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


Gas Cylinder Insurance Policy

Victim of LPG Blast? Read more for compensation

At Power to Consumer, we come across multiple cases of lpg blast incidents and the victims approach us to seek compensation. We’d like to present a court order issued in 10.01.2006 by the SCDRC, Mahrarashtra between a LPG Company and a hapless victim (Kaluraj Jasraj Vyas & Others). If you know of anyone who has been a victim of LPG blast, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us by logging onto our website www.powertoconsumer.in

 

NCDRC
NEW DELHI
(CIRCUIT BENCH AT PUNE, MAHARASHTRA)

FIRST APPEAL NO. 196 OF 2006
(From the order dated 10.01.06 in Complaint No.217/1999 of the State Commission, Maharashtra)

New India Assurance Co. Ltd. …. Appellant

Vs.

Kaluraj Jasraj Vyas & Ors. ….Respondents

BEFORE :-
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE M.B. SHAH, PRESIDENT
MRS. RAJYALAKSHMI RAO, MEMBER

For the Appellant : Mr. Neeraj Singh, Advocate
For Mr. P.K. Seth, Advocate

For the Res. No. 1 : NEMO
For the Res.No. 2 : Mr. D.D. Shinde, Advocate
For Jagdish K. Vyas, Advocate
For the Res.No.3 : Mr. H.S. Aglawe, advocate
For the Re.No.4 : Mr. P.K. Belchada, Advocate

Dated 30th January, 2008

O R D E R

M.B.SHAH, J. PRESIDENT

Being aggrieved and dissatisfied by the judgement and order dated 10.1.2006 passed by the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Maharashtra in Complaint No. 217 of 1999, the New India Assurance Co. Ltd., (hereinafter referred to as the Insurance Company) has preferred this appeal.

By the impugned order, the State Commission arrived at the conclusion that because of the explosion of the gas cylinder, fire took place in complainant’s premises and caused damage to the building as well as furniture which was lying in the premises of the complainant. Information was sent to the dealer who in turn informed the Insurance Company as well as the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as the HPCL.) Hence, the complaint was filed against the dealer, HPCL., and the Insurance Co.

After going through the evidence which was produced on record, the State Commission held that the dealer (Original Opponent No.1) had taken a Miscellaneous Accident Insurance Policy from the Insurance Company for the period from 27.4.1996 to 26.4.1997, for the coverage of the perils contemplated therein. Despite the service of notice, the Insurance Co. neither appointed surveyor nor gave any response.

Therefore, relying upon the survey report of Shri M.B.Nagarkar & Co., the State Commission assessed the loss at Rs.9,65,800/- and arrived at the conclusion that the Insurance Company is liable to pay the said amount, because of the insurance cover. It also observed that the dealer as well as the HPCL are not liable.

Against that order, the Insurance Co. has preferred this appeal.

As per the evidence which is brought on record, the gas cylinder exploded and, thereafter, fire caused extensive damage in the premises of the Complainant/customer of dealer. The explosion took place when the gas stove was sought to be lighted. The fire brigade was called and the fire was extinguished. However, due to fire there was extensive damage in the double storey building and shop where the material was stored. The Police prepared a spot panchnama. Talathi of village, Dhanori also prepared panchnama. The report was given by the fire brigade department to Pune Municipal Corporation and information was given by letter dated 21st May, 1996 by the Complainant to the dealer as well as the HPCL but the claim was not settled and the State Commission passed the aforesaid order.

On behalf of the appellant, it has been contended that as the gas cylinder was shifted from the customer’s premises to his shop building where the complainant was residing, the appellant is not liable to compensate the complainant.

In our view, the aforesaid contention cannot be accepted, because the Complainant was residing in the premises which was adjacent to the shop wherein he was doing his business.

Further, the Complainant has brought on record the report of Mr.M.B.Nagarkar & Co., who is also on the panel of the Insurance Company. The said report clearly indicates how the accident took place. The relevant part is as under:

“On 16th May, 1996, at about 12.45 hrs. there was explosion of the domestic gas cylinder in the House No. 30 of Mr. Kaluram Jasraj Vyas due to which the said house was entirely gutted in the fire. The fire spread on the surrounding area due to which the House No. 31 of Mr. Dattu Ganpat Parande, and House No. 32 of Mr. Kaluram Sadashiv Paraande were also affected. The fire could be extinguished completely at about 16.00 hrs. But during the period of about 3 hrs. and 15 minutes the said fire caused extensive damage to the buildings and the contents therein. Fortunately, there were no casualties. The Police Inspector, Vishrantwadi Police Station, had registered the case in the Fire Register under Sr. No. 1/96.

