RERA re­lief to home buyer

Di­rects de­vel­oper to re­fund `1 lakh as book­ing amount charged in 2017

The Free Press Journal - - MUMBAI - KARISHMA RAVIN­DRAN

The RERA bench acted on a com­plaint from a home buyer for non-pay­ment of book­ing amount by the de­vel­oper and stated that the buyer is li­able to re­ceive the re­fund as there was no agree­ment signed be­tween both the par­ties

In a ma­jor re­lief to a home buyer, the Ma­ha­rash­tra Real Estate Reg­u­la­tory Au­thor­ity (Ma­haRERA) di­rected a de­vel­oper to re­fund Rs 1 lakh paid which was paid as book­ing amount by the home buyer. The RERA bench acted on a com­plaint from a home buyer for non-pay­ment of book­ing amount by the de­vel­oper and stated that the buyer is li­able to re­ceive the re­fund as there was no agree­ment signed be­tween both the par­ties. The com­plainant, San­jiv Gill had booked a stu­dio flat in ‘UK Irid­ium’ at Kan­di­vali East. He had booked the flat with de­vel­oper ‘Damodar Su­ruchi De­vel­op­ers’ on May 28, 2017 af­ter pay­ing the book­ing amount of Rs 1 Lakh. “I sent an e-mail to the de­vel­oper ask­ing for re­fund of book­ing amount due to my per­sonal rea­sons four months af­ter the book­ing date. The de­vel­oper failed to re­spond to the e-mail and thereby we re­quested the au­thor­ity to di­rect the de­vel­oper to pay the re­fund,” said Gill.

Dur­ing the hear­ing, the ad­vo­cate of the de­vel­oper rep­re­sented by Ashish Venu­gopal dis­puted the claim by stat­ing that the com­plaint made by the home buyer is not main­tain­able as there is no pro­vi­sion under RERA act for re­fund­ing the book­ing amount.

“The com­plainant is not an al­lot­tee ac­cord­ing to the def­i­ni­tion of the Sec 2 (b) of the RERA act and also there is no sale of agree­ment ex­e­cuted by the par­ties. The com­plainant has can­celled the book­ing due to his own per­sonal rea­sons and not due to the de­fault of the de­vel­oper,” said the ad­vo­cate. Thereby, the ad­vo­cate of the de­vel­oper re­quested the au­thor­ity for dis­miss­ing the present com­plaint. The RERA bench ob­served the ri­val sub­mis­sions made by both the par­ties and stated that the de­vel­oper had acted con­trary to the pro­vi­sions of the Sec 3 of the RERA act and ac­cepted the book­ing from the com­plainant with­out prior reg­is­ter­ing the project with Ma­haRERA.

“In the present case, the de­vel­oper reg­is­tered the project with Ma­haRERA on Au­gust 17, 2017 and the com­plainant booked the flat on May 28, 2017. This shows that the ac­tion of book­ing the flat by the de­vel­oper is void ab ini­tio,” or­der stated. The bench also stated that the com­plainant booked the flat in the de­vel­oper’s project af­ter com­mence­ment of the RERA act, 2016. “No per­son shall sell or book the flat, make any pur­chase in any man­ner, any plot, apart­ment or build­ing in any real estate project with­out reg­is­ter­ing the project with RERA,” stated the or­der.

Ac­cord­ing to clause num­ber 18 of the model form of agree­ment pre­scribed in Ma­ha­rash­tra Real Estate, Rules 2017 stated that the en­tire money paid by the al­lot­tees has to be re­turned to them with­out any in­ter­est if the par­ties fail to sign the agree­ment.

Hence, the au­thor­ity di­rected the de­vel­oper to re­fund full book­ing amount of Rs 1 lakh within a pe­riod of 30 days from the date of or­der. The bench also pe­nalised the de­vel­oper to pay penalty of Rs 50,000 for vi­o­lat­ing Sec 3 of the RERA act for sell­ing the flat with­out reg­is­ter­ing it with Ma­haRERA.

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