The Occupancy Certificate is proof that the building was constructed without breaking any rules and building codes. In its absence, residents have to pay double the charges for basic amenities such as water and face hurdles if the structure goes for redevelopment .
The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has asked a builder to obtain the occupancy certificate (OC) for his building within three months, or pay an interest amount to a resident of the building who filed the complaint — a significant order for a city where more than 10,000 buildings do not have the certificates.
MahaRERA, the state’s real estate regulator, was hearing a complaint filed by flat owner Amol Sadashiv Jadhav, against Balkrishna Constructions for not getting an OC for the building named ‘Rohini Niwas’ at Vikhroli. Jadhav said the builder had given him possession of the at in November 23, 2012, but without the OC. Six years later, the builder is yet to obtain the certificate. Jadhav pointed out how the poor water connection, non-existent fire-fighting systems and lifts were causing him mental trauma. The builder blamed the delay in getting the certificate on a policy change under the Development Control Regulations (DCR), but said he intenteded to obtain it within the next six months. He said he would give the reasidents a permanent water connection after that.
The MahaRERA, however, said the builder was liable to obtain an OC within a stipulated time , directing the builder to obtain the certificate within three months from the date of the order.
This order, and the interest penalty if the builder fails to get the certificate on time, will only apply to the complainant, Jadhav and not all the residents of the building. But, if other residents in the buildings also approach MahaRERA, they will be entitled to similar relief. Further, residents of other buildings with a similar issue can cite this order to plead their cases.
In an interesting case, a builder dragged 59 of his homebuyers to the MahaRERA and asked the authority to direct them to either execute the registered agreement. In this case, it is just the opposite and the reason behind this is the fear of being penalised. As per RERA, a developer after accepting the booking amount of 10 per cent and more has to register an agreement or will be penalised by MahaRERA. The complaint was filed by Twinstar Infrastructure, a Pune-based promoter, constructing a building named Vastu Imperial.During the hearing, the complainant argued that the respondents were investors and in the year 2013, they booked 2/3 bhk flats in the project through an ex-partner of the complainant. He further stated that they had all paid 25 to 30 per cent of the booking amount. The respondents also executed two MoUs with the complainant and agreed for slab wise payment. However, because of non-payment of outstanding dues by respondents, the project got stuck and the construction work stopped. He further alleged that since 2013, the respondents were neither coming forward for registration of the agreement nor cancelled their bookings.
Disputing the claim of the complainant, the respondents argued that per the MoU the complainant was supposed to hand over the possession of the flats by 2016. However, the complainant has failed to give them possession on time. They also argued that they had lost faith in the promoter and hence refused to execute the agreement.
During the hearing, Dr Vijay Satbir Singh, the adjudicating officer, held that both the parties were at fault. He ordered the complainant to execute an agreement for sale with all the 59 respondents. While disposing of the complaint, he asked the respondents to make payments to the developer.
Adv Shirish Deshpande, Chairman, Mumbai Grahak Panchayat, said, that this is an interesting case, where the developer is running after the home buyers for registering the agreement. "There is a provision in RERA to impose a penalty on the developer if he doesn't execute the agreement. RERA also allows a developer to file a complaint against allottees. Once the agreement is registered, the developer will get the further payments.
Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRera) has directed developers to ensure sanctioned plans, along with specifications approved by the competent authority, are displayed at their work or construction sites. A circular issued last week threatened strict action for failure to comply. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had made it mandatory for real estate firms to display approved building plans at project sites.
"While developers are uploading plans and details on the site, they are not doing so at construction sites. This will be mandatory now," said MahaRera secretary Vasant Prabhu. He said citizens could contact MahaRERA and file a complaint or send an email. MahaRera has allowed consumers to file complaints against unregistered projects on its site after paying Rs5,000. This came after a July 31 order of Bombay high court that makes it mandatory for MahaRera to hear consumer complaints, irrespective of registration status of the project.
After the SC made it mandatory for firms to display approved building plans at project sites, MahaRera issued the circular stating that promoters should ensure sanctioned plans, layout plans, along with specifications approved by the competent authority, are prominently displayed at the site. "Failure to comply with provisions of Rera Act shall be viewed seriously and action will be taken," the circular said. Prabhu said the penalty would be up to 5% of the project cost.
