Deduct Earnest money and refund.
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In the recent order dated Savita Saraf vs. Sheth Developers Private Limited (Complaint No. CC006000000193401) dated on 1st April 2022 in the Coram of Dr. Vijay Satbir Singh in MahaRERA, the complainants seeking refund of the entire amount paid by her along with interest and compensation under the provisions of Section 18 of the RERA Act in respect of the booking a flat bearing no. 504, 5th floor, admeasuring 775 sq. ft. carpet area in the respondent’s registered project known as “Sheth Avalon Phase 1” bearing MahaRERA registration No. P51700001729 located at Majiwada, Dist. Thane.

This complaint was initially heard on 30th August 2021, when the complainant showed her willingness to settle through MahaRERA Conciliation Forum. However, the parties could not arrive at any mutually agreeable terms before the MahaRERA Conciliation Forum. Hence, this complaint was again referred back to MahaRERA on 23rd November 2021. Accordingly, both the parties appeared for the hearing and made their submissions. During the course of hearing, the respondent sought time to file its reply on record of MahaRERA. Hence, the respondent was allowed to file its reply on record of MahaRERA within a period of one week. With these directions, the matter was reserved for the order.

Facts: The said flat was allotted to her vide letter of provisional allotment dated 1st July, 2015 for a total lump sum consideration of Rs.1,29,00,000/- exclusive of taxes and other charges and in furtherance, the complainant

has paid a sum of Rs.61,51,672/- to the respondent which has been acknowledged by the respondent. Further, the proposed date of completion of the project when the transaction was entered into was 30th June, 2018 which was unilaterally modified to 31st December, 2020 with no real progress in the project.

Hence the complainant stated that she has filed the present complaint seeking withdrawal from the project. Hence the complainant prays to direct the respondent to return the advance sum of Rs.61,57,672/- along with interest and compensation and legal cost and not to create third party interest in the said flat. The respondent has refuted the claim of the complainant and filed its reply stating that the amounts payable by the complainant for proposed allotment of the flat from July 2015 till May 2018 amounting to Rs.61,51,752/- was adjusted by the respondent against payment towards extent of work done.

Moreover, the MahaRERA has noticed that the respondent has completed the complainant’s flat and obtained occupancy certificate on 23-03-2021 and also issued the complainant several demand letters for payment of outstanding dues, which have not been paid even till date for the best reasons known to the complainant.

Order: Considering the facts of this case, the MahaRERA is of the view that in absence of any agreed date of possession, the claim of refund under sections 12 and 18 of the RERA cannot be considered. Therefore, if the complainant is seeking cancellation of the said booking the respondent is entitled to take action in accordance with the terms and conditions of the allotment letter issued in favor of the complainant.

In view of these facts, the MahaRERA feels that there is an absence of any registered agreement for sale. The respondent after obtaining the occupancy certificate on 23- 03-2021 issued the final demand letter to the complainant on various occasions and thereafter terminated the said allotment letter on 18-10-2021. The complainant has failed and neglected to execute the agreement for sale nor taken possession by paying the outstanding dues, despite the fact that the respondent has provided the relevant documents such as allotment letter/ agreement for sale for processing bank loan to the complainant. Further, though they said booking was cancelled the money is not yet refunded to the complainant till date.

In view of the facts and circumstances of this case, since the complainant has chosen to exit from the project, the respondent promoter is directed to refund the amount paid by complainant by deducting earnest money if any paid by the complainant at the time of said booking within a period of 3 months from the date of this order without any interest considering the present Covid-19 pandemic.

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