World Crest World Towers society sends notice to Lodha (Macrotech Developers) over property tax dispute

New Delhi: World Crest World Towers in Mumbai, country’s tallest housing complex, is engaged in a property tax dispute with Lodha Developers (now named Macrotech Developers), the company that constructed the towers, according to a news report in The Hindu Businessline newspaper.

World Crest society has sent a legal notice to Lodha Developers alleging that the real estate company had taken property tax money from the residents of the tower but did not deposit the money with the concerned government authorities.

The property tax money collected by Lodha Developers from the residents runs into crores, according to the notice. The society also has claimed that the builder has defaulted in payments of Rs 7.2 crore worth corpus fund regarding sinking funds and other dues to the society.

BusinessLine claimed to have a copy of the notice sent by the society to Lodha. The Mumbai Municipal Corporation has said that if the apartment owners failed to deposit property tax money, they will be penalized. It was learnt by the residents through Municipal Corporation notice to them that Lodha Developers did not deposit the property tax money with the Municipal Corporation. The managing committee of the society claimed that Lodha Developers took Rs 9 crore as property tax from them.

“We have been engaged with Lodha on these two matters for over 2 years. They had promised to pay the corpus money at the time of handing over the society in April’19, which is still unpaid. And the property tax of about Rs 9 crore was paid in advance by the members at the time of possession, but the builder has not yet paid it to BMC. We have a serious problem facing BMC which wants to issue defaulter notices to us. We are left with no choice but to seek legal course,” said Anil Singhvi, Secretary, World Crest, according to the news report.

A spokesperson of Lodha Developers was quoted as “The property tax amount (as adjusted against any other outstanding) has been duly paid to the authorities as per the due date which was March 31 and the legal notice was sent prior to this. Members of World Crest society owe us over Rs 9 crore towards outstanding dues for maintenance of the common facilities outside the building. Against this, the amount of Rs 7.2 crore which we had agreed to pay them has been offset. We will reply to their notice as per legal advice.”

But the society is disputing this claim of Lodha. “On inquiry with BMC, they have informed us that a very small amount has been paid and liability still exists, which we have verified from the online property tax portal,” Singhvi said.

Recently, Pune City Police had filed a case of cheating and extortion against BJP MLA and builder Mangal Pratap Lodha, his son and others. These people were booked by the Pune City Police for allegedly duping a woman customer who had purchased a flat in one of the projects Lodha Developers in Worli, Mumbai.

Pankaj Deshmukh, Deputy Commissioner of Police, had confirmed that according to the court orders, an FIR has been filed at Chaturshringi police station (Pune) against Londha and his son, among others.

The woman buyer had bought a flat at the Worli project for Rs 5.52 crore she had also paid Rs 3.92 crore since 2013 but did not get possession of the property, police said.