Builder told to pay `1L for failing to refund full advance
A consumer forum has ordered a city-based builder to pay a compensation of `1 lakh to a resident of Villivakkam for not refunding the entire advance amount that the resident had paid to book a flat. The forum also directed the builder to return the remaining refund amount of `52,250 with an interest of 12 percent since 2014 till the date of realization.
In 2013, G Mathivanan paid `8 lakh as advance to Strawberry Housing Projects Ltd to finalise the purchase of a flat in SBR Lakeview project at Villivakkam. As the builders did not hand over relevant documents for legal verification, Mathivanan could not consult his lawyer or approach any bank for a loan. Hence, he sent a cancellation letter to the builders and requested for a refund of the advance.
In his petition to the forum, he said he got back only `7, 47,750 after `52,250 was deducted as cancellation charges and demand draft commission.
In their defence, the builder said that as per clause ‘E’ in the payment agreement, cancellation charges of ` 50,000 were stated if any booking was cancelled. “The complainant negotiated about the flat cost with our marketing executive after the advance was paid. As we didn’t agree to this, he immediately cancelled the deal,” said the builder.
The North Chennai District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum dismissed the builder’s claim and said that as legal documents and building plan were not given to the complainant on time, he was forced to cancel the booking. The complainant had to also sign an incomplete application in which the total cost of the flat was not mentioned, observed the forum.