MahaRERA orders builder to refund homebuyer with interest for delay in flat possession

Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has provided major relief to a homebuyer who invested in a project in 2013 and allegedly did not get the possession of the flat till date as agreed by the builder in December 2016 while executing the agreement. The MahaRERA adjudicating officer Madhav Kulkarni, in the order passed on September 18, 2020, allowed the aggrieved homebuyer to withdraw from the project. Moreover, the homebuyer is entitled to get the refund with an interest of 10.40 per cent per annum and the cancellation of deed at the cost of the builder. The adjudicating officer has also clearly ordered that all the amount has to be paid within 30 days from the date of passing this order.

Advocate Sulaiman Bhimani, who represented the complainant, said, "MahaRERA has issued the order in the interest of the homebuyer, who could not get the possession of the flat despite waiting for seven years and paying 80 per cent of the consideration amount. Besides, it will be the highest refund amount any homebuyer would be receiving following the order of MahaRERA till date."

What is the matter about:

The complainant, named Mayank Chemiplast Pvt Ltd, had booked a flat in a project of Lokhandwala Kataria Construction Private Limited for a consideration of Rs 5,49,89,000 and 80 per cent of the money (Rs 5,17,07,805) was paid. However, the homebuyer alleged that the possession of the flat was delayed.

Meanwhile, the builder contended that the complaint should not be admitted. Of the 90 floors in the project, 66 floors have already been completed and work is in progress. The delay occurred in obtaining permissions and due to policy paralysis by statutory authorities. Besides, a stay was ordered by the Bombay High Court, halting all construction activities. Moreover, as per GR 2013, a standing committee was constituted to clear high rise building proposals around Arthur Road Jail. The builder was entitled for fungible floor space index (FSI). MOAF approval came in December, 2016, and the CC from 51 floors to 77 floors came in March, 2017.

MahaRERA, in its findings stated, the builder was well known of all the circumstances pleaded while executing the agreement. If the builder was seeking more FSI for constructing more floors to increase his profits, he is doing it for his own sake. Almost seven years passed and the builder failed to give possession of the flat. Therefore, the complainant is entitled to refund of the amount paid with interest under rule 18 of Maharashtra.

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