Law on Parking Spaces

In a 2010 judgment, Nahalchand Laloochand Pvt. Ltd. v. Panchali Co-operative Housing Society Ltd., the Hon’ble Supreme Court rejected the argument of a real estate development company that they are not entitled to sell garages or stilt parking areas as separate flats to owners who intend to use it as parking facilities. A bench of Justices A K Patnaik and R M Lodha, ruled that builders or promoters cannot sell parking areas as independent units or flats as these areas are to be extended as “common areas and facilities” for the owners. Also, the Court said that the developer is only entitled to charge price for the common areas and facilities from each flat purchaser in proportion to the carpet area of the flat.

Background – General Practice
As per the general practice in the market, the developer, by the agreement of sale, sells only the ‘flat’ and the purchaser has rights in respect of only the flat and no other portion of the building. This is exactly what had been agreed to between the developer Nahalchand Laloochand Private Limited and the flat purchasers of Panchali Co-operative Housing Society Ltd.Each flat purchaser had executed a declaration to the effect that stilt parking spaces/open parking spaces shown in the plan exclusively belong to the promoter and that the Society had no objection to the sale of such spaces. However, this was later argued by the Society as being contrary to law. When the dispute arose, the developer approached the Bombay Civil Court seeking “permanent injunction restraining the Society from encroaching upon, trespassing and/or in any manner disturbing, obstructing or interfering with its possession in respect of 25 parking spaces in the stilt portion of the building”.

The City Civil Court dismissed the suit. The developer preferred first appeal before the High Court which was also dismissed. The Developer then filed an appeal with the Supreme Court.

What is a Flat?

The Court examined the provisions of Maharashtra Ownership Flats (Regulation of the Promotion of Construction, Sale, Management and Transfer) Act, 1963 (“MOFA”) to determine whether open or stilt parking spaces can be sold to purchasers separately, because the answer to the question would lie in the basic interpretation of what is a Flat. As per Section 2(a-1) of MOFA, “Flat” is defined to mean a separate and self-contained set of premises used or intended to be used for residence, or office, show-room or shop or go down or for carrying on any industry or business and includes a garage. the premises forming part of a building is included in an apartment.

Apart from the statutory definition, a Flat means a set of rooms comprising an individual place of residence within a larger building or a self-contained set of rooms, structurally divided and separately owned or let from the rest of a building, which for the most part consists of other flats separated in like manner.

Therefore, for a `Flat’ to be within the meaning of the definition in Sec. 2 (a-1), it must be a separate unit conforming to the description capable of being used for one of the purposes given in the definition. Separateness of one premises from another premises physically and also in use or intended use for one of the uses specified in the definition clause containing the necessary facilities for self-contained accommodation is sine qua non for a unit being covered by the definition of `Flat’ occurring in Section 2(a-1).

Also, the Court has categorically stated that the meaning and significance of the bracketed portion “(and includes a garage)” should be seen in the context given to the word `Flat’ which is a true indication of intent of the legislature. The phrase `and includes a garage’ in the bracket does not bring in `garage’ by itself within the meaning of word `Flat’.

If a standalone `garage’ was intended by the legislature to be a `Flat’ as per the meaning of Section 2(a-1), that could have been conveyed by use of the expression `or garage’ after the word `business’ in the same breath as preceding uses. The bracketed phrase is indicative of the legislative intention to include a `garage’ as an attachment to a flat which satisfies the contents of Section 2(a-1).

If a stilt parking area is a garage?It had to be determined whether a stilt parking area would be counted as a garage. The definition of a garage is not provided in the MOFA. Hence, English language definitions needed to be looked into. The Oxford English Dictionary explains `garage’ as a building for housing a motor vehicle or vehicles or an establishment which sells fuel or which repairs and sells motor vehicles. The Webster Comprehensive Dictionary explains the word `garage’ as a building in which motor vehicles are stored and cared for.

The Development Control Regulations for Greater Bombay, 1991 define two expressions, `garage-private’ and `garage-public’ in Regulations 2(47) and 2(48) respectively. According to these Regulations, `garage-private’ means a building or a portion thereof designed and used for the parking of vehicles and `garage-public’ means a building or portion thereof designed other than as a private garage, operated for gain, designed and/or used for repairing, serving, hiring, selling or storing or parking motor-driven or other vehicles.

