By Dr. Sanjay Chaturvedi
Filing a complaint in RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) without legal assistance requires careful preparation and understanding of the process. Here are some essential points to consider:
- Prove Allottee Status: You must establish that you are an allottee as defined under Section 2(d) of the RERA Act. Attach relevant documents such as the Allotment Letter, Agreement for Sale, and records of payment dates and instruments. The tribunal recognizes various documents including MoU, Unregistered Agreement for Sale, Sale Deed, and Executed Registered Agreement for Sale.
- Submit Payment Details: Upload all demand letters and proof of payment. It’s crucial not to default on payments as this can impact your case.
- Document Correspondence: Include all correspondence with the builder, especially related to amenities, possession dates, and any changes in carpet area, etc.
- Highlight Important Dates: Clearly mention the date of possession and purchase consideration. Refer to the Agreement for Sale to establish the contractual terms.
- Prove Builder’s Default: Present evidence of the builder’s default. Builders often cite Force Majeure as a defense. Explain why Force Majeure should not apply in your case.
- Choose Appropriate Section: Based on your situation, choose the relevant section under RERA. Section 12 applies when the Agreement for Sale is not registered, and you seek a refund with interest. Under Section 18, when the Agreement is registered, you can opt for a refund or seek delay interest if you remain in the project.
- Litigation Flow:
- File the complaint.
- Notify the opposite party and serve them with a copy of the complaint and its annexures.
- Attend the first appearance and decide your approach (guilty or not guilty).
- RERA may offer conciliation. If you agree, your matter goes to conciliators/mediators.
- If not, RERA continues with the case.
- The opposite party submits a reply, and you may counter with a rejoinder.
- The opposite party may submit a sur rejoinder to counter your rejoinder.
- You can submit written submissions or argue orally, or both.
- Present final arguments, leading to an order.
- Execution of Order: If the builder doesn’t adhere to the order within 60 days, file a non-execution application. Builders must file an appeal within 60 days to get a stay on the order; otherwise, execution cannot be halted. RERA issues a warrant for recovery, and the Collector executes it by attaching project assets, unsold inventory, and movable properties.
- Study Relevant Sections: Thoroughly study RERA Sections 12 and 18. Use strong citations from tribunal and high court cases to support your claims in the complaint.
Filing a complaint in RERA without legal representation requires a clear understanding of the process, documentation, and legal provisions. Properly preparing your case and presenting a well-structured argument can significantly increase your chances of a successful outcome.