Delayed Possession Under RERA Act
The real estate sector in India has been plagued by malaise for a long time. The delay in possession of the property has been the biggest cause of distress for the consumers despite almost 90% of payments being made for their homes to the builders. The distress caused by such delays, which can sometimes go up to 6-7 years, is unimaginable. In view of such difficulties faced by home-buyers and to regulate the real estate sector, the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Act’) came into force, To provide an area-specific platform.
The Act established the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) as an adjudicatory mechanism for speedy dispute redressal and also established the Appellate Tribunal to hear appeals from decisions, directions, or orders of RERA having jurisdiction over all real estate matters. Complaints under RERA can be filed for any claim amount except where the possession certificate has already been given to the promoter in respect of the real estate project.
Delayed Possession RERA
Section 18 of RERA is applicable when the promoter delays possession to give the option to the consumer:
Terminate the Agreement and seek a refund, in which case the Promoter shall be liable to refund the entire amount paid by the Subscriber along with interest; Or continue with the real estate project and claim compensation from the builder for every month of delay till possession of the property.
The rate of interest payable by the promoter and the format of a such complaint are prescribed under the RERA rules as they differ from state to state.
If the promoter delays the possession of the real estate project, a complaint can be filed against him under section 31 of the Act, which states that any aggrieved person may file a complaint with the regulatory authority for any contravention of the said Act. can enter. It can be filed by the home-buyer as well as the association of allottees.
Enforcement of order:
If the builder fails to implement the order passed by the RERA authority in favor of the home buyer, the home buyer can file an application for execution of the RERA order in front of the builder with the same RERA authority.
If the builder has failed to perform his duties and there is a delay in construction and possession of the property, the following reliefs can be claimed-
Ask for the amount required to buy alternative accommodation in the same area at the current market price.
- Ask for the amount required to buy alternative accommodation in the same area at the current market price.
- Claim the money given to the builder along with interest on the amount paid/given.
- Due to the delay in construction, a claim for compensation for the money you are going to spend as rent on an alternate accommodation.
- Damages can be claimed for loss of opportunity, as the same money could have been invested elsewhere.
As per section 71 of the Act, the claim for compensation filed by the consumer under section 31 of the Act has to be argued before the Adjudicating Officer of RERA, who is in the rank of District Judge, within a period of 60 days after the hearing authorized to take decisions. Laws of natural justice. Timely inquiries and orders are a boon for consumers providing a quick remedy.
Other than this, The Adjudicating Officer has the power to summon any person acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case to give evidence or to produce any document which may be useful or relevant to the subject matter of the inquiry.
The Adjudicating Officer may direct payment of compensation or interest, as the case may be, calculated in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
Section 72 of the Act lays down that the Adjudicating Officer should take into account the following factors while fixing the quantum of compensation or interest:-
- The amount of disproportionate profit or unfair advantage as a result of the default;
- The total loss resulting from the default;
- The repetitive nature of the default;
- Other factors are considered necessary for the furtherance of justice.
Any person aggrieved by any direction or decision or order made by the Authority or the Adjudicating Officer under this Act may prefer an appeal to the Appellate Tribunal having jurisdiction over the matter.
However, the appeal of a promoter cannot be entertained without payment of at least thirty percent of the penalty, or such higher percent as may be prescribed by the Appellate Tribunal, or the total amount to be paid to the allottee including interest and compensation without the promoter.
The appeal shall lie within a period of 60 days from the date on which a copy of the direction or order or judgment passed by the Authority or Adjudicating Officer is received by the aggrieved party. The Tribunal may consider any appeal after the expiry of sixty days if it is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not filing it within that period.
The Appellate Tribunal is empowered by the Act to pass interim orders and is mandated to dispose of the appeal within a period of sixty days from the date of receipt of the appeal. However, the period may be extended for reasons to be recorded in writing.
RERA and Consumer Forum
Before RERA, disputes between builders and home buyers dragged on for years before consumer courts. RERA has clear advantages over consumer forums which can be understood in terms of ease of filing complaints with RERA, which has jurisdiction by way of property status, unlike consumer courts which have a pecuniary limitation. Further, RERA has the power to investigate a case and issue notices on its own motion, as well as the power to imprison the erring promoter which is clearly not the case in consumer courts.
To conclude, RERA has brought time disposal of real estate matters to the doorstep of the consumer. Despite the myriad challenges faced by the law, it offers speedy remedial regulation and adjudication to benefit home-buyers.