UP-RERA prepares draft guidelines on formation of residents’ welfare associations – ET RealEstate

NEW DELHI: In many group housing societies across UP and NCR, maintenance of common areas remains a bone of contention between residents and promoters. Often there are disputes relating to quality, charges and transparency in collection of monthly maintenance charges.

However, the Uttar Pradesh Real Estate Regulatory Authority (UP-RERA) has now prepared draft guidelines to give some logic to formation of residents associations in housing sectors and high-rise societies. The authority has also sought suggestions from homebuyers associations in the national capital region on its draft guidelines on formation of residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) and Association of Allottees (AOA).

Balvinder Kumar, member UP-RERA, says, “What we have noticed is that in the last two years, buyers’ awareness has increased. They know about their rights, and now they want to enforce those rights through RERA authorities. To reduce disputes between buyers and promoters related to the maintenance of common areas, we have prepared one draft on maintenance and formation of AOA/RWA and the same has been sent to the UP state government for approval. Once this draft gets approved we will release these guidelines and hopefully both the parties will comply with the provisions and residents associations will be formed amicably.”

According to the UP Apartment Act, a promoter is responsible for making an association once there is an occupancy of 33% or more but in many societies this rule is not being followed even after the occupancy certificate is received.

In some societies residents are not happy with the maintenance while developers feel that the quality of services is subjective and may vary from society to society.

“We have tried to balance both the parties. All completed projects where occupancy certificate is received then AOA should be formed as early as possible. Residents associations should take over and maintain the common areas. A builder is required to form an association of residents but in many cases there is a delay. Sometimes there is a delay from residents side as well who do not want to take over the society. To address all these issues, we have come up with these guidelines,” adds Kumar.

New Guidelines for AOAs/RWAs will ensure that buyers have their own associations to maintain common area services and builder hand over the same in a timely manner.

As per the UP Apartment Act, the promoter needs to maintain the common areas and facilities till the Association is formed. For that the promoter can levy maintenance charges on residents, but sometimes residents contend that charges are too high and not as per the services. There have been many disputes between residents and developers in the past related to hike in charges and quality of maintenance services. Due to conflicting views, the services of common areas often suffer.

As more and more housing societies are getting completed and more buyers are moving into their housing projects, the maintenance remains a critical issue for both residents and developers.

According to UP-RERA, several resident associations have demanded the authority to intervene in the maintenance handover process and ensure smooth transfer of the same from developers to associations. However, in some societies residents are not in favour of forming associations as they feel it will deteriorate the quality of maintenance services.

Due to requests from the associations and promoters, the UP-RERA has decided to strike a balance in the new guidelines to form RWAS and AOAs. In some sectors and societies there are multiple AOAs and RWAS which is creating a lot of problems in fund management and delivering services.

Residents in UP now want that there should be clear-cut rules related to formation of associations, maintenance charges, quality of services and other related issues in the RERA guidelines. Now UP-RERA is hopeful that new guidelines will help both the developers and residents to resolve their disputes amicably.



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Ahmedabad: Home buyer drags NCPL Infracon over project delay – ET RealEstate

AHMEDABAD: A Satellite resident, who fought a protracted legal battle with a builder at RERA after he was denied possession of the premises for well over a year, has written to the regulatory body to collect Rs 33 lakh as penalty from him. According to the buyer’s calculation, the penalty to be collected from the builder for allegedly flouting orders, overcharging and leaving other financial issues unresolved comes to that amount.

The buyer, chartered accountant Tushar Shah, has claimed that he was charged money over the agreed sale price, not passed on some tax benefits that accrued and was given possession long after the promised handover.

Shah had booked a 1,273 sq foot office on the eight floor of Ratnakar Nine Square building opposite Keshavbaug Society for Rs 51 lakh in December 2016. He has claimed that builder Upendra Shah of NCPL Infracon LLP refused to give him possession of the office despite him having paid the full amount of the purchase price.

