Builder told to pay `1L for fail­ing to re­fund full ad­vance

Sunday Express - - TAMIL NADU -

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.

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