Issues with a builder
Your property-related legal queries answered by S.C. RAGHURAM, Partner, RANK Associates, a Chennai-based law firm
I own a flat at Perambur and I have fully settled our payment dues (including maintenance charges in advance for 3 years) to the builder. He has given me possession of the flat (February 2017) sans the amenities and other common facilities as promised at the time of booking. I received a letter from the company in March 2017 stating that the EB meter has been provided for individual flats in January 2017 and therefore the maintenance period commenced then.
After booking the flat, we had entered into an agreement with the builder on the delivery schedule. He collected the monthly payment in advance in the form of postdated cheques, but the construction was delayed by over three years. In the agreement there is a clause to compensate buyers atI6 per sq.ft., per month, for a delay in completion. This has not been compensated as well. Whom do Iapproach to solve the matter?
It is presumed that the approach of the builder is the same to all the buyers and any unreasonable demand by the builder would affect the owners of the other flats in the project as well.
At the outset, it is necessary to find out whether the project is treated as an ongoing project and comes under the purview of RERA or is treated as a completed project outside the scope of the Act.
It is advisable to form an association of owners to deal with all the issues faced by the buyers collectively. Appoint a legal counsel for the association and take up the matters with the builder as per his/her advice. If, as per the agreement, the builder has to pay rental compensation for the delayed period, the same can be enforced. In the event of non compliance, you can file a complaint in the consumer court or the authority constituted under RERA as the case may be.
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