AC ki taisi! Demand for extra Rs 3L the final straw

The final straw in the bitter dispute came when the builder allegedly asked for an additional Rs 3 lakh for installing air-conditioners in the premises. Shah refused to pay the additional money, claiming it was not part of the agreement. Shah eventually got possession of the office after he approached the police and met the city police commissioner for assistance, and filed a complaint at the Satellite police station. Subsequently, he also reached out to Delhi-based Director General of Anti-Profiteering forum to seek recovery of an additional amount that the builder allegedly gained from transition from Service Tax regime to the current GST norms while the construction was on.

Took 90% payment at the time of booking

According to Shah, he was asked to pay Rs 46.56 lakh at the time of booking the Rs 51 lakh property. He paid up, but claimed the amount was way higher than the 20% permitted to be collected as initial payment.

“Builders cannot ask for more than 20% of the total sum till the agreement of sale is entered into. The sale agreement was to be entered into only in April 2017.”The buyer later paid the rest of the Rs 10 lakh, which included the remaining amount of the purchase, maintenance deposit and two years’ annual maintenance. He said he was promised possession in December 2018. But when he sought possession of the office in May 2019, builder Upendra Shah allegedly demanded an additional amount for the ACs he had fitted. “I told the builder that ACs were not part of the agreement with him.” When contacted, builder Upendra Shah said, “The case is presently on. If you wish, I can give you my advocate’s number. Let me send you his number.” He, however, did not send across his lawyer’s number. A subsequent call made to him and messages sent did not receive any response.

RERA penalty of Rs 10,000 per day

Tushar Shah approached RERA for dispute resolution. It passed an order on August 29, 2019 asking the builder to hand over possession of the office within 30 days. In a subsequent order after the builder did not give possession, RERA on January 17, 2020, asked the builder to pay Rs 10,000 per day to the authority for not implementing its order. Subsequently, Shah approached the police and also met then Commissioner of Police Ashish Bhatia in July, who passed instructions to the police station concerned to ensure that the sale deed was executed and the CA got the possession of his office.

“Two months later, on August 27, 2020, I was finally handed over possession.” Shah told Mirror. He now wants the builder to pay 24% interest on the amount he paid for a 20-month delay in possession, exactly the way the builder would have charged him for delayed payment.

When approached, head of RERA’s legal department, Asit Upadhyay, said, “A hearing will be held on March 4 for which we have called all individuals with similar problems.”



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UP-RERA allows JAL to complete Jaypee Greens Knight Court with buyers’ support – ET RealEstate

NEW DELHI: The Uttar Pradesh Real Estate Regulatory Authority (UP-RERA) has allowed Jaiprakash Associates (JAL) to complete the long-stalled work of the project Jaypee Greens Knight Court in co-operation with Association of Allottees namely, ‘Knight Court Social Welfare Association’ within 15 months.

The total cost of completing the remaining work of this project comes to Rs 145.5 crore out of which Rs. 40.85 crore will be contributed by the promoter and Rs 103.35 crore by the allottees. The promoter will contribute Rs 10 crore upfront within two weeks and start the project within 15 days of this order.

The project had been stalled since 2014 and registration date of the project had lapsed in December 2020. The project has 8 towers and there are 310 allottees. Not more than 60% of the project work had been completed before it got stalled for a variety of reasons.

Rajive Kumar, chairman, UP-RERA said that “The authority is very serious about its mandate for facilitating the completion of the projects and delivery of houses to the homebuyers. The authority is continuously monitoring the progress of projects registered with it and has established a Project Management Division (PMD) in its NCR office which is manned by experienced professionals.”

The authority has also established a project monitoring committee under Balvinder Kumar assisted by the PMD and the conciliation consultant R.D. Paliwal along with with CEO NOIDA, finance controller, technical advisor, concerned bank/financial institution and the AOA as members.

The committee will review the progress on monthly basis and report to the authority.

Kumar further stated that the authority has undertaken close technical and financial study of such projects which are delayed or stalled for any reason and has been continuously exploring the possibility and devising an appropriate model to facilitate completion of such projects by taking both the promoter and the allottees on-board.

The authority is rigorously pursuing this approach especially in such cases where the registration has already been lapsed. It further proposes to expedite the redemption activity for revival of about a dozen delayed or stalled projects in very near future.

Previously the authority had instituted a co-operative model to complete the Kalypso Court Project of Jaypee Associates and the association of allottees of the Sampada Livia project to complete the remaining work of this project.



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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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