Residents of Mumbai-based World Crest in property tax dispute with Lodha Developers

PALAK SHAH Mumbai | Updated on April 05, 2021

Residents said the builder had not deposited the tax money collected from them with the government.   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

The tallest residential complex is home to Bollywood actors, corporates and cricketers

The Mumbai-based World Crest World Towers, India’s tallest residential complex that is home to Bollywood actors, corporates, and cricketers, is embroiled in a property tax dispute with Lodha Developers, the builder who has constructed the towers.

The World Crest society has served a legal notice to Lodha, as per which the builder had collected property tax money running into crores from the residents in advance but did not deposit it with the government. Also, the committee has claimed that Lodha is in default towards payment of ₹7.2 crore worth corpus fund involving sinking funds and other dues to the society.

BMC threatens penalty

According to the notice, a copy of which is with BusinessLine, the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had threatened flat owners of a penalty if they failed to deposit the property tax. Residents say that it was then they learned of Lodha not having deposited the property tax, despite collecting it from them. The managing committee says Lodha collected ₹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 ₹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.

A spokesperson for Lodha Group said, “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 ₹9 crore towards outstanding dues for maintenance of the common facilities outside the building. Against this, the amount of ₹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.

Maiden IPO

Lodha Developers, which has now been rechristened as Mactotech Developers, is one of India’s largest real estate companies headquartered in Mumbai. It will hit the stock markets on April 7 with its maiden initial public offer to raise ₹2,500 crore.

Lodha group is also constructing the famed Trump Towers in Mumbai in partnership with former US President Donald Trump.

Published on April 05, 2021

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