The developer had argued that open parking space amounts to a `garage’ within the meaning of Section 2(a-1). However, the Court disagreed with this argument and said that a person buying a flat for residence or one of the uses mentioned in Section 2(a-1) will not really think that open to the sky or open space for parking motor vehicles is a garage. “The word `garage’ may not have uniform connotation but definitely every space for parking motor vehicles is not a garage. A roofless erection could not be described as a garage. What is contemplated by a `garage’ in Section 2(a-1) is a place having a roof and walls on three sides. It does not include an unenclosed or uncovered parking space.”

Hence, the Court stated that while stilt area may be usable as a parking space but for the purposes of MOFA, such portion could not be treated as garage. For the purposes of MOFA, the term `garage’ must be considered as would be understood by a flat purchaser and such person would contemplate garage which has a roof and wall on three sides.

Whether stilt parking spaces are part of common areas and facilities?

The MOFA does not define common areas and facilities. However, the Maharashtra Apartment Ownership Act, 1970 does define `common areas and facilities’ in Section 3(f). The Court, while referring to it, said that just like it is unreasonable that a developer cannot take common passage/lobbies or staircases out of the purview of `common areas and facilities’, it is unreasonable to say that parking spaces do not fall under `common areas and facilities’. It is not necessary that all flat purchasers must actually use `common areas and facilities’ in its entirety. The relevant test is whether such part of the building is normally in common use.

Therefore, it was held that MOFA mandates the promoter to describe common areas and facilities in the advertisement as well as the `agreement’ with the flat purchaser and if a promoter does not fully disclose the common areas and facilities, he does so at his own peril. Stilt parking spaces would not cease to be part of common areas and facilities merely because the promoter has not described the same as such in the advertisement and agreement with the flat purchaser.

Also, expressly stating the rights of the developer/promoter, the court said that, “so far as the promoter is concerned, he is not put to any prejudice financially by treating open parking space/stilt parking space as part of `common areas’ since he is entitled to charge price for the common areas and facilities from each flat purchaser in proportion to the carpet area of the flat.” MOFA mandates the promoter to describe `common areas and facilities’ in the advertisement as well as the `agreement’ with the flat purchaser and the promoter is also required to indicate the price of the flat including the proportionate price of the `common areas and facilities’.

Conclusion

Hence, `stilt parking space’ is not covered by the term `garage’ much less a `flat’ and it is part of common areas. The court said that stilt parking space/s being part of common areas, the only right that the promoter has is to charge the cost thereof in proportion to the carpet area of the flat from each flat purchaser. Such stilt parking space being neither a `flat’ nor a `garage’ within the meaning of under Section 2(a-1) of MOFA, cannot be sold separately.

In the words of the Court : “The promoter has no right to sell any portion of such building which is not ‘flat’ within the meaning of Section 2(a-1) and the entire land and building has to be conveyed to the organisation; the only right remains with the promoter is to sell unsold flats. It is, thus, clear that the promoter has no right to sell ‘stilt parking spaces’ as these are neither ‘flat’ nor attachment to a ‘flat’.

Critic:

First and foremost, the judgment has been given in the context of the laws in Maharashtra. The universal applicability of this judgement would come into question if there are different laws in a particular state. For instance, the judgment can be applied to the NCT of Delhi in view of the Delhi Apartment Ownership Act, 1986 but it is uncertain whether it would also apply to the state of Rajasthan, which has no such laws.

Secondly, it is contemplated that the developers/promoters/builders would now increase the cost of the flats to compensate for the loss that they would suffer by not being able to sell these parking spaces separately. The financial burden on the purchasers would either increase or remain the same, but will not decrease. The Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI), Pune branch, said though SC has made it categorically clear that “stilt parking/open parking” cannot be sold as it does not fall under the definition of ‘flat’ or ‘garage’, it has also stated that the builder can charge for stilt parking/open parking under common area and facilities separately.

Thirdly, the entire ruling is based upon the meaning of the word ‘garage’. According to the Hon’ble S.C., the area closed by three sides and above used for parking is a garage. This logic puts stilt area enclosed by less than three sides or not at all enclosed in a different footing than the area covered by three sides.

