Actual area of flats, carpet area Vs super built up area
The area which builders use to calculate the price of flats is the Super Built-up area of a flat. The real or actual area of the flat inside will be less than the super built up area. The builder adds a percentage of common area in apartments to the to your actual flat floor area or carpet area to compensate the builder for the common areas in the building like the reception area, lifts, stair cases, common corridors, etc. Make sure that the builder is not overcharging you. Therefore the real or actual area of a flat you buy in Kerala will be less than the area you pay for, the difference between the real or actual area of the flat from the area of the flat paid for will be about 25% less. The reason for this difference in area of flats in Kerala is as explained above.
What is carpet area and super built up area
Carpet area is calculated by multiplying internal dimension of room, like measuring the room to lay a carpet. So the internal dimensions of the room wall to wall is taken and the length x width of the room gives the carpet area.
The carpet area of all the rooms and bathrooms in the flat are added up to give the carpet area of the flat. All internal verandas and balconies with roof are included in the carpet area. The super built-up area is got by multiplying the the actual carpet area by a factor. This factor could vary from anywhere between 1.1 to 1.3 depending on the builder. So it is very important that you take particular care as to by what factor the builder is multiplying the carpet area and also if that is the same carpet area to super built-up area multiplication factor he is using for everyone.
Thus the Carpet area of a flat is the actual covered area of the flat, it is a sum of the floor area of all the rooms including bathrooms, roofed balconey, corridors and verandas inside the flat behind your main door and nothing outside it. Super built up area is a percentage of the Carpet area which is added to the carpet area to compensate the builder for common areas which you use and is outside of your flats main door. Super built up area includes the common corridors, staircases, reception area on the ground floor, lifts area, etc.
Legal definition of carpet area and Super built up area
Clause 9B of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Association of India (CREDAI) code of conduct states as follows: "The carpet areas of individual tenements is the area of the inner measurements of the tenement at floor level excluding the column offsets and wall finishes but will include the areas of balconies, cupboards, accessible internal projections including private terraces and the door/window jambs and will also include the following detached habitable area, if any, such as servants’ room etc. for exclusive ownership. .......... more from the CREDAI website
The area which the builders in Kerala normally give is the Super Built-up area. Calculation of super built-up area from carpet area in Kerala is normally done by multiplying the the actual carpet area by a factor of 1.2.
So builders in Kerala add 20% more than the actual carpet area of the flat they are selling when calculating the selling price based on the per sq.ft. (square feet) quoted price in Kerala. This 20% extra is to compensate the builder for the common areas in the building like the reception area, the area where the lifts and the lift entrances verandah, stair cases and common corridors.
According to the 'KERALA MUNICIPALITY BUILDING RULES 1999' "Carpet area means the usable floor area excluding the area of staircases, lift wells, escalators, ducts, common toilets, air condition plant room and electrical control, room. For calculating carpet area, twenty percent of the floor area, shall be deducted from the total floor area in each floor."
All buyers of flats must confirm from the builder as to what is the difference between super builtup area and carpet area. For example if the builder says 20% for common area, the 20% should be 20% of your flat carpet area, that is if your flat carpet area is 1000 sq.ft., then the total super built up area should be 1200 sq.ft. The builder can trick you and say super built up area is 1200sq.ft. and we added only 20%. But this 20% could be 20% of the super built up area, that is 20% of 1200 which is 240 sq.ft. and if you minus 240 from 1200 you get a flat of only 960 sq.ft.
So watch out for where the 20% is applied. So always try to get in black and white what the carpet area of a flat is. You should also go through the 'KERALA MUNICIPALITY BUILDING RULES 1999' document to ensure the builder is following all the rules laid down by the Government of Kerala rules regarding buildings.