In Today’s developing world, builder plays a very important role in the development of any country. India is becoming modernized at a very high pace thus the demand for commercial and housing building is also increasing which is fulfilled by the builders. It has been observed that builders often indulge fail to deliver to the expectations of their customers. Providing late possession, using low-quality material for construction, delay in construction and false promises are some among many other concerns of the customers. Sometimes the builders take more than the required time and this is the major phenomenon which leads to the conflict between developers and customers. This extra time taken is also often justified because of multiple chains and markets involved in the construction process. The conflict mostly occurs when there is dissatisfaction with or discrepancy in the initial agreement that both the parties enter into.
POINTS OF CLARIFICATION
Before entering into a contract, the builder is expected to make clear all the terms and conditions for the buyer. These terms and conditions should be fair and reasonable. Before buying any of the property a customer must go through the original papers of the property and check whether the property is marketable or not. Customer must also verify the following things:-
- He must verify whether the builder has obtained non-agricultural permission for the land from the collector.
- He must verify the development agreement between the owner of the land and the builder.
- He must ask for the copy of the order under the Urban Land Ceiling Act. He must also check the building plans sanctioned by the competent authority and the commencement certificate granted by Corporation.
- He must also ask for the building completion certificate (if available)
RIGHTS OF THE BUYER
A buyer who suffered any losses due to the unfair practice of the builder can pursue the below-mentioned rights –
- The buyer has a right to file a civil suit in Civil Court.
- The buyer has right to file a complaint against the Consumer Forum.
- The buyer has right to file a complaint before the Competition Commission of India.
- The buyer can also approach to the Regulatory Forums.
- The buyer can also approach to Criminal Court in case any criminal matter indulged against the builder.
According to the International Consumer Rights Protection Council, a property buyer can file a case against the builder on the following grounds:
- Non-execution of relevant sale agreement despite having received a substantial advance amount.
- Non-issuance of copies of all relevant documents viz.; development agreement, power of attorney, sanctioned plan (by concerned Regional Authorities), the specification of construction materials/design as per sanctioned plan and any other relevant documents.
- Charged higher than the agreed amount.
- No issuance of proper receipt(s) against the paid amount.
- Poor quality construction.
- Delivering of a house not complying to agreed specifications.
- No free parking space within the premises.
- Did not form a co-operative housing society and handed over to members
- Non-provision of water storage tank.
- Non-provision of proper ventilation and light.
- Delayed possession beyond the stipulated time limit.
- Not obtaining a completion certificate from the concerned registered (by the authorities) architect.
- Non-issuance of Occupancy Certificate at the time of delivery of respective flats/house to its occupants.
- Non-declaration of expenses against which the developer collected money.
HOW TO FILE A CASE
- First of all, send a well-drafted notice to the builder stating your reasons for discontent.
- Await for a response for the stipulated time from the builder.
- On no-response, prepare a petition stating facts and evidence with the help of expert legal advice.
- Approach the Consumer Court and file your petition against the builder.
DEFENSE TO BUILDERS
Many judgments, over the years, have been passed in the favor of the builders. It has been observed that the customer often acts unreasonably and makes frivolous claims upon delayed construction or possession. They also, very frequently, oversee the terms and conditions of the agreement they entered into with the builder. The customer may also use the victim card when he/she himself is unable to pay the installments. In the development of such a situation, the builder has the right to fight against baseless claims made by the customer.