However, the positive point is that the developers/promoters/builders cannot retain or sell such parking spaces separately since they are included in the common areas. Parking cannot be given or charged from persons who have not bought a flat in the premises. The purchasers would be able to enjoy the same by paying only an amount proportionate to the carpet area of the flat.

housing board allottee is a consumer

Housing and Development Board Allottee is a Consumer

The Housing and Development Authority is helping public in providing housing by land acquisition, development of sites, construction of houses and allotment of plots. The Authority is clearly engaged in rendering related services to public due to which people who are allotted plots/houses are defined as CONSUMERS as per the definition of Sec. 2(1)(d)(ii) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. This means any disputes arising out of transactions with the Housing and Development Board comes under the ambit of consumer rights and thus clauses of the Consumer Protection Act applies.

If you have any issues pertaining to plots/houses allotted by the Housing and Development Board, please feel free to reach out to us.

We at Power to Consumer always stand by the aggrieved consumers and abide by the motto of “Consumer is King”. Feel free to contact us by lodging a complaint with our award winning Legal Adviser at www.powertoconsumer.in

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maximumCompensationfrom consumer forum

How to get the maximum compensation from consumer forum in case of loss/cheating?

Recently, on one of the most popular lawyer forums, our Consumer Rights Adviser responded to a query on the maximum amount of compensation that can be expected from a Consumer Forum. The answer was well appreciated by the enquirer and other senior advocates.

A quick snippet of the query and response has been shared below for the benefits of our readers. Please feel free to share the article with others and help us in the spirit of legal empowerment to consumers.

Question: What is the maximum compensation from a consumer forum in lieu of alleged cheating by an insurance company?

Answer:I have examined your query considering the maximum importance of compensation that should be given by a Consumer COURT in lieu of alleged Cheating by an Insurance Company. I would like to quote the following information for your reference with regards to the compensation that should be granted by a Consumer Court u/s 14 (1) (d) of the C.P.Act,1986:

  1. Compensation means the ‘thing given as recompense’. In ordinary parlance, Compensation means giving something equivalent to the value of a thing or service or to make up for a loss, recompense, remuneration or pay
  2. U/s 14 (1) (d) of Act,1986 compensation comprehends damages also
  3. While quantifying damages, consumer courts should make an attempt to serve with justice so that compensation is given in an established case, which not only serves the purpose of recompensing the individual
  4. The actual calculation of damage differs from case to case and depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. While compensating, a Consumer Court has to consider all relevant factors and compensation can be decided on the basis of agreed legal principles
  5. Besides Compensation, interest can also be given on equitable grounds
  6. It is established by the Hon’ble Supreme Court that under clause (d) of Sec. 14 (1) of the C.P.Act,1986, Compensation can be given to a consumer ONLY in respect of loss or injury suffered by the consumer due to negligence of the opposite party
  7. It is decided by the Hon’ble National Commission that compensation is supposed to be awarded on the basis of actual facts and the complainant who is expecting to receive the compensation must have a rational relation with the Opposite Party who has caused physical and mental inconvenience in the nature of damage to some extent by any kind of negligence, action or omission.

We feel that understanding the legal intricacies and being ready with supporting documents is a great step in the area of legal empowerment. We hope that the article empowers you with your rights. If you have any more query, or would like to lodge a complaint against any cheating individual/company, please feel free to reach to us at www.powertoconsumer.in

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Completion Certificate

Why and How to obtain Completion Certificate/Occupancy Certificate

In our experience of dealing with hundreds of aggrieved consumers, we have seen that most home owners are concerned about A or B Khata. But they miss to verify whether the property purchased by them has a valid Completion Certificate/Occupancy Certificate or not. And this causes them great trouble in the later stages of their occupancy.

Why?

Absence of these documents indicates the building may not have been built as per the approved plan, and the threat of demolition on such unauthorized structure looms large. Also, the house owner sometimes faces major challenges in selling the property in future.

While the above is for properties which are new or in a move in stage, what about the property for which the builder has not given you a valid Completion certificate/Occupancy certificate?

In such a scenario, you are legally entitled to issue a legal notice to the builder to apply and pressurize him to hand over the the certificates within one month. If there is no response from the builder, you can file a complaint in the consumer forum, and pray to issue directions to the builder to apply and obtain the certificates.