Developers must submit sanctioned plans on MahaRera's site so that anyone can check details of the project.
The survey also intends to track the unregistered developers and share the information with the regulatory authority for further action. Nearly 17,000 real estate projects are registered with MahaRERA.
The consumer body also wants to reach out to peer groups across the state to ensure registration of maximum housing projects.
MGP is conducting an online survey of home buyers across the state to collect information of the ongoing projects still not registered with MahaRERA. The survey will collect information about the developers who have collected more than 10% of flat cost, but have not signed agreements with home buyers.
Once the survey is complete, the MGP plans to take up the issue with MahaRERA with evidence. “We have initiated the survey to ensure that the laws under RERA not only remain in books, but are implemented.There are two issues — unregistered projects and developers who do not enter into agreements with homebuyers even after collecting 10% of the project cost. Both these issues are punishable with penalty up to 5-10% of project costs, respectively.The survey entails around 20 questions, wherein the respondents will have to answer in ‘yes’ or ‘no’. It has so far garnered responses from around 1,000 aggrieved homebuyers.
Recently, MahaRERA was credited by housing department minister Hardeep Singh Puri for having a 90% redressal system of cases in the last six months. MahaRERA authorities said the conciliation forum were able to resolve the cases at the entry point itself.The forum includes benches of two persons each. In every bench, one representative is from a reputed developer body and the other is from the consumer forum.The moment they receive complaints from either party, they seek their consent and try to settle the issues.
In a case pertaining to property possession, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority stated that the RERA Act does not include any express provision with regards to refund of the amount paid by the homebuyer, and hence forwarded the case — because it involves a large amount of payment made by the complainant — to investigative authorities.
A homebuyer had approached the MahaRERA stating that he had paid Rs 50 lakh in cash to the builder for the flat, the possession and papers of which he hadn't received. The developer denied the allegations. Ganesh Gujeti had approached the housing regulatory authority against Ismail Amdule, and requested the authority for either a refund, or the possession of the flat along with the document of agreement for the same. Gujeti had booked a flat in the Muktanand CHS Ltd project in Kurla.Notably, both the parties did not have a sale agreement.MahaRERA asked the complainant to file an affidavit on the allegation of cash payment. Gujeti followed suit and also filed payment receipts. The developer also made his submission.On the issue of possession of the flat, MahaRERA said that as there was no registered agreement for sale nor an allotment letter, granting possession of the flat doesn't stand. Speaking on the issue of refund, Dr Vijay Satbir Singh, member, MahaRERA, who was hearing the case, said there is no provision in the Act under which the complaint can be entertained, and therefore it is not maintainable.
However, Singh, while disposing the case also said, "The MahaRERA has noticed that huge cash transactions have been made in the case as is evident from the affidavit submitted by the complainant along with the receipts duly signed by the respondents, and the said issue is required to be investigated through the concerned authorities. Hence, the MahaRERA directs the Secretary, MahaRERA to forward the affidavit filed by the complainant to the concerned investigation agency for necessary action."
APL Yashomangal Developers had challenged the January 18 MahaRERA order directing the company to refund with interest to home buyer Yashwant Sawant.While rejecting the appeal of a developer against an order to refund a home buyer, the Maharashtra Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (MREAT) has ruled that provisions of other laws — such as Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act (MOFA), which are consistent with the RERA— can be applied by the state RERA authority while granting relief.
The developer APL Yashomangal Developers had challenged the January 18 MahaRERA order directing the company to refund with interest to home buyer Yashwant Sawant. The authorities had ordered to return an amount of Rs 22.39 lakh, which was 92 per cent of the total consideration he paid for booking a flat in Alfa Greenfield project in Wadgaon Maval near Pune. The developer had promised possession in December 2013, but had not delivered till January 2018.
Advocate Vivek Salunkhe, appearing for the developer, argued that MahaRERA adjudicating officer Bhalchandra Kapadnis had erred in applying Section 8 of MOFA when Sawant was seeking relief under Section 18 of RERA. He argued that the project construction was stalled due to Environment Clearances from June 2013 till March 1, 2017, and this should have gone in favour of the developer.
Section 88 of RERA conceives the provisions of the Act to be in addition to, not in derogation of, the provisions of any other law for the time being in force. He further added similarly, Section 71 which deals with adjudication of compensation mentions that if any complaint is pending before Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum or the National Consumer Redressal Commission, it could be brought before the RERA Authority.
Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has directed SSV Developers to refund Rs 65 lakh, with interest, to a home buyer, and ruled that the developer cannot cite his dispute with a real estate brokerage firm to deny his liability to refund.
According to his complaint, home buyer Sharif Mohammed Dalvi had booked two flats 1704 and 1705 in Lareina Residency project, the sale component of a Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) scheme in Tagore Nagar in Vikhroli, in October and December 2017. He had done the booking through a real estate brokerage firm, Sai Estate Consultants Chembur Pvt Ltd.
While the agreement for sale for 1704 was executed by the developer, he had not executed the agreement for 1705 which was a resale flat. On realising that the developer had not cancelled the agreement done with the previous owner of 1705, he decided to withdraw from the project and sought a refund under Section 12 of Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act.During the hearings, SSV Developers blamed the Sai Estate Consultants for allegedly selling flat 1705 to Dalvi despite their inventory clearly showing that the flat was booked earlier by another buyer Kalpesh Shah. He also alleged that despite instructions to accept booking of the flat at a rate of Rs 1,700 per sq ft and an additional cost of Rs 3 lakh, the brokerage firm had accepted the booking at therate of Rs 1,500 per sq ft and agreed to sell it free of terrace cost, GST, stamp duty and registration charges.
The developer also alleged that the brokerage firm was collecting Rs 14 lakh as brokerage and marketing charges regarding this transaction. He said he had filed a complaint with MahaRERA against Sai Estate Consultants, but was told by the Authority to file a criminal case instead. The developer also contended that he is not able to execute an agreement for sale for 1705 as the Maharashtra Real Estate Appellate Tribunal in another case had restrained him from creating third party rights in the SRA scheme.Sai Estate Consultants said that they had marketed the flats in the project as per the inventory of flats to be sold given by the developers. They said Dalvi had paid the money to the developer and the developer was now trying to escape his liability.Holding that Dalvi was entitled to a refund, MahaRERA Member Bhalchandra Kapadnis said he did not find it necessary to go into the dispute between SSV Developers and Sai Estate Consultants as the Authority had already refused to give a ruling on it, and advised the developer to pursue it at another forum.Ruling that the Dalvi cannot be made to suffer for the dispute between the developer and his brokerage firm, Kapadnis observed that SSV Developers cannot escape from their liability of refunding Dalvi with interest, and ruled that the developer was at liberty to take steps against the brokerage firm to indemnify themselves under the law, if they so desired. Kapadnis directed the developer to refund Rs 65 lakh with 10.5 interest from October 2017, and also imposed Rs 20,000 towards the cost of the complaint.
In an interesting development, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has ordered that any complaint by home buyers with regards to incomplete work after taking possession of their residential apartments will not be entertained. This is expected to impact lakhs of home buyers given the prevailing practice of taking possession of apartments even prior to the developer receiving the Occupancy Certificate for the project.
MahaRERA, while disposing off a complaint by members of Pune’s Balaji Infinity Society against a builder Anuj Developer, has held that their plea cannot be entertained as home buyers have already taken possession of their apartments. “Since the complainants have already taken possession of their respective apartments, the complaint pertaining to incomplete works in their apartment cannot be entertained,” MahaRERA chairperson Gautam Chatterjee said in the order.
For the first time, the Maharashtra Real Estate Appellate Tribunal has recommended action against a senior architect under the RERA Act for misleading the BMC to get an occupation certificate (OC) for an ‘incomplete’ building at Borivli. Architect ManojDubal, former president of Practicing Engineers Architects & Town Planners Association (PEATA), allegedly submitted a certificate to the BMC stating the building work of Gundecha Trillium near Thakur Village has been completed as per the BMC-approved plan in November 2017. Surprisingly, based on his certificate, the BMC issued an OC.
The tribunal found his claims were false and a lot of work remained. It subsequently recommended action. Dubal said, “I was not given an opportunity to explain my stance before the order was passed.” Architect association members reacted strongly, stating four BMC officials inspected the building after Dubal submitted his certificate and they had given their approval to it along with the chief fire officer after which the BMC issued OC. Senior architect Shirish Sukhatme of PEATA said, “BMC officials as well as BMC approved consultant have given approval. Despite this, the Appellate Tribunal passed the order against the architect without providing him an opportunity to explain his case.”
