WAKE UP CALL
True disclosure, a provision under UP Apartment Act 2010, can prevent property frauds but authorities are yet to enforce it
When Indrish Gupta, c o- f ounder of Noida Extension Flat Owners Association, sent a simple query to the Noida Authority under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, asking if the authority had received true disclosure forms from the developers active in Noida, he was told that the apex body did not have any information regarding such a disclosure or declaration.
This only goes to show that despite t he Uttar Pradesh Apartment ( Promotion of Construction, Ownership and Maintenance) Act 2010 being in place for over four years in the state, the Noida Authority has failed to enforce many of its crucial provisions, one of them being the full and true disclosure for m, an important document that can prevent many property disputes between builders and buyers at the initial stage itself.
Section 4 (1) of the Act makes it clear that any developer who intends selling an apartment has to make a full and true disclosure in writing to the intending purchaser and the competent authority regarding his rights, title of the land where the project is located, all encumbrances, plans and specifications, details of all structural, architectural drawings, layout plans and no objection certificates from all concerned authorities etc.
According to legal experts, true disclosure is one provision that can nip all real estate disputes in the bud. According to the Act, when a developer gets all approvals along with the layout plan, the first and foremost thing he has to do is to give a full and true disclosure to both the competent authority and each and every intending purchaser.
“There have been many cases wherein developers have sold flats on plots of land that they never owned. In one case, one of the multiple claimants of a plot, which was under litigation, went ahead and launched a group housing project on the disputed plot without informing homebuyers. If the development authorities in UP implement the
provision of true disclosure, it becomes mandatory for all the developers to come clean on the title and encumbrances of the land. It will save homebuyers from property fraud,” says Prashant Kumar, an advocate in Allahabad High Court, who has been fighting cases relating to the UP Apartment Act.
There have been instances wherein developers have promised green and open spaces as part of common areas to homebuyers of a group housing project but later got the layout plan amended from the
authority keeping homebuyers in the dark.
“If developers give full and true disclosure to authorities as well as homebuyers, it will become difficult for them to deviate from the original plan. In Ghaziabad, many developers have constructed hundreds of illegal flats in group housing projects in violation of the original plan. Homebuyers are shocked after being told that they have been living in an illegal flat for several years,” says Charmswood Village Naharpar