You can mention in the complaint that the Hon’ble Supreme Court has given a judgement in Faqir Chand Gulati vs Uppal Agencies Pvt. Ltd. & Anr on 10 July, 2008 that “Even if such a provision for providing completion certificate is not found in the agreement, the builder cannot escape from the liability of securing the CC and providing a copy to the owner.

The law requires the builder to obtain completion certificate of such a building. Some of the excerpts from the above judgement are as follows:-

  1. “Builders violate with impunity the sanctioned building plans and indulge deviations much to the prejudice of the planned development of the city and at the peril of the occupants of the premises constructed or of the inhabitants of the city at large. Serious threat is posed to ecology and environment and, at the same time, the infrastructure consisting of water supply, sewerage and traffic movement facilities suffer unbearable burden and are often thrown out of gear. Unwary purchasers in search of roof over their heads and purchasing flats/apartments from builders, find themselves having fallen prey and become victims to the design of unscrupulous builders. The builder conveniently walks away having pocketed the leaving behind the unfortunate occupants to face the music in the event of unauthorized constructions being detected or exposed and threatened with demolition. Though the local authorities have the staff consisting of engineers and inspectors whose duty is to keep a watch on building activities and to promptly stop the illegal constructions or deviations coming up, they often fail in discharging their duty. Either they don’t act or do not act promptly or do connive at such activities apparently for illegitimate considerations. If such activities are to stop, some stringent actions are required to be taken by ruthlessly demolishing the illegal constructions and non-compoundable deviations. The unwary purchasers who shall be the sufferers must be adequately compensated by the builder. The arms of the law must stretch to catch hold of such unscrupulous builders. At the same time in order to secure vigilant performance of duties, responsibility should be fixed on the officials whose duty was to prevent unauthorized construction, but who failed in doing so either by negligence or connivance.”
  2. “ If the construction is part of a building which in law requires a completion certificate or C&D forms (relating to assessment), the builder is bound to provide the completion certificate or C&D forms. He is also bound to provide amenities and facilities like water, electricity and drainage in terms of the agreement. If the completion certificate and C&D forms are not being issued by the Corporation because the builder has made deviations/violations in construction, it is his duty to rectify those deviations or bring the deviations within permissible limits and secure a completion certificate and C&D forms from MCD. The builder can not say that he has constructed a ground floor and delivered it and therefore fulfilled his obligations. Nor can the builder contend that he is not bound to produce the completion certificate, but only bound to apply for completion certificate. He cannot say that he is not concerned whether the building is in accordance with the sanction plan or not, whether it fulfills the requirements of the municipal bye-laws or not, or whether there are violations or deviations. The builder cannot be permitted to avoid or escape the consequences of his illegal acts. The obligation on the part of the builder to secure a sanctioned plan and construct a building, carries with it an implied obligation to comply with the requirements of municipal and building laws and secure the mandatory permissions/certificates.”
  3. “A prayer for completion certificate and C&D Forms cannot be brushed aside by stating that the builder has already applied for the completion certificate or C&D Forms. If it is not issued, the builder owes a duty to make necessary application and obtain it. If it is wrongly withheld, he may have to approach the appropriate court or other forum to secure it. If it is justifiably withheld or refused, necessarily the builder will have to do whatever that is required to be done to bring the building in consonance with the sanctioned plan so that the municipal authorities can inspect and issue the completion certificate and also assess the property to tax. If the builder fails to do so, he will be liable to compensate the complainant for all loss/damage. Therefore, the assumption of the State Commission and National Commission that the obligation of the builder was discharged when he merely applied for a completion certificate is incorrect.

We at Power to Consumer always stand by aggrieved consumers and abide by the motto of consumer is king. If you have been a victim of such unfair practice by your home builder, feel free to contact us by lodging a complaint with our award winning Legal Adviser at www.powertoconsumer.in

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builder needs to refund money

Refund of Money Paid to Builders: Buyer’s Right

On 25th November’ 2014, we had drawn attention of Homebuyers towards a Decision/Order of Hon’ble National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi – the Apex Consumer Court under the blog titled “Builders to compensate financially for delay in property handover.”

All Judicial Consumer Disputes Redressal Forums, as well Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, in past have repeatedly held through their several decisions that “Homebuyers can’t be made to wait indefinitely for their sweet home, despite having paid its cost to the Builders in terms of scheduled mode of Payment.”

