive father, the adoptive mother would be the natural guardians of an adopted minor son. The original parents of the son given in adoption will not be natural guardians.
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Friday, 20 February 2015


Through decor a garden receives its character and charm. You should be guided in this by your selection of ornamental features and your personal taste must be reflected in the objects you love to include in the decor for your home
There is a plethora of objects and ornamental features offered to us by today's artistically minded gardeners to improve the outdoors. All kinds of objects such as carved stepping stones, urns and globes as well as fountains are some of the choices. It is for us to use all these in an orderly way. Whenever you choose some- thing for the garden do it thoughtfully as almost anything can be pleasing as a garden ornament. Funky pieces and animals made of ceramic or metal or even shrubbery are just right. 
Stone frogs like a frog reading a book on a bench will be an unusual idea. Your imagination may run riot, it doesn't matter. The frog in this case can be tucked among the leaves or put on a pedestal. The ornaments may be scattered hither and thither in the flower borders or arranged in a row neatly. A flamingo made of plastic can look good if presented in a new way. A cast concrete pig sleeping under a patch work quilt is another funky idea. Faces made of metal will give a modem look and contrast to flowers. Long necked chain and spring sculptures too will look good close to a water body. You have to combine personal selections with other garden features like plants, furnishings and cladding for walks and walls with style and spirit. Much choice is there in garden decor. You can give your individual stamp to the garden by decorative accents. Even if you are a flea market buyer, an art collector or an artist you can choose according to your tastes. 
Combining an original steel work with soft textured grass could be permitted to rust naturally so that it looks like an ancient piece. Terracotta drain tile pieces can be stacked up to form a trickling fountain. You could also introduce an old dining room chair with a seat of cushiony grass. Along with this a set of bowling balls with ceramic bamboo canes crafted with hand can transform the garden. A metal butterfly may give a colorful touch and brightness to a border of flowers. You can also add a lady scarecrow and an old pair of boots in which shrubs can be planted. 
The garden can be imparted old -fashioned grace through an antique lantern hanging below a rose covered pergola. An old watering can with a classic look should be kept ready to sprinkle the flowers. You can paint plain clay or red wood containers with your own style and make the pot water-proof for long life. A birdhouse full of colorful bees and seven dwarfs in metal sitting on top of it will look classic in the middle of the garden. 
A concrete molded fountain against wall or tree trunk will look great. Vividly colored stucco walls with a bit offered optic light sculpture will look intriguing at day or night. Modem art will give new life to the place. A large sculpture can make a daring statement. 
Creativity has no end in doing wonders to your garden with your imagination. If your garden is small mirrors can be used with windows and paint to multiply images in the space. Old mirror pieces kept amongst the plants near a fence will reflect light surprisingly but should be kept away from children or pets. If there is a garage or patio ending suddenly it can be made to look like a jungle garden with the means of art work.

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Thursday, 19 February 2015

Rights, Duties of Apartment Owners

 Rights, Duties of Apartment Owners
Unlike independent houses, the residents of apartments have some unique rights and duties, and it is vital to have a clear understanding of them if you happen to live in an apartment.
First of all let us consider the word 'Flat'. The word 'Flat' is not a legal term, and has its roots in Scottish and Old English. 'Flat' meant a floor in Old English and obviously it meant living on a floor of the building instead of occupying the entire structure.
The Apart­ment Ownership Act, defines an apartment as a property intended for independent use including one or more floors or enclosed spaces located in one or more floors (or parts there­of) in a building, intended to be used for residence, office, practice of any profession or for carrying on any occupa­tion, trade or business or for other types of independent use, and with a direct exit to a road, or highway or to a common area leading to such street, road or highway.
In the common man's language, the word 'Flat' means a residential, semi-residential or non-residential unit. The word 'Apartment' is nor­mally used to indicate a residential unit. Going by the above definition, the words 'Apart­ment' and 'Flat' mean the same thing.
An apartment shall be deemed fit for dwelling for independent use even if sanitary, washing, bathing and facilities are common.
An apartment owner is the person or persons owning an apartment and an undivided interest in the common areas. It also includes owners who have purchased apartments using loans.

Common areas

There is a lot of confusion regarding 'Common Areas and Facilities'.
As ownership of an apart­ment is connected to an undivid­ed interest in the common areas and facilities, it is important to know as to how the term has to be under­stood legally.
The term includes the land on which the building is located. The foundations, columns, girders, beams, supports, main walls, roofs, halls, corridors, lobbies, stairways, terrace, compound walls and fire es­capes come under com­mon areas.
Water sources are also common. The term also includes wells and sumps and water supply will fall within the definition of the term. Sewerage and drainage connections al­so come under common facilities.
The entrances and exits of the building also come under common areas and facilities. The basements, cellars, yards, gardens, parking ar­eas and storage spaces are also common.
The premises inside the building meant for the lodging of caretakers or persons em­ployed for the maintenance of the property also come under common areas.
Installations connected with power, light, gas, hot and cold water, heater, refriger­ation, air-conditioning and incinerating equipments are also part of common areas. The elevators, tanks, pumps, motors, fans, compressors, ducts and in general, all ap­paratus ex­isting for common use is covered by the term.

Limited common area

Apart from absolutely common areas there are also limited common areas and facilities. They can be limited to a certain apartment or apart­ments and will not be accessible to other apartments. They are allotted as per the agreement with the builder.
Normally, when two or more persons own a proper­ty, they will have an undivid­ed interest in the property. One or more persons having co-ownership of a property can claim partition.
The term 'Partition' means division of an identified share of a person. In the case of apartments nobody can claim a partition.
The apartment and the undivided interest in the common areas and facilities, is inheritable and transferable. You can, therefore, inherit, sell, mort­gage, lease, gift, settle, ex­change or deal with the property in any manner.
You will have the same rights, privileges, obliga­tions, liabilities and remedies, as any other immovable property owner. You can also bequeath or will the apartment and the undivid­ed interest in the common areas.
The undivided interest in common areas and facilities is computed on the basis of the flat's plinth area.

Owners' Association

If the building has five or more apartments or three or more floors, an Association or Society of Apartment Owners has to be registered under the Co-operative Societies Act or the Societies Registrations Act, 1975.
The objects of the Associ­ation have to include main­tenance of all common areas and facilities, limited common areas and facilities and provide the amenities needed by the apartment owners.
If there are prof­its, it should be distrib­uted to all the apartment owners.
The common expenses have to be shared by the owners as per the percentage of their undivided in­terest in the common areas and facilities.

Maintenance charges

Maintenance charges are also collected on the basis of the ownership of the number of apart­ments regardless of the undivided interest of the owners.
The common expenses will include amounts de­termined payable by the Asso­ciation, expenses of adminis­tration, maintenance and repair of common areas.
As an apartment owner you cannot do anything which will endanger the structural safety of the property or re­duce its value.
You will also require the permission of other owners to add any structure or undertake excavation or construct additional units or do anything which will affect the others.

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