Most homebuyers remain in a dilemma; to file a case against the developer or not? Most people don’t want to get involved in a long drawn legal battle. Some are even scared of going against a builder. But many examples of customers obtaining favourable decisions upon approaching consumer courts exist, and the power of these forums should not be underestimated.
A delay of 6-12 months is quite common, but anything beyond that is a cause for concern, and may cause financial loss to you. Once the due date for possession is over, you should visit the site and take stock of the situation by trying to assess whether the period of delay will be negligible or considerable. If you feel that delay will be considerable, it would be pointless to wait further, and you should immediately file a case.
You can get your money back, and interest for the delayed period of your possession.
1. Claim refund for the amount paid
You can ask the builder to refund the amount that you have at the time of booking and subsequent installments paid after the booking.
2. Claim interest on the payment made till date
You are entitled to receive interest on the sum paid so far to the developer. In a plethora of cases, like that of Unitech and DLF, the court has awarded interest at the rate of 18% to the aggrieved homebuyers. You need to file a case before a consumer court and claim not only the amount paid so far to the developer but also the interest that is due till the amount is finally disbursed.
3. Take immediate legal action through Consumer court
This is the most common forum to bring an action against the builder for deficiency in services under the agreement between the homebuyer and the builder. Homebuyer is covered under the definition of “consumer” as defined in Consumer Protection Act, 1986 only if the house is purchased for his own use and not for any commercial purpose.. This is a cost effective manner as the court fee charges is very nominal.Also the consumer courts are quite favourable to homebuyers, and provide fast resolution in such cases.
Consult a good lawyer to file your case, and ensure you file ini the right Consumet Court (State Consumer Commisssion for claim value of less than 1 crore; National Commission Disputes Redressal Commission for higher value claims)
You can file a consumer complaint either where the registered/ branch office of the builder is located or where the flat you purchased from the builder is situated.
4. File a case before Regulatory Forums
You can also file a complaint before Real Estate Regulatory Authority under section 31 of the Real Estate(Regulation and Development) Act, 2016. This authority is specifically constituted for speedy and effective adjudication of buyer- builder disputes. Under RERA if the builder fails to give possession as per the terms of the agreement for sale, then the buyer if he wishes to withdraw from the project, he can withdraw and is entitled to receive the amount paid so far and along with the interest.
If the homebuyer wishes to continue with the project, the he is entitle to receive interest for every month of delay.
Take the right legal action against possession delay before it’s too late to save your investment.