It’s has now become the usual practice of Builders that on account of having prescribed provision of a specific term in their Agreement, a compensation would be payable by them for any period of delay @Rs.5/- per sq. ft per month. This translates to Rs.10,000/- per month (Rs.1.2 lakh a year) for a 2000 sq. ft house costing to the tune of Rs.1 crore – an interest @1.2% per annum maximum. It has also been observed that lots of builders derail even the act of settling their own agreed compensation by creating unethical dues upon buyers & thus seeking by adjustment of payable compensation amount.

In our progressing Country for the welfare of lakhs of victimized home buyers due to inordinate and painful delay in getting possession of their home, the Apex Consumer Fora – the Hon’ble National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has passed its landmark decision on 6th May’2019 in a Consumer Case vide its no. 1702 of 2016 of quantifying a time period of one year for delayed projects, beyond which the rightful home owners can claim their rightful ‘refund from builders’.

By pronouncement of said Judgment, NCDRC has established that “allottees (homebuyers) have the right to ask refund if possession is inordinately delayed particularly beyond one year”.

To read fully the case detail & referred Judgment please click here.

Beside quantified period for one year for delayed period, by said Order the Hon’ble Commission has further directed the erring Builders to pay compensation @6% per year on the total deposit for the entire delayed period even after handing over possession of the house. Further in case of non-delivery of flat within the deadline the builders will be liable to refund the entire amount with a 10% interest penalty.

At Power to Consumer, we feel it is a great relief for consumers-homebuyers who are being made to bear excruciating delay in getting possession. And are fetching unnecessary expenses through house rents for their current home, paying accrued interests on bank mortgages for no mistake of theirs. This is a great step towards consumer empowerment and we whole heartedly support. For more details, please reach out to our Legal Adviser at www.powertoconsumer.in


case win for power to consumer

Case Win: Susant Parida vs Dreamz Infra India Private Limited

We are proud to announce that justice has finally been granted to an empowered consumer who had approached www.powertoconsumer.in with his grievance against an unscrupulous builder.

In a case filed on 12.03.2015 under the able guidance of Shri Shivesh Kumar Sinha, our the learned Legal Adviser, the complainant fought a long and hard legal battle against a construction company for three long years. The complainant was not only fighting the delay in handover of his rightful ownership of his house, but was also pleading for the mental harassment and agony leading to achieving proper justice.

The in-depth domain knowledge of our learned Legal Adviser strengthened the case of the Complainant and gave enough evidences to the Honourable judicial Member of the Karnataka State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Bangalore to award appropriate justice and penalize the faulty builders appropriately.

Brief case history is that the victim Complainant Susanta Kumar Parida on being induced with lucrative advertisements of the Builders M/s Dreamz Infra India (Pvt.) Ltd., Bangalore, booked one flat in its proposed project to purchase for his dwelling purpose by paying a substantial booking amount. The Builders entered in to a MOU (Memo of Understandings) with the Complainant Consumer prescribing thereby certain terms & conditions. The proposed project of the Builders never came in to existence & noticing this fact, the Consumer demanded refund of his paid amount but in VAIN from the end of the Builders even after service of a Lawyer’s Notice sent by the Legal Adviser of www.powertoconsumer.in

Ultimately, on advise by the said Legal Adviser the Complainant agreed to sue the Builders in State Consumer Redressal Commission, Bangalore for redressal of his grievances & to get refund of his invested money with interests & appropriate Compensation in lieu of incurred loss caused by misdeeds of the Builders.

The Hon’ble Commission having considered the entire facts made available on case record after due proceedings passed a landmark decision with direction to builders to refund the paid amount with interests @18% PA till its actual realization and further penalized them to pay compensation of Rs.2,00,000/- towards mental agony of the complainant & the legal expenses incurred by him amounting to Rs.25,000/-.

In an article published recently in a leading newspaper, it was brought to the notice of the common public through a program organized by National Legal Services Authority [NALSA] , the then Hon’ble Chief Justice of India Hon’ble Mr. P. Satshivam said that ‘legal literacy is the constitutional right of each citizen of India and suppressed class of people must be made aware of their said right.’

He further said that our Constitution has provided rights to get legal literacy to citizen of India, which is required to strengthen the Constitutional Democracy, as such Hon’ble Judiciary acts & functions with its presumption that citizen of India are aware of their said constitutional rights. {source : PTI}
At www.powertoconsumer.in that has been our mission from the inception of this site. To provide proper awareness and legal prowess to each and every individual of this great nation.

