Home buyers find order barring them from exiting project confusing – ET RealEstate

MUMBAI: Home buyers find order barring them from exiting project confusing

Home buyers like IT engineer Nikhil Sable, who initiated a recovery process to get their money when the developer failed to honour MahaRERA’s refund order for three years, are confused after the regulator allowed the same developer to continue with 51 per cent consent of other home buyers and asked buyers not to withdraw from the project in the larger interest of completion of the project.

Sable, 32, and his wife Pradnya had invested in Falco Woodshire project in 2013, but when the project was not completed by 2017, they approached MahaRERA, and swiftly got an order asking the developer to refund their money – Rs 36.86 lakh with interest. But their joy was short-lived.

The developer, Kambar Constructions, challenged the order, and the appellate tribunal also upheld the refund order. When the developer still did not honour the refund order, Sables filed for non-execution of the order and MahaRERA issued revenue recovery warrants in May 2018, directing the Collector to recover the money.

The order went to the Kalyan tehsildar who sealed the building and set up an auction. The first auction was cancelled and a second auction was organised.

“In the second auction, five flats were put up for sale and only one got sold. We received a sum of Rs 11.11 lakh, which we paid towards the home loan interest. Our total refund amount is nearly Rs 62 lakh, and Rs 50 lakh of our dues are still pending. But the latest order asking home buyers not to withdraw from the project has got us confused. What happens to all those of us who got refund orders, went through a lot of frustration over the last three years to get the warrant recovery process going?

The process is still on,” said Nikhil Sable speaking to Mirror.

MahaRERA had indicated that the developer could be allowed to continue and complete the project if majority of the home buyers of the project or 51per cent of them gave their consent.

Falco Buyers Welfare Association, which represents buyers from five buildings including Falco Woodshire, had prayed that the same developer, Kambar Constructions, be allowed to continue as the developer with consent from majority of 51per cent buyers of the project.

“The allottees, who want to withdraw from the project or are seeking interest for delay at this stage, may consider continuing in the project till the completion of the project and then decide on their continuation or withdrawal,” said MahaRERA chairperson Gautam Chatterjee in his November 5 order.

He said in the High Court order upholding the validity of RERA, the court had observed that the object and purpose of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 is to complete the development work within the stipulated time frame.
Home buyers find order barring them from exiting project confusing“Accordingly, keeping the interest of project completion and the larger interest of the association of allottees in mind, any withdrawal from the stressed project or claim on interest on delay, at this stage, will adversely affect the project completion and will not be in the larger interest of the allottees in the project,” he said.

Developer Rohit Chugani, appearing personally, had submitted that a large number of allottees in project Woodshire have been approaching him to start the project work and complete it, as has been done in respect of other towers which have got MahaRERA Order under section 7 read with section 7(3) of the RERA Act, 2016. He added that they are in discussion with India Infoline Housing Finance Ltd (IIFL), which had provided construction finance and are hopeful of settling the outstanding dues of IIFL.



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MahaRERA directs Shapoorji Pallonji’s subsidiary to restart ‘US Open’ project – ET RealEstate

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MUMBAI: An ambitiously-branded residential project, the US Open Apartments in Mulund West, is set to recommence after a long wait of ten years.

The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA), in an interim order, has directed Ricardo Constructions Pvt ltd, a subsidiary of the Shapoorji Pallonji group, to transparently share information with nearly 300 homebuyers and initiate the formation of a society within 30 days. Most buyers have already paid over 80 per cent for their flats.

The project was floated in 2010 with much fanfare by Nirmal Lifestyle, admittedly in association with the United States Tennis Association. Homebuyers were promised ‘US Open’ branded luxury residences, training academies and clubs. The developer later claimed it had become the first Indian brand to get on-court branding during US Open 2012. All the five proposed buildings in the U-shaped project were thematically named Ace, Matchpoint, Grand Slam, Gamepoint and Centre Court.

Nirmal promised possession from 2015 but the construction of Ace and Matchpoint towers, each with 43 floors, could not progress beyond 19 floors due to lack of further approvals and alleged financial constraints. In August 2019, the project was transferred to Ricardo Constructions under the provisions of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest (SARFAESI) Act.

In September 2019, the new promoters signed a letter of understanding with the homebuyers to give possession by September 2021. However, a status quo until January this year forced the buyers to approach MahaRERA. While 201 members formed an Association of Allottees (AoA) to register a joint complaint, nine other buyers complained individually.