Soon, Real estate projects in Maharashtra will be mapped on the Geographical Information System (GIS). As the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) completes one year, it is in the process of developing a new feature on its website where all registered projects will be mapped onto the system. While CM Devendra Fadnavis had last year announced that real estate projects would be mapped on GIS, the project is finally taking off now. Once operational, the feature will allow prospective buyers to look at projects available in their area of interest, the details of the projects as well as social amenities in the vicinity.
Since the RERA had come into force, the Act has made it mandatory for new and ongoing projects to register with the regulatory body, leading to the creation of a database of projects. Currently, around 15,900 projects are registered on the MahaRERA website. While the database has helped streamline the real estate industry, the new GIS-enabled platform is expected to further organize the sector. “We are using technology to make it more seamless for home buyers to find the right home of their choice. The projects will appear as pins on the map and buyers can filter through the options easily,” said Gautam Chatterjee, Chairperson of MahaRERA.
Of the 16,300 projects registered with MahaRERA, over 13,000 are ongoing projects. Also, in this one year, 1,800 projects have been completed. On its first anniversary, MahaRERA has assured developers and home buyers to further reduce registration and dispute-redressal time to expedite the processes.
Addressing the gathering of developers, bankers and consumer representatives, Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, lauded the efforts of MahaRERA and its chief in putting in place a robust system and ensuring compliance through different methods. He also asked the developer community to accept the new reality.The Minister, a former diplomat, said there is a ‘crying need for attention’ because of the way this sector has been functioning over the last 70 years.RERA would ensure accountability towards allot tees and their interests will be protected. It will ensure fair play, infuse transparency and reduce frauds. It aims to increase professionalism and pan-India standardization, along with establishing symmetry of information between the promoter and the allot tees.
In a first, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has issued recovery warrants against 12 real estate developers. These warrants have been issued by the authority after the complainant home buyers approached MahaRERA on several occasions asking for execution of earlier orders against these builders directing refund of money.In the first instance of these warrants, the refund order was passed against Kambar Construction in November 2017. The amount is around Rs 37 lakh and an interest of 10.15% thereon.
Under the warrant, the district collector of Thane will attach the property and if the developer still does not pay the money then auction process will be initiated.
With the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) in force, approximately 10-15 %of real estate brokers seem to have quit the sector.
The reasons — only registered brokers can sell MahaRERA registered projects; massive slowdown in the realty market; and overriding sentiments that there are no provisions in MahaRERA to protect therights of the brokers even though they are made liable for penal action.
According to the Confederation of Real Estate Brokers Association of India (CREBAI), MahaRERA has brought into place a form of regulation of the brokers dealing with real estate. We are seeing many of the unscrupulous brokers quitting the sector ever since MahaRERA has come to force.
MahaRERA has mandated that any broker who wants to sell apartments in a registered project needsto be registered with the real estate authority. Any builder who registers his project has to disclose the list of his brokers and they in turn need to be registered with MahaRERA.
The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) has been in the news for all the right reasons. In what is being looked at as a landmark judgment, the body has ordered JVPD Properties Private Limited to refund Rs 7.10 crore along with 15% interest to 21 aggrieved home-buyers. While many awards to affected home-buyers have been passed before, this order is unique as it potentially blocks a major loophole in the real estate regulations. This case pertains to 21 individuals who bought homes with Bhagtani (Director with JVPD Developer) in Mumbai’s suburb, Powai, from 2013-2015.
While the payment schedule for projects under development is clearly laid down, in this case, the 21 complainants had paid up almost 50% of the total amount from 2013 onwards on false assurances.In 2017, the developer sent out a letter to all their clients stating that they were unable to receive approvals for the projects and therefore they should either collect their money or have it transferred to another development.The group of aggrieved home-buyers made several trips to the developer’s offices, but it led to nothing concrete.One of the arguments put forth by the developers was that the home-buyers were all investors in the project and therefore RERA would have no jurisdiction in the matter.The non-signing of the agreement for sale also posed a challenge.The developer also kept saying that while the approvals had not come through, the intent of the developer was clear and they wanted to build the property, as assured to the home-buyers.
