Don’t let real estate developers spoil your home dream

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By Amit Shanbaug,ET Bureau

Satish Menon, 68, and his wife Vijaya, 64, have been waiting for nearly 12 years to move into their new home. In 1999, they had booked a 2-BHK house in Navi Mumbai, measuring about 800 sq feet. Even though the building is almost ready, they haven’t got possession of the house due to some legal issues.”The property cost was about Rs 7 lakh then. Since we had some savings, we paid most of the money to the developer,” says Menon. “Since the builder had not taken the requisite permission from the authorities, the building did not get any electricity or water connection. Then someone filed a claim suit and now, even though the structure is ready, the matter is in court and the developer has not yet given us possession to the property.”
According to his wife, Vijaya, the developer has been assuring them that they would get the possession soon. He is, however, not willing to refund their money. “We won’t be able to afford a 2-BHK at the prevailing rate. Some others who had booked a flat in the building are contemplating a legal case against the builder, but another case will only delay the possession,” she says.Do your homeworkThe story of the Menons is not an isolated case. Very often, home buyers are staring at a bleak future, with no light at the end of tunnel: legal issues, monetary problems… the reasons may vary. But many buyers, especially in upcoming projects, are often taken for a ride by developers, and only a lengthy legal battle ensures a refund of their money.

Home-buyers should first do some homework before signing a contract with a property developer, says Ravi Goenka, an advocate with Mumbai-based Goenka Law Associates. “It will be very difficult to get back your money once paid, as a lot will depend on the conditions mentioned in the agreement between you and the builder,” he says.

A customer, after zeroing in on a property, has to pay a booking amount to block the property, and also sign an ‘agreement for sale’ with the builder, points out Goenka.

“Customers are liable for refunds on the cancellation of allotment, but many builders include a specific clause pertaining to refunds in the agreement, which may or may not favour a full refund. The percentage of amount deducted could vary from 5-10% to 20-25%, depending on the developer and prevailing market conditions,” he says.

Source: Economic Times: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/real-estate/realty-trends/dont-let-real-estate-developers-spoil-your-home-dream/articleshow/9489040.cms