Q: I live in an apartment building. The building has been mutated. I pay property tax regularly but some of the other flat owners do not. This has led to an accumulation of unpaid property tax in the building. Will this have any effect on the flat owners who pay taxes diligently? Can the Kolkata Municipal Corporation disconnect water supply or take any other action against all the flat owners?
Monaj Saha, Calcutta
A: According to the rules laid down in the Kolkata Municipal Corporation Act for payment and recovery of taxes, recovery can be made by presenting a bill, or by serving a notice, or by distraint and sale of the defaulterís movable property, or by attachment and sale of the defaulterís immovable property, etc. Hence, the KMC may take these measures against individual defaulting flat owners. It cannot disconnect the water supply to the building.
Q:I own a house jointly with my brother, who resides abroad. He does not contribute towards the maintenance of the house. I have been paying the property tax and the cost of maintenance since 1972. Can I legally claim half of the amount that I have spent from him?
Chandra Sekhar Ghosal, via email
A: Since you are in possession of the house and have been enjoying it for the last few decades, maintaining it and paying the taxes are your liability. Besides, since you have made the payments alone for so long, it shows your implied consent to that arrangement. So your brother is under no obligation to pay up.
Q:Our house, which was in the name of my mother, was given to a promoter. My brother and I got a flat each through a gift deed from our mother. The deed also allots a space as a common car park for both of us. However, I am not in good terms with my brother anymore. What should we do to legally demarcate the individual car parking spaces?
P.K. Chatterjee, Calcutta
A: You could amicably settle the issue. It would be better if you stick to the portions that you two are already using on a regular basis. Thereafter, you can execute a partition deed formally demarcating the car park and outlining the areas to be used by each of you.