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By Housing Society Bureau

MUMBAI:

Home buyers can file a complaint against the builders even after the Occupation Certificate (OC) with Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA). In a recent case where the order of Maha RERA was challenged in Maharashtra Real Estate Appellate Tribunal by the builder in which the project had received OC five months prior of possession date.

The homebuyer had filed a case against builder the MahaRERA in which it sought several reliefs including complete the construction of flat, handover the possession of flat with all the amenities and compensation for loss of time, mental agony and harassment. The Maha RERA ordered builder to pay the interest at the rate of 10.5% on complainant’s amount of Rs 28.40 lakhs from December 2017 till handing over the possession on receiving the aforesaid payable by the complainant. However, the builder challenged the order of MahaRERA in which it raised several questions and presented facts.

Both parties registered agreement of sale on December 2014, and the builder agreed to hand over possession by December 2017. The builder issued OC on July 2017 and informed the buyer on November 2017 to pay the balance and take the possession. The homebuyer failed to pay balance amount the builder cancelled his agreement.

The tribunal rejected the action of builder regarding cancellation of agreement it said, thus, it is quite evident that, if allottee commits default in payment of price as per schedule promoter may give him 15 days notice of his intention to terminate the agreement and if allottee continues the default, then promoter is justified in terminating the agreement and thereafter, promoter is under obligation to repay the amount of price received from the allottee without any interest and after deducting 10% of the said amount.

The allottee (Ashok Tukaram Khaladkar) had purchased flat in Platinum Properties project for Rs 28.40 lakhs and Ashok had already paid 90% amount of the flat and the balance amount was Rs 4.7 lakhs.

After hearing from both parties, the court ordered the promoter offered the possession before the due date of handing over the possession along with occupation certificate and allottee refused. So, there is no delay in giving possession and promoter cannot be directed to pay the interest to the allottee from December 2017 till allottee accepts the possession of the flat after paying the balance price to the promoter.

Allottee had alleged that there was no proper supply of water and proper provision of sanitation for which the allottee refused to take the possession even after issuance of an occupation certificate.

Promoter has filed suit for specific performance in civil court and sought the relief pertaining to an issue regarding cancellation of an agreement for sale and consequential reliefs by way of counterclaim in the present matter before RERA, “I would like to point that promoter cannot adopt forum shopping”, the court said.

More than 90% amount of price is paid by the allottee and it has chosen to continue with the project for getting possession of flat. “I think it is just to give one opportunity to the allottee to comply his obligations of making payment of balance price of Rs 4.7 lakhs along with the interest and if allottee fails to comply than cancellation on an agreement shall stand approved”, the court said.