Consumer Connect: 'Person Buying Flat Through Second Sale Can Also Sue Developer', Says Expert

Consumer Connect: 'Person Buying Flat Through Second Sale Can Also Sue Developer', Says Expert

The questions are answered by Adv. Shirish V. Deshpande, Chairman – Mumbai Grahak Panchayat.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Monday, January 29, 2024, 01:33 PM IST
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I purchased a 2BHK flat in December 2022 in Dahisar in a second sale in a project registered with MahaRERA. I purchased it soon after the developer gave possession to the original owner. I noticed heavy external leakages in my flat in August 2023 and complained about it to the developer, requesting him to remove the leakages. However, he refused on the grounds that I had not booked the flat with him and that he had already completed the project. Should the developer not be responsible for the defects for at least initial two to three years? 

Suhas Kulkarni, Dahisar 

The definition of 'allottee' under RERA is quite interesting. It says that "allottee means a person to whom the plot, apartment or building has been allotted, sold and includes the person who subsequently acquires the said allotment through sale, transfer….." Thus, under RERA, you are an 'allottee'. Although you have subsequently acquired The allotment from the original buyer, you enjoy all rights of the original buyer or the allottee. 

Further, section 14 (3) of RERA states that in case of any structural or workmanship defects, you should bring it to the notice of the developer within five years from the date of handing over possession, and it shall be the duty of the developer/promoter to rectify the same within 30 days at his cost. In case he refuses, the allottee is entitled to receive appropriate compensation. You can get these repairs done on your own and then file a complaint before MahaRERA for claiming compensation. 

I have got a notice from MahaRERA about the complaint from the developer about my outstanding dues payable along with interest, failing which my booking would be cancelled. I have so far paid ₹1.1 crore to the developer but due to my financial difficulties an amount of ₹35 lakh is still outstanding. Can the developer file a complaint against the homebuyer in MahaRERA? This complaint is now referred to MahaRERA conciliation. What is this conciliation all about?

Subroto Roychaudhary, Mulund

The RERA Act provides duties and obligations of not only the developers but also of the homebuyers. Section 19 deals with rights and duties of the allottees. Section 19 (6) specifically states that the allottee is responsible for making necessary payments in the manner and within the time as specified in the agreement for sale. Section 19(7) further states that the allottee shall be liable to pay interest at the prescribed rate for any delay in such payments as mentioned in Section 19(6). As regards to your question, the answer is 'yes'. Section 31 (1) of RERA categorically states that any aggrieved person may file a complaint with RERA for any violation or contravention of the provisions of RERA against any promoter, allottee or estate agent. 

In your case, your default in payment has violated sections 19(6) and (7) which gives your developer a right to file a complaint against you. If your complaint is referred to the conciliation bench, I would advise you to take benefit of this mechanism. This conciliation is under section 32 (g) of RERA. This is an alternative dispute resolution mechanism in addition to the traditional dispute redressal mechanism. The dispute before the bench is handled by experienced and trained conciliators, including one from the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat. 

(Advocate Shirish V Deshpande is a chairman of Mumbai Grahak Panchayat. Address your queries to him on shirish50@yahoo.com)

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