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Maharashtra: Soon, flat buyers can remove builders from delayed projects

The Indian Express logo The Indian Express 18-03-2019 neeraj tiwari

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In a move aimed at empowering home buyers, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) is in the final stages of laying down a Standard operating procedure (SOP) under which flat purchasers in a private residential project will have the power to remove the builder from the project for failing to complete the project on time.

At present, there are at least 20 cases before the MahaRERA in which home buyers have complained against the builder for non-completion of the project by the promised date.

Faced with a slew of such complaints, the authority decided to frame guidelines under section 7 of the RERA Act under which a society, with the consent of 51 per cent or more of its members, can divest the builder from the project. A circular effecting the new guidelines will be issued soon, MahaRERA secretary Vasant Prabhu said. The guidelines, however, will apply to projects that are free of litigation before any other fora.

“When a homebuyer purchases a flat in any private apartment, then after receiving 10 percent of the flat value from the buyer, the builder has to register the flat sale agreement. As per RERA regulations, if more than half the flats are sold in any project, a society or an association of the flat owners has to be formed. Once the association or society is formed and majority of the members conclude that the builder won’t be able to complete the project on time, they can file a complaint in the name of the society and the builder can be removed from the project,” Prabhu told The Indian Express.

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The builder will get 30 days notice before being pulled from the project.

“According to the RERA guidelines, the money used in under-construction projects is from homebuyers and lenders (Banks or financial institutions). Under Section 8 of the RERA Act, if the builder is pulled out of the project, the first opportunity of completing the project will be accorded to the society formed by the flat purchasers,” Prabhu said.

Housing expert and lawyer Sanjay Chaturvedi said that the move will help homebuyers assert their rights. He also said that it will put builders in check and ensure projects are completed on time. He also said that in the city and suburbs more than a thousand private projects are stranded on account of the builders inability to complete them.

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Ajay Kulkarni , a homebuyer who had booked a flat in the project at Mulund that saw multiple extensions in possession date said, “If RERA comes with a circular in which 51% consent of homebuyers can remove the builder from a delayed project, it will be a big move to keep builders in check, which will benefit homebuyers to get their homes.” Rajkumar Sharma, ALMANAC (Advanced Locality Management and Networking Action Committee) coordinator for M – East & West wards Chembur while praising the move had a note of caution, ” If a builder is removed by the society, any other builder will be skeptical in investigating in a project for fear of being targeted.”

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