The RERA, in this case, also penalised the developer by levying a fine of Rs 30,000 against them towards costs. Furthermore, the court also put a charge on the developer’s properties until such time that he repaid all the 21 home-buyers, with interest.
One of the reasons that this order is significant is because of its view on allotment letters. Until now, even the Apex Court looked at allotment letters as a sub-standard document, but it changes substantially in favour of home-buyers with this order. The real estate sector is one of the most complicated sectors in the world. To expect a home-buyer to be on top of things is not possible. What the RERA has done is to make the process simple; every developer has to register his project online mandatorily and with that, display the details of all approvals, title certificates, layout plans, and mortgages details, for a potential buyer to verify.
The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has asked realty developer ShethInfraworld to waive off the balance 5% consideration to be recovered from a homebuyer against delay in delivery of an apartment. Even after paying 95% of the consideration a homebuyer is yet to receive the possession of her flat in the developer’s project Sheth Midori in Borivali, Mumbai.
The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Maha-RERA), for the first time, imposed fines on seven developers for advertising their housing projects without mentioning the MahaRERA website and registration numbers as per norms. On a complaint filed by the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat, a fine of Rs 2 lakh each was imposed on – Goodtimes, Rikki Ronie, Ashar Realtors, Puraniks, Lashkaria Housing Sandeep Landge and Kabra& Associates. Kabra& Associates were fined an additional penalty of Rs 10 lakh for falsely advertising that the registration process for its Juhu Chandan project was on when the project was not registered with MahaRERA.
“Advertising unregistered real estate projects, and advertising them along with registered projects is a violation of section 3 of RERA. Similarly, not displaying MahaRERA online portal address as well as only mentioning MahaRERA registered without mentioning the registration number are both violations,” said Shirish Deshpande, president, Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP) He said MGP activists monitored advertisements in newspapers, websites of promoters, and also collected promotional material displayed at property exhibitions. “Our volunteers found several unregistered projects being openly advertised, marketed and sold in brazen violation of Section 3 of RERA. We have submitted a list of 31 such ads to MahaRERA chairperson today,” he said.
Since its inception, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has penalised developers of 1,716 projects, with amounts ranging between Rs 50,000 and Rs 10 lakh, for delay in registering with the authority. This has helped it to earn over Rs 18 crore revenue only through fines. As per the RERA Act, it's compulsory to register ongoing projects with the authority within 90 days, failing to which it restricts the sale of ready houses.
The authority came into existence on May 1 last year and has registered over 13,000 projects across the state. There are over 10,000 brokers registered with it, as mandated by the RERA Act. The regular fee charged to developers is Rs 10 per sqm, with Rs 10 lakh being the maximum amount charged as registration fee. Brokers, on the other hand, have to shell out Rs10,000 for registering with RERA. While those delaying in registration were charged between Rs 50,000 and Rs 10 lakh as penalty, the authority can also fine developers 10% of the total project cost.
One of the four squabbling promoters takes over Tanvi Eminence project in Mira Road; to offer possession by December 31, 2019.
In a landmark order , the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has succeeded in negotiating a settlement between the developer and home buyers of Tanvi Eminence housing project in Mira Road, stalled since 2013 because of a squabble between the four promoters. The project now has a completion deadline of end-2019.
This is the first time anywhere in India that a RERA regulatory authority has played an active role in putting a housing project, stalled four years before the RERA Act came into effect, back on track, giving relief to hapless home buyers.
MahaRERA chairperson Gautam Chatterjee took the initiative and personally held deliberations over the last three months to make sure that one of the four bickering promoters took up the responsibility of funding, construction and completion of Phases I and II of the project, which began in 2009, but has been stalled since 2013.
Mumbai Mirror had first reported in October 2017 that over 500 home buyers were waiting for their homes in Tanvi Eminence after differences emerged between the four project promoters, who included two diamond merchants, in Kashimira Ceramic Products LLP (KCPL).
In November, a group of 181 home buyers formed a welfare association and collectively approached MahaRERA for relief. In December, under Chatterjee’s supervision, diamond merchant Dahyabhai Sutaria agreed to take charge of the project, and the other promoters agreed to transfer 33 per cent of their share to Sutaria and exit KCPL. However, talks between the promoters broke down again. Chatterjee again returned them to the negotiating table, and hammered out asolution with the consent of all stakeholders.
