Delay in giving possession of flat: Builder asked to pay Rs 1 lakh for causing mental agony

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA), in an order, has directed a developer to compensate Rs one lakh to a home buyer for causing mental agony due to the failure to hand over possession of flat on time.

Besides this, the MahaRERA adjucating officer Madhav Kulkarni who passed this order on September 18, also allowed the homebuyers to withdraw from the project and entitled them for refund of Rs 99.90 lakh with interest of 10.40 per cent from the date of payment till final realization including cancellation of deed at the cost of builder (promoter).

While passing the order, Kulkarni pointed out that as per clause 12 of the sale agreement, the promoter was to complete the construction as far as possible on or before December 31, 2017. It is clear that the complainants expected to receive possession of the flat within about 23 months since execution of agreement. It is also well settled that the promoter must deliver possession within a period of 2 to 3 years since booking of flat by allottee. However, the builder is taking shelter behind the words in the clause "as far as possible" to justify the delay without much substance, especially after accepting huge amounts from the complainants.

Pallipuram Raman Krishnan, Anand Krishnan, Bhagyalakshmi Krishnan are the three complainants who booked a flat in the project 'Celestial' located in Kurla developed by M/s Su Sharda Edifice LLP. The complainants have alleged that they booked the flat admeasuring 56.76 sq.mtrs at Rs 1,13,40,000. Agreement was registered on February 5, 2015 and the builder agreed to deliver possession by December 31, 2017 under clause 12 of the agreement. The complainants paid in all Rs 89,07,700 towards the price and Rs 5.97 lakh towards stamp duty and registration charges and Rs 4,74,183 towards taxes and Rs 12,000 in cash. The aggregate amount paid is Rs 99,90,883. While registering the project with MahaRERA, builder gave date for delivery of possession as December 31, 2023. He unilaterality changed the project completion deadline.

So, the homebuyer appealed for withdrawal from the project and refund of the amount with interest and compensation as unable to deliver possession of flat as per agreement.

The builder contended that the alleged complaint is false. Under the agreement clause 12, promoter was to complete the construction as far as possible. No date for possession is fixed in agreed terms. The project suffered delay on account of changes in government policies regarding development plans.

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