 

 

Buying a House? Watch this video!

Whenever you are buying a property from a property developer, you need to keep in mind certain points so as to ensure not being cheated or duped. We hope this video will help you understand those points. This video is one of the video for the series: Filing a Complaint Against a Builder

To prevent yourself from getting into a situation I would like to extend certain advice to all of you even before you get into a formal agreement to purchase from the builders.

  • Point # 1: Always, demand the Deed of Ownership of Land/Plot from the developer along with non-encumbrance certificate and get it examined in detail by a competent legal authority
  • Point # 2: If the land/plot has an owner apart from the property developer, it is in your right to demand the Development Agreement that is being executed between them
  • Point # 3: Always demand the relevant Power of Attorney executed between the land owner and the property developer entrusted with the task of constructing the proposed project
  • Point # 4: Remember to demand the relevant sanctioned plan by the competent government authority
  • Point # 5: Ensure that after you make a payment of the booking amount that is demanded by the developer you must ask the builders to execute an Agreement for Sale of the home with you. And, most important, it must be registered with the government authority on a stamp paper the fees for which can be borne either by you or the developer
  • Point # 6: Remember, that unless you get the above in order no banker or financier would sanction the loan amount required to make payment of the installments for your house
  • Point # 7: Ensure that the payment of prescribed installment is usually linked to the progress of construction and not in an ad-hoc manner
  • Point # 8: When the bank or financer is in the process of disbursement, make sure that you demand a visit to the site by an authorized representative. This will ensure full compliance of the prescribed terms of agreement for sale
  • Point # 9: It is in your interest to ensure that no further demand in contrary to prescribed terms of the consideration cost of the property is paid by you in any manner or form

Top Tips to be an Informed Consumer

Buyers Be Aware

According to a recent article published in Mint, there is a 61% increase in buyers looking for a house in the past 1 year. And that the number of active property seekers seeking houses through online portals such as magicbricks.com has gone up sharply on a y-o-y basis from 340,000 in July’16 to 550,000 in Sept.’17.

We at Power to Consumer feel that this is an encouraging sign indicating revival of trust in the economy and the government. And if you are the one who has been putting away the decision of buying a house due to various factors, then it is the right time to strike a deal and own your cherished home.

But with hundred percent knowledge of the deal that you are getting from the seller.

As a go-to portal for consumer complaints related to filing a complaint against builder, we have seen hundreds of complaints from innocent and hapless consumers who have invested their lifetime savings, or borrowed a loan but are now stuck due to insolvency, incompetency and inefficiency of the property developer or the builders.

Remember, it is our duty and in our best interest to keep our eyes open when we are shelling out our hard earned money to buy a piece of land or purchase a ready to move in apartment. And be aware of the bargain that we are being handed.

We would encourage you to read the following blog posts to know more about the safeguards you need to follow:

With the lull season ending and the property market opening up, property developers and agents will come out with very lucrative deals. These deals might look OK on their intrinsic value, but when the actual scheme is revealed the deal might be offering something radically different.

So, it is in your best interest to stay an alert consumer and ensure that you are not cheated of your time and money by unscrupulous builders.

We are always at your service. If you would like to talk to our award winning consumer rights adviser before signing up on a deal, we encourage you to use our Premium Legal Service.

Stay Alert this Festive Season

Stay Alert. And be an empowered consumer this festive season!

The “Festive Season” is here. And it is no surprise that every business is trying to cash in on the sentiment by throwing “festive offers” to consumers.

Businesses have long used the dangling carrot of cash discounts, free exchange, reduced prices, freebies, zero interest EMI, attractive interest rates etc. to lure consumers into buying goods or services.

At Power to Consumer, we believe that there is nothing wrong in using such tactics if it is done with a good intention. If consumers don’t buy the economy won’t move forward. But what we resist is not knowing what the deal is and then getting stuck into a bad situation.

The need of the hour is to be an empowered consumer while making any kind of transaction. Read our Top Tips to be an Empowered Consumer to know more.

Festival Offers on Home Purchase

While festive offers have traditionally been restricted to consumer durables, we have noticed a trend of property developers trying to latch onto the festive sentiment. They devise multiple schemes and offers to attract prospective home buyers. Also, due to sluggish sales on account of demonetization and the RERA Act, property developers are using this festive season as a bait to increase their sales.

