Beware! Your registered flat could be ‘unauthorised’
Authorities are allegedly registering all types of apartments in Delhi NCR without the requisite checks, reports Jeevan Prakash Sharma
When 42-year-old businessman Vikrant Verma (name changed) bought a flat in a group housing society in Ghaziabad and got it registered, he thought all formalities related to the purchase had been completed. However, much to his horror just a few days after the registration, the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) sealed the apartment alleging FAR (floor area ratio) violation.
“The developer had built 50 apartments in excess of the number sanctioned by the GDA for that particular project and sold these to buyers unaware of their legal status. Things would not have gone out of hand had the developer obtained a completion certificate from the GDA — which helps property buyers get details of a property. Strangely enough, even though the developer managed to dispose of these ‘unauthorised’ apartments, the revenue department went ahead and registered them without verifying their legal status,” says Verma.
This is a matter of great concern for people who are investing their lifetime savings in properties.
HT Estates has been informed by consumer activists and RWA officials that once a house is registered, it is presumed to be legally safe and free from all encumbrances, but contrary to popular belief, thousands of property buyers in Delhi, Ghaziabad, Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad have suffered huge financial losses and physical and mental harassment even after paying stamp duty and registering the properties with the authorities. The revenue departments allegedly register such properties without checking the completion certificate of the project. The complete lack of coordination between the revenue departments and the development authorities is enabling many real estate developers and agents to cheat customers.
Legal experts say that a completion certificate is a pre-requisite document for property registration. S K Pal, a Supreme Court lawyer who is fighting many cases for residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) in courts, says, “The two hands of the government — the revenue department and development authorities — can’t go in different and opposite directions. A completion certificate is mandatory for registering any property but, unfortunately, due to pressure to collect more revenue, the revenue departments violate the law.”
When a developer gets his construction plans sanctioned from the development authority, only the latter is in a position to check if the construction has taken place as per the sanctioned plan.
“So once the development authority issues a completion certificate, it means that the construction has taken place according to the sanctioned plan and all the residential units get legal protection,” says Alok Kumar, vice chairman, RWA federation, Ghaziabad, who has filed a PIL in the Allahabad High Court highlighting the issue in Ghaziabad.
Nitin Saxena, a consumer activist, alleges that there have been cases in Gurgaon of even well-known developers constructing dwelling units in areas earmarked for parks and community centres. A developer in Sector 56, Gurgaon, has allegedly built flats on the terrace in violation of sanctioned plans.