Delayed possession of a flat has cost a building developer dear, who had to return five per cent of the total money paid to him by home buyers. Customers complained to the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority that the developer failed to hand over possession of the apartments at the Hubtown Sunmist project, and must hence be directed to pay interest as per provisions of the RERA Act.
Complainants — Kushal Kadam, Samir Kadam, Sudha Saokar and Vijay Saokar — said they purchased houses in the under-construction project. Counsel for the developer, however, said the project was delayed for reasons beyond their control. The developer also claimed to have applied for occupation certificate in June 2017, but received it only in June 2018. The homebuyers were then asked to take possession, but they allegedly refused to do so.
Moreover, he also claimed that in 2015 and 2016, he offered a refund of the amounts paid to him by the complainants, since completion was likely to be delayed. However, he claimed, the complainants declined the offer and chose to wait.
Over the course of the hearings, the complainants also claimed they were allowed to take possession of the houses only after making payment of the balance amount. They made the payment and took possession of their respective apartments, but the developer didn’t give them the club house.
While passing the order, Gautam Chaterjee, MahaRERA chairman, said that since the promoter failed to give possession in accordance with the agreement for sale, RERA provisions don’t apply in this case. “On the basis of the arguments made by counsel for the developer, a six-month period (July to December 2017) shall be allowed to be condoned for the period of obtaining an OC, but the complainant cannot be made to suffer thereafter,” the order read.
“In view of the above facts, the developer should set off five per cent of the consideration price amount in lieu of the interest payable by the developer for delay beyond December 2017 and up to the period of obtaining the OC. Since the complainants have already made full payments, the developer is directed to refund five per cent. The developer shall not demand charges for facilities like club house that have not been provided at the time of handing over possession and until such time the facilities are provided,” it added.