Delay in allotting flat by builder
I had booked a home in Surekha Builder & developer pvt ltd in July 2013. I have given the booking amount 6.5 lakh, which is 20% the property cost. of Latter I applied for home loan and I am paying the EMI since Sept 2014. It was committed by the builder that the property will be delivered by early 2015. The unit has not yet completed to live in, instead of completing the unit the builder asking (letters) me again and again to make registration. Bank has released 95% of the loan amount. After my physical visit I have found that yet the unit is not completed, in the mean time I am paying EMI and house rent at the same time. It is making on me a huge financial burden. Unless the hose will be completed up to the living standard , it would not possible for me to do registration. I have emailed and called again again to the builder's representative, all my efforts has became futile. Still I have not assured any concrete time for the delivery of the flat.
The new Real Estate Act of 2016 has laid down very strict rules regarding delivery of possession of flats on time. Earlier it was a trend among most builders not to give possession of house to the buyer on time. But according to the new rules even if the possession is delayed for a day the buyer can claim for damages. In your case you are paying the monthly EMIs of your home loan as well as the house rent so you can send a legal notice claiming for the money that you are spending on the house rent because had the delivery been made on time you would not have to pay these monthly rents. You are clearly bearing this extra expenditure due to your builder’s default in delivery of possession of your house on time so he must compensate the rents until he is delivering the house.
The builder is required to inform the buyer about the date of delivery and if he is not assuring any concrete time for the delivery of the flat you can send a Legal Notice through your lawyer to the builder. If still the possession is not granted, then file a case in the Consumer Forum for recovery of money and compensation for the ensuing delay. You are not only entitled to the amount of 6.5 lakh that you paid but also to some interest on that amount. The interest ranges normally between 9 to 18 % which is the discretion of the consumer court.
Recently the National Consumer Commission has ordered that officials of real estate firms can be arrested if they fail to handover the flats or make refund in stipulated time. So stop giving your builder a long rope otherwise he will not deliver the possession for years.
The very first and the foremost remedy in such cases comes from the agreement itself. The same documents those you signed and the contract you entered into, before paying the builder the booking amount. There’s definitely got to be some mischief in the language of that contract because of which he is trying to take advantage of. And if the conditions and the stipulations in the contract say otherwise and are in your favour then there absolutely lies a legal remedy of violation of that agreement between you and the builder for which a legal action in the form of a civil suit can be very well brought against him/her in the name of “Breach of Contract”.
Also this is a fit case for the Consumer Forum. Since, you paid for the services of a particular builder – making you his bona-fide customer and a consumer of the services provided by the builder in return of the booking amount. You can approach, as per the mandate of Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act. In order to strengthen your case (by approaching whichever court you choose) you must get in touch with all other affected parties having the same cause of action and get a petition signed in their name against the builder so as to file a joint or group representation in any court of law that you choose.
As per the latest legislation called THE REAL ESTATE (REGULATION AND DEVELOPMENT) ACT, 2016 you can also file a civil suit as per section 18 of the said act, that specifically talks about your problem and your concern regarding delay in giving possession by such builders. It says –
“he shall be liable on demand to the allottees, in case the allottee wishes to withdraw from the project, without prejudice to any other remedy available, to return the amount received by him in respect of that apartment, plot, building, as the case may be, with interest at such rate as may be prescribed in this behalf including compensation in the manner as provided under this Act”.
Thus, my further advice to you would be to read the documents very carefully and if needed thrice, before signing them.
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