The long and winding road home

To expedite the delivery process, the Greater Noida Authority has decided to appoint a consultant as buyers have also lost confidence in builders

Published: 19th August 2017 11:32 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th August 2017 08:01 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: Amit Singh had booked his flat in 2014 in Greater Noida West and was assured possession in three years. “In three years, not even 20 per cent of the work has been completed. I don’t think that the builder is going to finish the project even in the next five years. We have raised the issue at different forums, but in vain,” he added. Singh is not alone. There are over 4 lakh such cases in NCR area. Around 1.5 lakh such cases are in Greater Noida region alone where construction has been delayed or stuck for the last many years.

Builders and developers claim that there are many reasons for the delay. “Fund crunch, of course, is the main reason. Many developers shifted money of one project into another resulting in both getting delayed. Besides, there were issues related to farmers and land acquisition. Approvals also got delayed in many cases,” said Praveen Jain, president, National Real Estate Development Council.
Sarmantak Das, chief economist and national director (Research) of Knight Frank India, a leading international property consultant, said lack of confidence by buyers have led to piling up of unsold inventories.

“The unsold inventory in NCR is an outcome of extremely slow sales velocity. The yearly sales have come down abysmally by 60-70 per cent from them reaching the peak in 2010-11,” he added.
Now, with a view to expediting the delivery process, the Greater Noida Authority has decided to appoint a consultant. It will assess the current situation and prepare a mitigation strategy.

Arvind Mohan Singh, general manager (property) of the Greater Noida Authority, said, “The consultants shall be responsible for undertaking an assessment of the identified projects. It will identify the challenges faced by each project and advise the Authority on its viability. Thereafter, mitigation strategy will be planned.”

Companies, including Deloitte and CBRE, have shown interest in offering their services as consultants, he added.

“I think we will see some sort of correction in the future as under the new regime of RERA, developers will have to face strict penal charges. If RERA is implemented and followed in letter and spirit, the unsold inventory pressure will be quite less and we hope that buyers will return to the market,” said Das.
Jain shared similar views, “Things have started improving. The new regulation is in place and it will provide confidence among the buyers.”

Possession of Over 4 Lakh Flats Delayed in NCR

Flat owners’ associations allege that builders always prioritise their profits. “Builders can’t understand the plight of buyers. Buyers are paying EMIs along with the rent due to the delay. About 80 per cent of the projects are running late in Noida and other parts of NCR. Many projects of prominent builders such as Jaypee, Unitech, Amrapali, Supertech and others have got delayed by over two years or more,” said Abhishek Kumar, president, Nefowa (Noida Extension Flat Owners’ Association).

Dejected buyers

Azmat Rana Private executive
Got the possession of his flat in Greater Noida early this year after a seven-year-long wait, but he still can’t live in it.
“The builder has not finished work. They are saying that I will have to get the registry done first and only then they would start work on it. They should have handed over the completed flat.”

Manoj Kumar
Working professional
Has been waiting for his flat in a Greater Noida West project for more than five years now.
“I had booked it in 2012 and have made 90 per cent payment. I am paying EMI on home loan as well as rent. Recent news of builders going bankrupt has made me more miserable. Now, the builder has even stopped communicating with us.”

Sunit Jha
Private executive
It’s been six long years and he is still waiting for the possession of his flat in NCR area which he was promised three years ago.
“I have lost all hope. The builder has been assuring me for the last three years, but nothing has happened. I am staying in a rented house and I am forced to pay interest on the home loan and rent, both.”

Six Important Provisions in RERA

  1. Written affidavit: The promoter’s promise will now have a legal standing to it
  2. Possession date is sacrosanct: The ‘agreement of sale’ will have to specifically carry the date of possession and the rate of interest in the case of any default
  3. Clear title of the land: A written affidavit has to be provided by the promoter that the legal title to the land on which the development is proposed has legally valid documents with authentication of such title if such land is owned by another person
  4. Free from encumbrances: A written affidavit has to be provided by the promoter that the land is free from all encumbrances
  5. Maintaining separate account: 70 per cent of the amount taken from the buyers shall be used to cover the cost of construction
  6. Making it an offence : If not adhering to rules, builder may lose registration of the project, and be punished or fined, or both

Partial Completion

More than 2,000 families have been forced by developers to move into new housing projects in Greater Noida and Noida. Most of the projects have been given ‘partial’ completion certificates which allow the builders to deliver possession to buyers for fit-outs even though basic amenities are missing.

Partial completion certificate incorporated in the UP Apartment Act is issued to builders to facilitate
tower-wise completion. Buyers moving in ‘before completion’ will not get compensation for late delivery.

Partial completion certificates were seen as a means to provide relief to apartment owners. This is now being misused by some developers.

Legal Recourse

If possession is not delivered on time, a purchaser can send a notice to the builder, claiming refund of the amount paid along with interest and/or damages. The buyer can also file a consumer complaint for ‘deficiency in service’ as defined under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 against the builder.

A purchaser can also file a regular suit before a court of competent jurisdiction, for damages or specific performance, under the Indian Contract Act, 1872.

Recently, Unitech was penalised `3 crore by the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission, for delay in giving possession of its flats. In another case, in Greater Noida, more than 300 flat buyers staged a protest against a builder, for delay in giving possession.

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