Legal Remedies for Home Buyers

Introduction
Legal Remedies

  • The home buyers/owners in India are going through hard times, as developers are defaulting on their services and buyers are only getting false promises from them. The buyers need lawful regulators to seek justice.
  • The Consumer Protection Act,1986, Section 2(1)(c) has come to the rescue of home buyers or owners, they can register a complaint against the developer who fails to meet the requirements. The builder’s lack of service is a punishable offense as per the law.

Legal Options for the Protection of Home Buyers

  • For Legal Remedies, The home buyers are eligible to be refunded if the builder delays the possession of the house/flat for more than a year. The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has given this ruling in the favor of the home buyers/owners.
  • The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) can be approached by a buyer, depending upon the value of their property.  
  • The home buyers can file a complaint about redressal with the District Commission if the price of their property is worth Rs. 20 Lakhs.
  • The home buyers can file a complaint with the State Commission if the price of their property is between Rs. 20 Lakhs to Rs. 1 Cr.
  • The home buyers can approach the National Commission to file a complaint if the worth of their property is more than Rs. 1 Cr.
  • To protect the rights of the buyers, the Domestic Building Contract Act, of 1995 was introduced. The project construction and the pre-approved plan of the property are covered in this Act; to see whether the construction has started and completed without time-lapse as assured by the developer. The quality of the construction is also monitored under this Act.

The RERA Act for the Protection of Home Buyers

  • Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Act, 2016 provides much-needed relief to the buyers by making the procedure of filing a complaint much easier if the project is not completed by the date and year specified to the buyer.
  • The home buyers must have a thorough check of the builder, before signing to invest in a project.
  • The builder should have a good reputation and should be aware of the latest updates and changes in the rules of the Real Estate Regulatorily Authority.
  • RERA asks the builder to pay the full amount of money they took from the buyer or pay interest for the property if the possession is overdue for absolutely no appropriate reason.
  • If there is a delay in possession, the builder has to pay a fine and compensate with penalties such as the cancellation of their registration and imprisonment as per the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Act, 2016.
  • The Real Estate Regulatory Authority is a quasi-judicial authority. RERA hopes to close the cases within seven days. To file a case under RERA, the complainant should see whether their project is a registered one or not. And for more details, they should go through the website of the RERA Act.
  • In the recent case of BEGUR OMR Homes Pvt Ltd and Annabel Builders & Developers Pvt Ltd on 14th August 2020, the Supreme Court of India stated that the builders are required to pay annual interest, for the value of each flat of the home buyers as there was a delay in possession. Penalties were also imposed on the builders.

The Importance of Completion Certificate

  • The Municipal Authority generates a Completion Certificate to the builder once the building is constructed.
  • Completion Certificate is a legal document that is compulsory and essential to be obtained by the builder, once the property is ready for possession.
  •  The details of the building such as; the date of construction, date of possession with the safety and regulatory guidelines as per the Building Act, 1984 are attested to the Completion Certificate.
  • The Completion Certificate also contains the mandatory details of the builder or the organization, the place and land on which the building is being constructed, the structural plan of the building including height, space, distance from a nearby building, and road. Every little detail shall be covered up according to the criteria required by the municipal authority.
  • A Completion Certificate is necessary for a builder, to receive electricity and water supply in the building as per the Apartment Ownership Act of that particular state in India.
  • Violation of rules and regulations by the building authority should not take place. Therefore, a Completion Certificate is certified to maintain peace and order in society, where the development of the project is taking place.
  • A copy of the Completion certificate from the builder is a must to be obtained by the home/ flat buyers or owners.
  • The Completion Certificate is awarded only after the inspection and evaluation of the building. It is conducted by the local or solicitous authorities. The building plan is approved by the authorities once the safety regulations of the building are met.
  • After receiving the completion certificate, the builders can present a copy of the document to the authorities to obtain water and electricity supply and other facilities and services in the building/ property.

The Need for Provisional Certificate

  • In case, the builder gives possession of a flat to a buyer before the completion of the project, then a Provisional Certificate is issued to the builder. A provisional certificate is a temporary certificate and it would get expired after six months from execution.
  • Provisional certificate is not the final certificate, by the end of the given period the builder has to straightaway apply for the Completion Certificate.
  • Once the construction of the project comes to an end, a Final Completion Certificate is given to the builder.

Conclusion

The builder is required to follow certain rules and regulations during the construction period. They should abide by the given requirements and criteria. A few of them being; Floor Area relations (FAR), structural plan, the distance of the project from the nearby buildings, properties, and road, quantity of floors, and the quality of the project under construction.

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