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Mumbai: Homebuyers can join hands to end deadlock on stuck projects
DNA  |  July 24, 2019

Varun Singh

In order to resolve the issue of many pending real estate projects getting stuck in limbo due to builders' non commitment, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has asked home buyers to form an association and act under section 7 and 8 of RERA.


Doing so will allow the association of allottees to carry out the remaining development work, if the builder leaves it halfway. Housing experts say if homebuyers given suitable help, then many stuck projects would see the light of the day.


Recently, a few home buyers approached MahaRERA against builder Shree Balaji Builders and Developers. They complained that they had booked a flat in the developers Kalyan-based project via an agreement in 2014. The date of possession was long gone, but they were not handed over possession. They sought refund of the money along with interest that they had paid to the developer.


During the hearing of the order which was passed on July 18, no one from the developers side was present even after serving notice. While hearing the matter, MahaRERA Chairman Gautam Chatterjee, stated that, during a previous hearing regarding the same project, the counsel for the developer had explained that the construction work of the project could not be completed because of reason beyond the developers control. He spoke about issues between the partners and also had mentioned that the developer is yet to obtain approvals from the planning authority, specifically the commencement certificate for the above floors.


Chatterjee explained to the home buyers that since the project is at standstill and the developer has filed time and again to obtain approvals. The allottees should explore the possibility of invoking section 7/8 of the Act to complete the project. "At this stage the only way forward would be to protect the rights of the allottees and enable them to form an association and decide on the way ahead," said Chatterjee in his order.


The developer was also informed by MahaRERA that he should hand over the list of the allottees to the complainants so as they can take an informed decision. Also the developer was stopped from creating any new home buyer of an allottee in the project till further orders.


Chatterjee, finally advised the allottees to take an informed decision pertaining to the project and advised them to proceed under section 7/8 of the Act as per MahaRERA's order on revocation of the Project. The matter was disposed off thereafter.


Prakash Rohira, an advocate associated with real estate says, "This is a good decision, if home buyers are given suitable advice on other aspects like how to go ahead with development and also about collecting and utilizing of funds, then many stuck projects may get completed and home buyers will heave a sigh of relief. Builders abstaining from their contractual duties need to know that their days of taking members and buyers for a ride are over."


"Builders came in 1980 and before that there were associations of home buyers or members who would appoint contractor and construct buildings. This is a good move, and this is the right time for association of allottees to come ahead especially when an act like RERA is facilitating such home buyers. There are many projects that are stuck because developers have abandoned them. In many cases if you see a developer mostly takes 20 per cent money and the rest of the money is with home buyers and this money can be collected. Financial institutions should be roped in and then the project can be completed. Apart from this, NGOs should also come forward and educate people about development and the aspects involved in construction," said Adv. Sanjay Chaturvedi, a housing expert.