CHENNAI: A city consumer forum has directed a builder to pay a compensation of Rs 55,000 to a client for delaying the delivery of a flat by 14 months and also falsely accusing her of being behind in payments.
S Jayanthi of Besant Nagar decided to purchase a flat in DLF Garden City, OMR, Chennai, and paid Rs 4 lakh as booking amount in 2008. The company, DLF Southern Homes, issued a stamped receipt and allotted a flat on the 14th floor of the 14th block. However, a few months later, she was informed that a different flat had been allotted to her, but was given no reason for the change.
After many persons who initially came forward to purchase the apartments backed off, the company was forced to drop some part of the construction. Following this, Jayanthi was allotted a different flat once again and was assured of the flat delivery in 27 months.
Between 2008 and 2010, she made payments totalling Rs 38 lakh against the agreed sum of Rs 40 lakh at Rs 2,500 per sq ft, as specified in the buyer’s agreement.
The balance sum was to be paid when the flat was completed and handed over. However, even after paying most of the amount, the flat was not delivered. In her petition, Jayanthi described her agony of having to pay a hefty home loan EMI to the bank every month when she was still not in possession of the flat.
The company had also agreed for a discount of Rs 200 per sq ft but failed to do so. When a lawyer’s notice was sent, the company demanded further payment claiming there had been changes in the law with regard to escalating service tax, VAT etc.
In defence, the company submitted it did consult her before the flat was changed and claimed that the discount was not part of the Apartment Buyers Agreement. The company added that one of the payments of Rs 7 lakh was not paid according to schedule.