‘‘The agent promised me lakh and van­ished’

HT Estates - - Front Page -

Ihave in­vested in var­i­ous projects and thought I had ad­e­quate ex­pe­ri­ence in mak­ing good deals... but there was one in­stance when I got cheated. I have been work­ing as a se­nior con­sul­tant in Tata Con­sul­tancy Ser­vices for the past 20 years. I have been posted in other coun­tries sev­eral times in these many years with the com­pany.

I live in a DDA flat in Ro­hini with my fam­ily. I buy real es­tate projects purely for the pur­pose of in­vest­ment. Ear­lier I used to in­vest in stocks and mu­tual funds but they don’t give good re­turns. I have in­vested in many projects along the Dwarka Ex­press­way such as ATS Ko­coon, An­sals Estella and Chin­tal Par­adiso and have earned hand­some re­turns from a few of them.

So with my ex­pe­ri­ence, I was def­i­nitely un­pre­pared for what hap­pened to me. Last year, I bought a 3BHK-plus study flat in Sec­tor 91 in Gur­gaon. It was the pe­riod of Navra­tra and as it hap­pens ev­ery year, the de­vel­oper and real es­tate agents were try­ing to dole out of­fers and free­bies to at­tract buy­ers.

A very renowned agent, whose ad­ver­tise­ments ap­pear quite of­ten in na­tional news­pa­pers, promised to give me a dis­count of R1 lakh if I bought a flat from him. He told me that he would pay me the amount six months af­ter I booked the flat. Though ini­tially he of­fered me a writ­ten as­sur­ance, I re­fused think­ing about the good rep­u­ta­tion he en­joyed in real es­tate cir­cles. I paid around R3 lakh as book­ing amount.

Three months later when I con­tacted the com­pany, I came to know that the rep­re­sen­ta­tive had left and joined some other com­pany. When I told them that he had promised me to pay me back R1 lakh as a fes­tive of­fer, the com­pany said it knew noth­ing about it.

One year has gone by but I haven't re­ceived any­thing as a fes­tive dis­count. Since I don’t have any doc­u­men­tary proof of this of­fer, I can’t even go to court to get it en­forced. I am not the only one who have been cheated like this. A lot of my friends have gone through sim­i­lar prob­lems. I have come to know that even other prom­i­nent bro­ker firms make such prom­ises and back out at the last minute. My ad­vice to buy­ers is that they should never trust any real es­tate agent when it comes to buy­ing a prop­erty. If you have agreed to some­thing, get a writ­ten as­sur­ance at least to en­able you to take le­gal ac­tion against the cul­prits if they don’t ful­fil the prom­ise.

—As told to Jee­van Prakash Sharma

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