According to the settlement, Sutaria will hold 99 per cent ownership of KCPL, with new partner Dhaval Darji holding 1per cent, so that the same Limited Liability Partnership firm can execute the project. They will complete five wings of the 18-storey buildings in Phase I, and three buildings of 11-storeys in Phase II, and deliver possession to 181 home buyers by December 31, 2019, with a further grace period of three months.
According to the consent terms signed between the two promoters and the 181-members of the Tanvi Eminence Owners Welfare Association, the cost of the flats allotted to home buyers will not be increased, except 4.5 per cent GST on flat cost. The promoters will charge Rs four lakh towards parking for those not allotted parking, and the allotment rights for car parking will remain exclusively with KCPL, even after a co-operative housing society is formed by the home buyers. The promoters will also execute agreements of sale with those buyers who don’t have one within 90 days.
In return, the home buyers will withdraw all complaints and FIRs filed against KCPL with the police and any other authorities. “The promoters will be entitled to purchase the Transfer of Development Rights as per their requirement to complete the project. If they get additional Floor Space Index from the Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation, they will be free to construct additional floors in Phase II and sell those flats at current market prices,” said Rajesh Mhatre, secretary of the Tanvi Eminence Owners Welfare Association.
Mumbai: A complainant who approached MahaRERA (Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority) with a complaint pertaining to unreasonable possession date, got a relief after the bench ordered the developer to prepone the possession date of the project by four years. The RERA bench ordered for preponement of the possession date of the project from 2024 to 2020, failing which the developer would be liable to pay the interest rate till the actual date of possession.
The complainant ShreeramChaurasia approached the RERA bench with the complaint against developer NHK Developers LLP. Chaurasia had purchased an apartment in the project named ‘Vastukalp Project’ situated in Bhandup (west) and signed an agreement dated August 10, 2014.
Chaurasia alleged that developer promised with the possession date of the said apartment within 2.5 years from the date of the agreement.The revised date put out by the developer was December 31, 2014 in the MahaRERA registration.The complainant demanded that the entire amount be paid to them by the developer with interest and compensation be refunded as per the provisions of section 18 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016
The representative of the respondent, Bhavesh D Vora in his defense said no date of possession was mentioned in the said agreement. Vora also said that a fixed date of possession was never promised to the complainant due to risks involved in the redevelopment project. The RERA bench explained to the complainant that no relief for delay under section 18 cannot be granted to them as no specific date of possession was mentioned in the agreement registered between the parties. Chaurasia agreed to reconsider his decision regarding continuing in the project if a reasonable possession date is ordered.
The RERA bench said that revised possession date of December 2024 put out by the developer is unreasonable time period for completion of the project as the revised date has to be commensurate with the extend of balance development. This has been mentioned in the rule 4 of Maharashtra Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Registration of Real Estate Projects, Registration of ReaI state Agents, Rates of Interest and Disclosures on Website Rules,2017.
The bench ordered that the respondent must hand over the possession date of the said apartment with Occupancy Certificate to the complainant before the period ending December 31, 2020, failing which the respondent would be liable to pay interest to the complainant from January 1, 2021 till actual date of possession. The said interest shall be at the rate as prescribed under RERA rules.
For the first time ever, a conciliation panel under the state real estate authority MahaRera resolved six disputes between flat buyers and builders—before formal complaints could be filed before the authority. The warring parties are given a chance to sit across the table and resolve the issue, if possible, instead of fighting it out by hiring lawyers before the housing authority.
Four complaints in Mumbai and two other disputes in Pune were resolved out of the 16 cases heard by eight different benches of the forum in the two cities. Some of the developers involved included L&T Realty, Acme Housing, Tridhatu Group, Ekta Group and Lavasa. Most cases were complaints about delayed possession, buyers seeking cancellation and asking for a refund.
Regulator’s order comes after builder blames civic body for project delays. In a first, Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA), which has the powers of a civil court, summoned officials from Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) in January to depose and submit evidence to decide complaints of delayed possession in connection with Green World project at Airoli on Thane-Belapur Road.
Officials from the Town Planning department of NMMC, which is the planningauthority, were called to verify if the delay in getting environment clearanceshappened at their office.
