The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has ordered that a developer hand over possession of a flat to a Malad resident, give accrued rent of Rs35,500 per month since April 2016 and a penalty of Rs10 per sq ft from the same period for not giving a flat on time, along with maintenance, electricity, water charges, property tax etc up to the date of possession. The order was passed on a complaint by Edward Fernandes against Arkade Developers Pvt Ltd.
Fernandes's old building named 'Bhagirath' in Goregaon was under redevelopment and the association of apartment owners of Bhagirath Condominium had entered into a revised agreement with Arkade in 2012. Fernandes used to live with his wife and two daughters in the building. His wife passed away in 2015 and his daughters gave up their to the 710 sq ft flat in his favour.
In pursuance of the revised agreement, all the flat owners of Bhagirath were to hand over possession of their flats to Arkade by April 2014, after which the redeveloped flat was to be handed over to them in two years, with an extension of six months. The complainant was allotted a flat area of 923 sq ft post redevelopment. However, he didn't get possession of the flat and wasn't paid rent after April 2016. In fact, a cheque was issued in the wrong name.
Arkade contented before the commission that the opposite party delayed on the agreement, did not give a clear title, and sought more than what was offered.
During the hearing, the commission observed that one of the clauses of the agreement provides that on obtaining a full occupation certificate, the developer shall give 30 days' notice to all the apartment owners to take possession. According to the opposite party, construction up to the 18th floor was completed, a part occupation certificate was obtained and possession of the newly constructed building was handed over to the owners with the part occupation certificate. This statement by the opposite party was not accepted as the agreement's clause also contemplated possession after obtaining a full occupation certificate.
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