Builders’ monopoly in the Indian real estate market has been a matter of concern for long. Unfinished apartments, broken floor tiles, uneven plaster, seepage on wall and kitchen are some common issues buyers have to enter the apartment with.
Property market in India is always considered to be dominated by the sellers. Especially when it related to buying builder flats, the buyers often are seen fighting for their rights. Unfinished or semi-finished apartments, broken floor tiles, uneven plaster, seepage on walls, and several missing features, which were committed during purchase, are some of the common issues, buyers are offered at the time of possession of their house. The irony is that the builders straight away refuse to repair them even after making complaints regarding the same. Many buyers are kept away from their property until they pay the full amount of the house ad after possession; it becomes their sole responsibility to repair it themselves. The funny part is that the buyers have to pay the maintenance cost from the day first, irrespective of the fact that their property is still under construction.
However, it is now for the buyers to take a sigh of relief. The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has made a historic hearing in which it has asked one of India’s top and old real estate developers, Ansal Housing to pay back at the rate of 9% to the buyers until all the defects in the property are fixed. The hearing was made in connection to a complaint made with NCDRC by a buyer against the builder.
The buyer raised the issue when he was offered an unfinished flat to him by Ansal Housing. In addition, he reported the following unfixed issues:
- Incomplete electrical fitting, meters and wiring
- Missing modular kitchen with chimney
- Incomplete bathroom fittings
- Seepages at many places seeping
- Doors and locks works incomplete
- Missing CCTV security system
The angry buyer approached the National Consumer Forum and the forum after investigating the ground facts made the following orders:
- The developer (Ansal Housing) must fix all the issues immediately and deliver the apartment in a state that was promised at the time of purchase.
- Ansal Housing to pay 9% interest on the sold value until the apartment is complete in all forms and delivered to the buyer.
In the first hearing made by the State Commission, the builder was also ordered to pay Rs. 1 Lakh as a compensation to the harassment he underwent. This order was challenged in NCDRC, and to the buyer’s rescue, NCDRC declared,
“No sensible buyer is expected to accept the possession of the flat in such a pathetic condition. The buyer, therefore, was fully justified in not accepting the possession of the flat in the aforesaid condition.”
Such cases have now become ideals for many homebuyers and at the same time a lesson to be learnt by the builders.