Haryana RERA directs builder to hand over possession of flats to home buyers and pay interest on delay in possession

Haryana Real Estate Regulatory Authority (power)consists of a bench. Justice Ashok Sangwan (Member)has directed the builder to hand over the possession of the flat to the Homebuyer and to pay interest for delay in possession. Possession of the flat, initially contractually scheduled for transfer in 2012, has been subject to significant delays by the builder.

Background facts

The home buyers (complainants) were allotted a flat unit in the project of the builder (respondent). Edge Towers Sector 37D, Gurugram vide an allotment letter dated 17.08.2010, for a total sale consideration of Rs.43,56,850. Further, an Apartment Buyers Agreement (ABA) was executed between the home buyers and the builder on 22.07.2010. As per clause 15(a) of the ABA, the builder was to provide possession of the apartment by 31.08.2012.

At the time of execution of the contract, the home buyers objected to the unilateral clauses of the contract. However, the builder dismissed the apprehensions of the homebuyers saying that the terms and conditions in the agreement are standard clauses and therefore cannot be changed.

Despite substantial payments, home buyers were denied site visits and received unsatisfactory responses about construction progress and occupancy. The builder failed to fulfill the promised services as per the contracts and advertisements. Aggrieved by the delay, the home buyers filed a complaint before the Haryana RERA for delayed possession with interest at the prescribed rate from the date of application/payment till recovery of the amount under Sections 18 and 19(4) of the Act. Ask for charges.

Dispute by builder

The builder claimed that the homebuyers have already filed a complaint before the NCDRC, New Delhi regarding the property involved in the present complaint. Therefore, the rule of Subsidiary Court applies to the present case, and hence the complaint is not maintainable before this authority.

The builder adds that home buyers are investors and not consumers. Therefore, they are not entitled to the protection of the Act and they are not entitled to file a complaint before the authority under Section 31.

Observed and directed by authority

The authority observed that a careful perusal of all the terms and conditions of the apartment buyer's agreement reveals that the home buyers are buyers and have paid a total price of Rs. 40,40,323 for purchase of apartment in promoter's project.

The Authority referred to Section 2(d) of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, which reads as follows:

(d)AllotmentIn relation to a real estate project, means the person to whom the plot, apartment or building, as the case may be, is allotted, sold (whether as freehold or leasehold) or otherwise transferred by the promoter; gone, and that includes that person. who subsequently acquires the said allotment by sale, transfer or otherwise but does not include a person to whom such plot, apartment or building, as the case may be, has been let on rent.

The Authority further observed that the Homebuyer's complaint is maintainable, as the Homebuyer has filed an application for withdrawal of the complaint before the NCDRC, and the said application was allowed by the NCDRC, New Delhi vide an order dated 07.02.2024.

Therefore, the Authority directed the Builder to pay interest at the rate of 10.85% per annum against the amount paid to the home buyers for every month of delay from the due date of possession, which was 31.08.2012 as per Clause 15. Further, the authority directed the builder to hand over the possession of the flat to the home buyer as per the ABA.

Case – Kapil Podar and Renuka Podar vs. M/s Ramaprastha Promoters and Developers Pvt. along with Shashikant Singh vs. M/s Ramprastha Promoters & Developers Pvt

Reference – Complaint Nos. and 3162 of 2023 and 4059 of 2023

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