What can a property buyer do to fix maintenance issues? – ET RealEstate

NEW DELHI: A high-rise society offers a bundle of amenities within its premises to residents. Be it security, lifts, uninterrupted water and electricity supply or other facilities such as a park or a gym to give a sense of comfort to residents.

For residents to continue enjoying these services, maintenance plays a vital role. Without efficient maintenance, it becomes difficult to sustain services for which one buys a house in a housing complex.

Across India, maintenance agencies are hired to take care of the upkeep of a housing society. A facility manager oversees and ensures that everything is working fine and services are not hampered.

However, the quality of maintenance often remains a key issue of dispute between the builder and buyers. In case a society fails to upkeep the maintenance what exactly can residents do?

Joseph Reddi, senior vice president (Operations), Knight Frank India, suggests, “Pre-possession inspection is very important. First time the developer checks it and then when it is ready for handover everything related to construction related defects, fire fittings and other installations need to be checked. Snags like small holes or cracks are bound to be there, but fundamentals related to construction quality cannot be ignored”.

“If the construction quality is not good or there is a design defect then even the facility management can’t do much. Because of that, there are tussles between the agency and residents. So, buyers should do due diligence before possession,” explained Reddi.

Completion Certificate and Occupancy Certificate are two important approvals that a society has to take before possession is offered to residents. However, residents of several housing societies complain of faults in the fire equipment, lifts, common area facilities and other issues.

Abhilash Pillai, partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas says, “Regulators are supposed to inspect the buildings and ensure it is fit for occupation before giving a completion or occupancy certificate. These certificates have a disclaimer that under law we do not have any liability towards this building. Hence, even regulators are not enforcing this properly. Consumers are forced to take possession as and when they are offered.

The RERA legislation talks about five years structural defect warranty but this still needs to be tested and evolved by the courts. Buyers should inspect the building before taking possession and ask the builder to correct any defect they find. Those who have taken defected possession can go to consumer courts and seek redressal of their issues”.

A south-India based company conducts home inspection during the buying process and prepares a report for buyers before the house is occupied or possession is accepted.

Sudhindra Naib, CEO, HomeInspeKtor, explains, “We prepare a 360-degree inspection report of the house and check flooring, blemishes, electrical and plumbing fittings etc. To determine the house quality, we have thermal cameras to check the moisture within the wall which cannot be seen with naked eyes. The house inspection report contains photos, issues and a to-do list which a buyer can take to the developer and ask him to fix it. Several developers in Bengaluru have welcomed this report and are ready to rectify the defects after seeing the report.”

A faulty inspection by regulators at the time of giving approvals lead to bigger problems at later stages. A faulty construction creates problems for residents who ultimately end up in legal forums to get these addressed. This is a common problem across many cities in the country. Buyers’ awareness is vital to inspect a building they are going to inhabit and get the same inspected before accepting possession. One can do it themselves or if possible, hire an expert to check the quality of the building.

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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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Rajasthan: Government beats private sector in launching housing schemes – ET RealEstate

JAIPUR: During pandemic, more housing colonies were launched by the government as compared to those in the private sector in the state.

The trend could be seen in the Real Estate Regulation Authority (RERA), Rajasthan, registrations in August. While 18 colonies were registered by government agencies, private players listed 14.

The total registrations in August and September are 40, out of which private players registered 21 colonies while civic bodies applied to launch 19 colonies. An official at Urban Development Housing (UDH) said, “Many housing colonies, which were relaunched by government agencies, are not registered at RERA. If one includes these colonies, the government has outrun private firms in the last two months.”

Rajasthan Housing Board (RHB) is among the leading civic body, which has registered 14 housing colonies at RERA. The other agencies are Jaipur Development Authority (JDA), urban improvement trust (UIT), Kota, UIT (Udaipur), Jodhpur Development Authority (JDA), Nigam Jhalwar and others.

Official said while many private developers are waiting for the market condition to revive, government agencies are launching schemes to benefit the masses as well as to earn profits.

RHB commissioner Pawan Arora said, “In times of pandemic, our aim is to provide houses and commercial establishments to consumers at affordable prices. We are developing cost effective schemes on 20 years instalments.”

Few claimed the government agencies can never compete with private sector in launching schemes and developers will launch the schemes once the system to receive approvals would revive once Covid goes away.

Ankur Tiwari, a middle range developer said, “Developers will start construction once labourers and other supply is resumed properly. Also, many are not approaching the civic agencies at the time of pandemic to get projects approved. However, the market would roll again as demand will surge.”

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Construction of Jaypee Kalypso Court resumes under UP-RERA’s new rehabilitation model – ET RealEstate

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NEW DELHI: Construction of Jaiprakash Associates‘ (JAL) Jaypee Kalypso Court (Phase – II) resumed on Saturday under the Uttar Pradesh Real Estate Regulatory Authority’s (UP-RERA) new ‘rehabilitation model’ where buyers and promoters work together towards the completion of the project.

“UP-RERA has been successful in implementing this approach to resolve the disputes and revive a stalled project. The project ‘Jaypee Kalypso Court’ of JAL is the first such project in U.P. RERA that has passed through this approach and the promoter has now commenced construction work in the project from today,” said Rajive Kumar, chairman, UP-RERA.

Under the new joint development devised by the authority, the promoter continues to be responsible for completing the project and delivering on its obligations, while the homebuyers through their collective are responsible to ensure the payments made by them are being deployed only on the project.

The authority will review the progress of the project on a quarterly basis. Further, a Chartered Account shall be appointed for the concurrent audit of the project to completion. The authority on its website will shift the project to the special category of projects under rehabilitation as per the provisions of Section 8 of the RERA Act.

In July 2020, the authority had authorized JAL with the consent of the Progressive Welfare Society (Association of Allottees) of the project to undertake the completion of the remaining development of the project.

In all, 274 units out of the total 304 sanctioned units in the towers 7, 8, 11, 12 have been sold and 30 units are yet to be sold. On its part JAL committed to infuse Rs 45 crore into the project and will complete the project in about 12-15 months from the date of starting work in the four towers in line with the Pert Chart.

Balvinder Kumar, member, UP-RERA said, the authority is hoping that many more stalled projects can be completed if the AoA and promoter can mutually work together under this model towards the completion of the project”.

Based on the audit done by Currie & Brown, it was reported that 40 projects of Gautam Buddh Nagar district have been found as net positive surplus and are viable for completing the projects under this model in the future.

The authority is planning to extend this approach to various other projects in the state where the projects are stalled either due an impasse between the promoter and the homebuyers or the completion date as declared by the promoter has lapsed including the one-year extension permissible under section 6 of the RERA Act.

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