There are plenty of complaints against builders and developers. Non delivery of possession certificate is one of the biggest complaints against builders. Poor quality construction, leakage in ceiling, low quality electric wiring, improper drainage system, and delay in handing over the apartment are some of the other complaints.
They are plenty of ways builders can cheat you. A common unfair practice is insertion of a penalty clause which favors builders. All rules and penalties are for customers and none for builders. A buyer could be charged a penalty of 18% on delayed payments when buying an apartment. The builder clause has a penalty of just 1-2% for the builder in case of late delivery.
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The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Act, 2016, is a boon to buyers of residential apartments. For buyers it gets better and better. Consumer Courts and Consumer Forum’s look into customer grievances even if the real estate purchase is less than a Crore. You enjoy protection under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, even for real estate projects.
Before filing a complaint with consumer court, send a notice to the builder. This may be because of deficiency in service or any unfair practices. You are giving the builder a chance to rectify the error by giving you compensation. If the builder doesn’t care about the notice, approach the consumer court.
Submit a formal complaint under Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The complaint form must have all facts (this is necessary to take action), and must be submitted to the commission.
File the complaint in the district forum where the office of profit (area where the real estate project is located) is under the jurisdiction. Make sure details of the complaint and the faulty party are included. Specify compensation costs and relief amounts sought in the complaint. Sign at the bottom of the complaint.
Pay the fees through a demand draft. If you are claiming less than Rs 20 Lakhs, the plea will be heard by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum.
If you are claiming between Rs 20 Lakhs to a Crore, the State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission will look into the complaint. If you are claiming more than Rs 1 Crore, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) will look into the complaint.
A standard amount of Rs 5,000 is charged.
You can file complaint with RERA if the builder doesn’t give possession of apartment in time. You can withdraw from the project and get back the money paid with interest. If you continue with the project, you would receive interest for every month of delay. If you find the construction of apartment faulty, complain to RERA.
File Civil Suit:
If the builder doesn’t hand over possession by the requisite date, file a complaint for damages at the Civil Court.
Opt for arbitration:
Check for the arbitration clause in the builder-buyer agreement. Go for an out-of-court settlement via arbitration. This is better than going to court. The NCDRC has stated that even if there is an arbitration clause in the builder-buyer agreement, you cannot be forced into arbitration.
Go To Criminal Courts:
File a criminal complaint under the provisions of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) for cheating.
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