DELAY IN DELIVERY OF POSSESSION BY BUILDER
Today the real estate industry is one of the most flourishing industries in India. The developers offer special promises to attract prospective buyers and the buyer invests his hard-earned money in buying a home. The increase in the demand and the offered promises does not ensure that the promises will be fulfilled on time. Non delivery of possession on time is one of the major areas of conflict between the developers and the buyers. There are numerous cases where builders have taken more than the required time to finish projects while leaving home buyers to suffer financial loss.
PRECAUTIONS TO BE TAKEN BY A PROSPECTIVE BUYER
Before buying a house, a buyer must take certain precautions:-
- He must thoroughly go through the original copy of the agreement with the builder.
- He must verify the original documents of the property and make sure that the title of the Vendor to the property is clear and marketable.
- He must search the title report for the last few years.
- He must verify whether the builder has obtained non agricultural permission for the land from the collector.
- He must also verify the development agreement between the owner of land and the builder.
- He must ask for the copy of order under the Urban Land Ceiling Act. He must check the building plans sanctioned by the competent authority and the commencement certificate granted by Municipal Corporation.
- He must also ask for the building completion certificate.
COURTS THE BUYER CAN APPROACH
A buyer who is the victim of the unfair practices of the builder can approach the following forums for his redressal:-
- He can file a civil suit in a Civil Court in a situation where the builder commits breach of his obligations.
- He can file a complaint before the consumer forum against deficient services.
- He can file a complaint before the Competition Commission of India.
- He can also approach Regulatory Forums.
- He can file a criminal case.
PROCEDURE FOR FILING THE COMPLAINT
To file a consumer complaint against a builder, follow the steps given below:-
- LEGAL NOTICE:- Send a well drafted Legal Notice to the builder stating your reasons of discontent ( delay , etc.)
- RESPONSE:– Await for a response for the stipulated time from the other party.
- COMPLAINT:– Depending upon the response prepare a petition, stating all the facts and evidences with the help of expert legal advice.
- FILING OF THE COMPLAINT:– Approach the Consumer Court and file the petition against the builder.
The complainant can get the following reliefs:-
- He can claim the money required to buy alternate accommodation at the ongoing market value in the respective area.
- He can also claim the money given to the builder.
- He can claim interest on the payment made till date.
- He can file a complaint in the Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission, if he is buying the property for personal use.
- If the buyer is a first-time home purchaser, or if his building is being redeveloped and the complainant is sure to get possession of the flat in a few months or years, he can claim compensation for the money that he will spend as rent on an alternate accommodation.
- The buyer can claim damages for loss of opportunity caused to the purchaser, had he invested his money elsewhere.
- Around 250 flat buyers at Chinar Homes, a private housing project in Zirakpur, have been left in the lurch as two of its three promoters have been declared proclaimed offenders while the third has also gone incommunicado.
- BCL Homes Limited had launched the project at Kishanpura village in Zirakpur in 2010 with the promise to hand over the possession in July 2013.
- The company was to construct 368 flats, comprising three blocks and fourteen towers.
- All flats were sold for prices ranging between Rs 30 lakh and Rs 55 lakh. Most of the allottees even paid up to 90 percent of the cost.
- However the project, which is not even registered under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, is no where completion, with only 70 percent works done, even after nine years.
- Most of the buyers have approached consumer and civil courts for refund.
- Even as many cases have been decided in the buyers’ favour, they have not received any amount.
- On March 20, the Punjab state consumer commission declared Baldev Chand Bansal, one of the directors of BCL Homes Limited, a proclaimed offender (PO).
- While Tejinder Kumar Bansal, was declared a PO by a Chandigarh district court in July 2018, the third director, Rajeev Kumar, is also not traceable.
BUYERS’ HARD-EARNED MONEY GETS STUCK
- Vidhu Sharma, 45, who is now settled in US, said:” I paid 90 percent of the amount, which is Rs 43 lakh, for a three bedroom flat in 2011. I am still repaying the bank laon. But despite approaching the company directors for possession, nothing has been done.”
- Anoop Jethwani, 52, another allottee, said he is forced to live in a rented accommodation for Rs 18,500 per month in Sector 20, Panchkula, because of the delay in possession.
- “I request the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to take over the project, as I have already invested my hard-earned money in the project,” said Jethwani, who is a trader, and has invested Rs 53 lakh.”We allottees are not getting any respite from anywhere. I also request the state government to intervene in the matter.”
- The firm had even filed for insolvency in September 2017, but the petition was dismissed by National Company Law Tribunal. The tribunal had observed that the firm” had not come with clean hands and disposed of major land at Patiala Road, which was bought by them in the name of BCL Homes Ltd, by diverting the funds of the project and also by availing a term loan of Rs 32 crore from Canara Bank, Chandigarh, 2012-13.” The land was allegedly sold to relatives and friends of company directors “in most irregular and illegal manner.”
For more info, please dial 99888-17966. This post is written by Dipti Prakash of Punjab University.