Mumbai: MahaRERA directs ace builder to pay interest to homebuyers for delayed possession

Mumbai: In a major relief to the homebuyers, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has directed a builder to pay interest on amount received from them over the delayed possession of flats. In addition, it has ordered to pay additional Rs 20,000 each to complainants as cost of complaints.

The matter is about seven hombuyers who purchased flats in Zircon Building at Mulund, a project by Nirmal Lifestyle Ltd. The homebuyers filed complaint in MahaRERA seeking interest on the amount they paid as a compensation for the delay in possession of the project under Section 18 of RERA Act. The complainants were represented by Godfrey Pimenta.

However, the builder's (respondent) advocate Vaishali Mohite contended that the complainants are not entitled for the claimed rate of interest. The advocate said the project is ready and they have applied for occupancy certificate in June 2019. It further argued, "Memorandum of Understanding filed in July 2018 whereby complainants agreed to receive monthly rent of Rs 30,000 from December 1, 2017 and the respondent (builder) agreed to hand over possession of the flats on/before June 2018. Therefore, they cannot contend for rate of interest." It also asserted that the project delayed because of amendments in Development Control Regulation 1991 which came on January 6, 2012.

The homebuyers argued that when agreements were signed, it was covered by MOFA. And as per section 8(b) of MOFA, even for the genuine reasons, the extension cannot be given to any realty project of six months. The homebuyers booked flats in 2011 and DCR amendments came in 2012 and now its 2021 and still no possession of property was given. The builder failed to handover property in grace period and so they are fit for interest on paid amount.

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