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In a significant move, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has directed a builder to apply for an extension of the project, complete the construction, and hand over possession to homebuyers. The order was issued by a bench comprising Chairperson Ajoy Mehta, in response to a complaint by a Cooperative Housing Society representing 44 homebuyers of the “MARVEL AQUANAS” project.

The complainant, a Cooperative Housing Society, alleged that the builders failed to provide the promised basic amenities and a livable environment. An audit conducted in April 2018 revealed significant discrepancies between the commitments made by the builders and the actual delivery. Furthermore, the builders prevented the society members from conducting a site survey, raising further concerns about the project’s progress.

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On October 14, 2020, a Conveyance Application filed by the complainant was allowed, leading to the execution of a Sale Deed on October 20, 2020. However, the builders challenged this order, and the Bombay High Court directed the parties to maintain the status quo. Despite receiving multiple extensions, the builders made negligible progress, failing to deliver possession as per the agreements.

The Complaint

Aggrieved by the delay, the complainant filed a complaint before MahaRERA seeking relief under Sections 7 and 8 of RERA, 2016. The complainant cited a penalty interest of Rs. 33,70,00,000/- due to the delay in handing over possession. Despite the numerous extensions granted, the project showed no significant progress, prompting the complainant to seek regulatory intervention.

Observations and Directions by MahaRERA

MahaRERA observed that it holds the authority to revoke registration under section 5 of RERA, 2016 if the promoter defaults in fulfilling the requirements under RERA, violates approval terms, engages in unfair or fraudulent practices, or if the project has lapsed. The documents uploaded by the builders indicated that the project remained incomplete and the project registration had lapsed on March 31, 2024, without any steps taken for an extension.

Given the delay in handing over possession with the Occupancy Certificate (OC), MahaRERA deemed it a violation of RERA, 2016. Consequently, the authority directed the builders to apply for an extension of the project and complete the construction of the sold flats. Additionally, MahaRERA instructed the builders to apply for the Occupancy Certificate from the competent authority and prohibited them from selling any further units until possession is offered to the existing allottees.

This order by MahaRERA underscores the regulatory authority’s commitment to protecting homebuyers’ interests and ensuring timely hand over┬ápossession. It serves as a reminder to builders about the importance of adhering to their commitments and the potential consequences of failing to meet regulatory requirements.

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