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The voice of Real Estate consumers’ against builders!

The buyers have been facing too many troubles due to the deficiency in services, particularly in Real Estate. Just for an example the Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum which looks after the rural areas of Nagpur district had received 432 complainants where maximum were against builders. Complaints were against builders where flat and plot schemes have flourished  breaching  all norms. What should a buyer do in such a case? A buyer spends his hard earned money in Real Estate and such reputation of Real Estate builders not only makes selling tough for reputed builders, but also discourages other buyers from investing in Real Estate. To solve such problems and overcome this fear, here are some legal remedies that can be helpful in such scenarios:

Regulatory Forums: RERA will be one of the top regulatory authorities that can be approached by every buyer to complain against the non-compliance of statutory issues by the builders. Every case where the builders make false promises of delivery and do not comply with their statutory obligations, a complaint can be filed under RERA.  RERA has been the most recent action taken RERA and with its passage, the buyers can expect to get timely ownership. The best part is that the Act makes it mandatory for the real estate companies to get registered with the regulator with this delivery timeline, complete project details showcased, etc. Moreover, for builders the clearances are mandatory before beginning a project and each project should have a separate bank account. So the money of the buyer is safe and secure. While the effectiveness of this Act is yet to be discovered, but everyone has high hopes from the same.

Consumer Forum: The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 allows home buyers to file a complaint. The range is anytime within two years from the date of dispute with the builder. Consumer Forum can be approached for any deficit in services on the part of builder as per the agreement between the home buyer and the builder. Consumer forum is only applicable for houses /property bought for own use and not for any commercial purpose. Though the Indian Consumer Forum has been known to delay in the timely disposal of cases, but it is a cost effective measure. The charges are very nominal.

Competition Commission of India: Whenever a home buyer feels builder has used his dominant position and is imposing arbitrary terms and conditions, Competition Commission of India can be approached. It investigated the practices of the builder and impose stringent penalties on the offenders. In fact, a lot of builders have been imposed with heavy fines wherever they have taken undue advantage of their position. With Real Estate becoming more and more organized, any disadvantage to the homebuyer is being taken care of. It is a cost effective remedy available to the home buyer as even the fee for filing the complaint is nominal.

Civil Courts: Civil Remedy is one of the most common remedy used by an individual when a builder breaches the Agreement. Going with the process, homebuyers can approach a Civil Court and file a suit refund of the amount along with the interest. This is under the Code of Civil Procedure. The civil court is approachable whenever the builder commits any unfair trade practice. This goes for the execution of all the duties and responsibilities as per the Agreement between the two parties. It is majorly done for the recovery of the amount already paid by the buyer to the builder. While the major plus point in this is that the home buyer can get immediate provisional relief, but the negatives come in the court fee that have to be paid by the buyer to even initiate the proceeding. Though the fee is charged as per the state Acts, the legal fee varies from lawyer to lawyer and also on the complexity of the matter.

Criminal Courts: In case the builder does not respond to the grievance like poor construction quality, etc. the buyer has the right to approach the Criminal Court. The process of trial in Criminal Courts is quite fast, but it needs proper evidences and witnesses.

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