So, if you are looking to invest your hard earned money in a home of your dreams this is the right time. But we advise being extremely cautious before proceeding ahead. Do a complete due diligence on your part, before you part with your money. Make sure the deal is worth it.

Look for a property that matches your requirement, look at the project’s location, features, amenities, past track record of projects, delivery schedules, and developer’s reputation for delivering quality projects.

Ensure that you do a fair evaluation of the kinds of freebies and offers against the intrinsic values mentioned above. If you find it fair and equal, then entering into an agreement makes sense. Don’t get carried away with short term discounts as it might lead to a long drawn and complicated battles.

Do hire the services of an expert lawyer who can look at the deal from the eyes of law and legal matters and ensure that you don’t get stuck into any kind of bad decision. At Power to Consumer, we have published a number of articles on queries related to builders. Please read through them and then decide on your own if the festive deal in your hand is worth moving forward.

  1. How to File a Complaint Against a Builder
  2. Builders to Compensate for Delay in Property Handover
  3. Importance of Valid Occupancy Certificate
  4. Be an Informed Consumer

Enjoy the festive season and for any consumer related queries, please feel free to approach our Legal Adviser by submitting your complaint or availing the Premium Query support service.

valid occupancy certificate

Getting a Valid Occupancy Certificate is your Right!

Occupancy Certificate or Completion Certificate is your right as a owner of a property. But, over 80% of the property buyers that we have spoken to have not even bothered to verify whether the property that they have bought with so much of aspirations has even a valid OC in place. Most of the home owners follow the market trends, and are more worried about A Khata/B Khata, and do not pay any attention to check the presence of a valid Occupancy Certificate.

You might state that you’re already living inside your house for the last ‘X’ number of years. And that you have a valid Sales Agreement in your name. What could possibly go wrong? To put simply you can be evicted by the local civic authorities any time, or worse the property could be demolished for no fault of yours, but due to the gross impunity of the property developers who has violated the approved construction plan. Their actions might lead to the authorities declaring the property as unauthorized and threatened with demolition.

Even if you might get saved from the horrible scenario of facing eviction/demolition from your own dream home, you cannot sell or hypothecate the property after a lapse of say 10 years without a valid Occupancy certificate.

Does this all mean that you have to stay at the mercy of the property developer? Or do you have a way to get your house’s Occupancy Certificate from the builder? Yes, getting a valid Occupancy Certificate is your right and we at Power to Consumer stand to fight for your right.

According to a judgement issued by the Honourable Supreme Court in the case of Faqir Chand Gulati vs Uppal Agencies Pvt. Ltd & Anr on July 10th 2008, “Even if such a provision for providing completion certificate is not found in the agreement, the builder cannot escape the liability for securing the Completion Certificate and providing a copy to the owner. The law requires the builder to obtain completion certificate of such a building.”

Some of the excerpts from the judgement includes:

1. A prayer for Completion Certificate and C&D forms cannot be brushed aside by the builder stating that he has already applied for the Certificate and the C&D forms. If it’s not issued, the builder owes a duty to make necessary application and obtain it. If it’s withheld he may approach the appropriate court to secure it. If it’s justifiably withheld the builder will have to do whatever is required to be done to bring the property in agreement with the sanctioned plan. Local municipal authorities have to inspect and issue the completion certificate. If the builder fails to do so, he will liable to compensate the complainant for all loss/damage. The builder cannot discharge himself by stating that he has applied for a Completion Certificate.

2. The builder is bound to provide amenities and facilities like water, electricity and drainage in accordance with the agreement. If the Completion Certificate is not being issued by the Corporation because the builder has made deviations in construction, it’s the builder’s duty to rectify those deviations or bring it within the permissible limits and secure a Completion Certificate and the C&D forms from MCD. A builder cannot contend that he is not bound to produce the Completion Certificate, and that he is only bound to apply for the certificate. Also, he cannot say that he is not concerned whether the building is in accordance with the sanctioned plan or not and if it fulfills the requirements of the municipal bye laws or not.

At Power to Consumer, we believe it is your right to get a valid Occupancy Certificate for the property you have purchased from the developer. If you are a victim of harassment through builder, please feel free to approach us.