The developer argued that the delay was due to factors beyond their control and pointed out that the primary reason was the delay by the NMMC and the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SIEAA) in granting environmental clearances.
After hearing the arguments from both sides, and documents submitted, Singh felt it necessary to summon officers of Town Planning department of NMMC. The Assistant Director of Town Planning submitted a letter on January 11 confirming that the plot owners had submitted application for No Objection Certificate for CRZ-II to BMC on August 17, 2011, and the clearances were given on June 11, 2013 after a gap of one year and eight months. On the basis of this NOC, the SEIAA granted environmental clearance on July 30, 2013.
First ruling on third-party rights and duties in transfer of mortgaged assets. In the first such ruling on third-party rights in housing projects, MahaRERA ruled that Xander Finance, a non-banking finance company (NBFC), which gave a loan to Bhagtanis of JVPD Properties Ltd against mortgaged assets of his two housing projects in Powai, will have to protect the interests of the home buyers as the third party.
The ruling came on a complaint filed by TriveshPooniwala and 20 other buyers from Bhagtani Serenity. After DiipeshBhagtani’s arrest in January,Xander Finance had secured a favourable order from the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Esplanade under the SARFAESI Act for taking possession of theassets mortgaged to the firm to recover its dues of Rs 13.50 crore. On January 15, the magistrate had appointed a Court Commissioner for takingpossession of the secured assets within a period of 60 days.
During the hearings, the home buyers contended that Section 15 of RERA and MahaRERA circular No. 11/2017 protects the interests of flat buyers whenthird party rights are created by the promoter and defines the third party as the new promoter also transferring the promoter’s obligations.
Xander had challenged the jurisdiction of MahaRERA to pass any restraining orders. After hearing the arguments of both parties, Kapadnis observed that Section 15 (1) of RERA mandates that the onus is on the promoter to seek consent oftwo-thirds of allottees and MahaRERA’s approval in case of a mortgage, and that Bhagtanis had not done so. Part 3 of the circular requires financialinstitution to do the same within seven days of the transfer. The new promoter acquiring assets will acquire the assets withall the legal liabilities of the promote.MahaRERA order protects the buyers who have parted with their life savings tobuy flats. The order clarifies that when the secured creditor will acquire the land in its name or transfers it to a third party , the newowner will have to protect the interest of existing home buyers and take all the liabilities of the old promoter.
MahaRera has held that builders are also entitled to interest for delayed payment in proceedings filed by buyers seeking interest for delay in possession. RERAheld both liable to pay interest for delay in possession and payment, even though the buyer had filed the case.
The authority directed the builder, HDIL, to pay interest for delay in giving possession of a free sale Rs 1 crore flat in Kurla and the buyer for delay in making the entire payment.
Observing that the law provides that the rate of interest payable to allottee and promoter shall be equal.
B D Kapadnis, Rera member who heard a dispute between Shrikant Pandit and Sudha Pandit against Rahul Anklesaria, HDIL, over delay in possession of a flat in Kurla, dealt essentially with the legal question whether a builder is entitled to interest from a buyer in a complaint filed by the buyer who wishes to continue with the project despite delay in delivery. The buyer had fileda complaint seeking interest for delay in possession. The answer, said the Rera member, was that the builder was entitled too.
The authority directed the builder to pay pay the Pandits simple interest on Rs 51 lakh, which had been received from the buyers, from March 1, 2017, till they hand over the flat. The buyers were directed to pay the builder Rs 48 lakh as unpaid dues, with interest from August 9, 2016.
RERA has made it compulsory for developers to get title insurance for all projects, opening a new segment of over Rs 10,000 crore for insurance companies.
Insurance companies have so far not covered land transactions and they say the reason for missing cover is unreliable land records, which can be challenged.
After the implementation of RERA, it is mandatory for developers to provide written affidavit to the buyer stating that the legal title to the land contains legitimate documents of ownership. This policy covers buyers of property against loss and settlement costs, litigation funds arising from problems in the land title discovered after purchase. HDFC Ergo and SBI General are working on launching title insurance policy.
Sum assured for title insurance will be the value of the property. Large developers, financiers would like to buy title insurance.
Mostly, it will cover issues arising out of forgery and fraud or claims arising out of documents not created properly. Interestingly, if property value appreciates, the policy will increase the limit of indemnity.
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