In an online hearing on September 4, MahaRERA chairperson Gautam Chatterjee asked Ricardo Constructions to handover the complete list of flat purchasers in Ace and Matchpoint towers to the AoA within 15 days.

To ensure complete transparency, MahaRERA has asked the developer to hold monthly meetings with the AoA to share the progress of the project. It has also directed that the money paid by the complainants to Nirmal Lifestyle should be honoured by Ricardo Constructions.

“It’s a big relief for homebuyers who were in the dark about the status of the project,” said advocate Sanjay Chaturvedi, who appeared for the AoA along with advocate Pooja Gaikwad, and Kundalik Bhapkar, vice-president of the AoA.



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Despite MahaRERA directions, buyers left in the lurch by Bhoomi Arcade – ET RealEstate

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MUMBAI: A group of home buyers from Bhoomi Acropolis project in Virar West are complaining that despite accepting possession on MahaRERA directions in March 2019, more than a year later, developer Bhoomi Arcade Associates have not provided them basic amenities like proper electricity meters, potable water connections, and formation of their society.

Acropolis is a large township project comprising ten 15-storey building in Virar with more than 600 residents. Home buyers booked flats in this project in 2013 on the assurance that they would be given possession in 2015. When the possession was delayed, home buyers began MahaRERA was set up from May 2017, they approached Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority(MahaRERA) for possession of flats, and few also wanted to seek refund of their investments and exit the project.

Ankush Dewan was among those whose complaint was heard by MahaRERA. Dewan had booked a flat in December 2015 in Acropolis Phase II and was promised possession by March 31, 2016 as per the registered agreement but was delayed. The developer contended that the firm was facing mitigating circumstances beyond its control but agreed to hand over possession within next 6 to 8 months.

In his January 30, 2018 order, MahaRERA chairman Gautam Chatterjee observed that the developer had put December 2021 as the revised date of project completion and it was unreasonable. As per Section 4 of Maharashtra Real Estate Rules, the revised date has to be commensurate with the extent of balance construction, and therefore Chatterjee asked the developer to provide possession by May 2018 with Occupancy Certificate or be liable to pay interest for the delayed period from June 2018.

Besides Dewan, other residents who approached MahaRERA seeking refund included Amit Wadhwani, Austin Pillai, Nalini Saxena, Suraj Sharma. “We had filed seeking refund, but MahaRERA chairman convinced us that we should not exit the project, take possession and the developer would complete all his obligations. If he doesn’t, we could approach him again. Accordingly we took possession May 2019 onwards,” said Amit Wadhwani, one of the complainants.

However, more than a year later, they are struggling without these amenities. “The water is brought by tankers and we are relying on bottled water for drinking. The power supply has been obtained temporarily from neighbouring Rustomjee project. We still don’t have electricity meters, no geysers, inverters. Our society is yet to be formed,” he said.

Wadhwani says water has been seeping in his seventh floor flat. “I can understand if it is an old building but this is brand new construction. I have already got the seepage repaired twice, but it continues. When we question the developer, they blame HDIL from whom they purchased the land and say that company was supposed to obtain power and water clearances from Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC). But, as a home buyer, we are not concerned with a third party,” he told Mirror.

Another resident Austin Pillai said he booked his flat in December 2016 with the promise of possession by March 2017, but the developers representatives started dilly-dallying as the deadline neared. Frustrated by the delay, he approached MahaRERA. “After I filed the complaint, the developer was ready to offer possession. But, I was hesitant to take it because municipal water and power meters were not yet installed. But, the developer promised that it will be available in a few months after taking the possession. So I took possession in May 2019. Now it has been more than a year, both these things are still not available. My complaint is still pending with MahaRERA, and I hope that these amenities are available soon,” said Pillai.

When they approached MahaRERA again, the home buyers were told that they will have to file a fresh complaint as they had taken possession. “This has caused further confusion. We took possession on MahaRERA’s directions, and were told to come back if the developer doesn’t comply. Now when we go back to MahaRERA, they want us to file a fresh complaint, pay complaint charges again,” Wadhwani said.

When Mirror repeatedly tried to contact Chaitya Mehta, Director, Bhoomi Arcade Associates, there was no response to calls, messages and mails.



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