The Police had conducted the Panchanama on the same day at about 16.05 Hrs. various government officials like Circle Officer, Executive Engineer M.S.E.B., Asstt. Police Commissioner – Khadki area etc. had visited and conducted the inspection.

The matter was reported to Hindustan Petroleum Ltd., through it’s dealer M/s. Kekan LPG Corner, Yerawada, Pune – 411 032. Thereafter, the officers of the said company visited the spot and conducted the inspection”.

Thereafter, the Surveyors have assessed the loss by considering the details of the articles which were damaged. The list is exhaustive which is not required to be narrated here. They assessed the loss at Rs.9,65,800/-. They have also produced on record the photographs of building which was damaged.

Further, the opposite party No.1 (Dealer of LPG) has produced on record the Miscellaneous Accident Insurance Policy. The schedule to the policy provides limit of coverage under various sections. For our purpose the relevant section is Section VII, which is as under:

“Sec.VII
Public Liability (Geographical Area – within 25 KMs radius from the Insured Premises)
(maximum limit for AOA Rs.10,00,000/- Per policy period limit 4 times of AOA Limit.
AOA
AOY
3-00 on AOY plus 0-10
plus10,00,000 3000.00
(paise) on Turnover

That means, the maximum limit of insurance cover is for a sum of Rs.10 lakhs.

In the present case, there is no dispute that the fire took place in the premises of the customer of the insured within 7 kilometers from the dealer’s premises.

As per the aforesaid policy, under the Public Liability Clause the insurance company would be liable to reimburse the dealer, because dealer is required to reimburse the complainant.

However, the learned Counsel appearing on behalf of the insurance company referred to the terms and conditions of the policy, particularly of Section VII, which reads as under:

“The Company will indemnify the Insured in respect of all sums which the Insured is legally liable to pay as compensation and litigation expenses incurred by the Insured at the Company’s written consent in respect of accidental death or bodily injury to any person other than a person under the Insured’s service and Insured’s family members and / or accidental damage to property caused by or arising from the installation of gas filled liquefied petroleum gas cylinder in the premises of the Insured’s customers or whilst such cylinders from the Insured’s premises are in the course of being carried for installation in the premises of the Insured’s customers or whilst such empty cylinders are in the course of being carried from the premises of the Insured’s customers to the Insured’s premises*, not exceeding in all for the compensation and litigation expenses the limit of Rs. For any one accident or a series of accidents arising from any one event and Rs. For all accidents during any one period of insurance.
*and also whilst lying at the insured’s premises specified in the schedule.

On the basis of the said condition, the learned Counsel submitted that the Insurance Company is not liable in such a case.

In our view, referring to the aforesaid terms of the clause, it is apparently vague. However, it inter alia, specifically provides that the Insurance Company will indemnify the insured in respect of all sums which the insured is legally liable to pay as compensation in case of accidental damage to property caused by or arising from the installation of gas filled liquefied petroleum gas cylinder in the premises of the Insured’s customers.

Undisputedly, in the present case, the damage has taken place in the customer’s premises. In this view of the matter, it cannot be said that the order passed by the State Commission directing the Insurance Company to reimburse the Complainant is in any erroneous.

At the same time, it is to be stated that because of the defective cylinder or the regulator the accident has taken place, and hence, it cannot be held that the Dealer or the HPCL would not be liable. Primary liability would be that of the HPCL.

In this view of the matter, it is held that the dealer and the HPCL would be jointly and severally liable to pay compensation to the Complainant. However, as the insurance cover is taken by the dealer, the Insurance Company would be also liable. In the result, the appeal is partly allowed and the order passed by the State Commission is modified accordingly.

It is to be stated that at the time of admission hearing of this appeal, the Insurance Company was directed to deposit a sum of Rs.5 lakhs before the State Commission and permission was given to the Complainant to withdraw the same by furnishing adequate security to the satisfaction of the State Commission. It is stated that the said amount has been withdrawn by the Complainant.

In this view of the matter, it is directed that the remaining amount of Rs.4,65,800/- shall be paid jointly and severally by the dealer (Respondent no.3) and the HPCL (Respondent No.4) to the Complainant. However, the Insurance Company is also required to reimburse the said amount to the dealer. Therefore, the Insurance Company is directed to pay the remaining amount to the Complainant within a period of six weeks from today.

However, considering the facts of the case, the direction to pay interest on the sum assessed is set aside.

The appeal stands disposed of accordingly. There shall be no order as to costs.

Sd/xxxx
……………………………….J.
( M.B.SHAH )
PRESIDENT

Sd/xxxx
.…………………………………
(RAJYALAKSHMI RAO)
MEMBER

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.