In a fresh crackdown against errant developers, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has initiated strict action, including seizure and auction of properties of builders in about 200 cases. These proceeds will be used to refund flat buyers who are yet to receive possession.
“Under the provisions of Section 40 of RERA Act, there are close to 200 cases of recovery of unpaid amounts (interest, compensation and/or penalty), as determined by orders passed by MahaRERA or adjudicating officers (AO) of Maha-RERA,” said Gautam Chatterjee, chairman, MahaRERA. These cases have been forwarded to various collectors to be recovered as arrears of land revenue. “The power to attach and recover dues as arrears of land revenue vests only with collectors,” he said.
Any homebuyer who has not been given possession of his flat by the date promised in the sale agreement, is entitled to approach the MahaRERA for redressal, according to the rule. Initially, the authority brings the two parties to sign a consent agreement if the flat buyer is keen on withdrawing from the project. The builder is allowed to refund and pay compensation or penalty in installments within a certain period.
In case a developer fails to honour the consent agreement, then the flat buyer can again approach the authority for implementation of its order. The authority then issues a warrant to be executed by the Collector for recovery of dues. If there is no response from the builder then the tehsildar notifies banks to block the builder’s accounts and the authority has the right to auction such properties. It has passed around 5,000 such orders so far.
Errant builders facing such action include big names like Nirmal Developers, following its failure to refund as many as 89 homebuyers in its Nirmal Olympia project in the Mulund region of the state.