The Supreme Court has said that a person who buys a plot/building can approach the Consumer Court to complain against the builder/developer. In its judgement, the Court held that the consumer protection law is also applicable to real estate complaints by allottees.
- Which law regulates real estate in India?
The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 regulates and promotes India’s real estate sector. This law ensures the sale of real estate projects, plots, apartments, buildings, etc. in a transparent and efficient manner. It also protects the interests of consumers in the real estate sector. The law establishes the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Authority) in each state, and mechanisms for speedily resolving real estate disputes.
- Who is an allottee?
With regard to a real estate project, an allottee is a person to whom a plot, apartment or building (property) has been allotted, sold or transferred. This includes people who subsequently acquire the said property through sale, transfer, etc. However, it does not include a person who has taken the property on rent.
- What are the allottee’s rights?
Some of the rights of an allottee are:
- i) Right to get information about the property’s sanctioned plans and layout plans along with specifications as approved by the relevant authority.
- ii) Right to know the stage-wise time schedule of completion of the real estate project, including the provisions for water, sanitation, electricity, etc. as per the sale agreement.
iii) Right to claim a refund of the payment (along with interest) from the builder/developer, in situations where the builder/developer is unable to hand over the possession of the property as per the sale agreement.
- What are the allottee’s duties?
Some of the responsibilities of the allottee:
- i) Every allottee who has entered into an agreement for sale to take an apartment, plot or building, has a duty to make necessary payments within the time specified in the said agreement. The allottee must properly pay his/her share of the registration charges, municipal taxes, water and electricity charges, maintenance charges, ground rent, and other charges.
- ii) The allottee must pay interest for any delay in making the payments mentioned above.
iii) Every allottee must take physical possession of the apartment, plot or building within two months of the occupancy certificate issued for the property.
- Registering a real estate project
Generally, a builder/developer cannot advertise, market, book, sell or offer any plot, apartment or building in any real estate project without registering the real estate project with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority. Any builder/developer who violates this rule may be penalised up to 10 percent of the estimated cost of the real estate project as determined by the Authority.