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.