Maharashtra RERA directs builder to obtain Occupancy Certificate within 3 months or pay fineThe 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.
Developer drags 59 homebuyers to MahaRERAIn 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.
MahaRera tells builders to put up plans at sitesMaharashtra 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.
Mumbai Grahak Panchayat's survey aims at maximum projects under MahaRERAThe 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.
Mumbai: Man pays for flat without contract
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."
MahaRERA authority can grant relief under MOFA provisions:MREAT
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.