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Builder and landlord dispute so can I take my money from the builder

By: Shivendra Pratap Singh
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Question: Builder and landlord dispute so can I take my money from the builder. Flats booked in 2009 ( not registered only have allotment letter full and final payment made by cheque) but the builder is still buying time.  The plot is still under dispute between the tenants, the landlord and the builder. No demolition done tenants are still living there , I’m a user not an investor staying on rental since 2009. Where my case stands in court of law, what are my options? Can I approach under consumer protection 2019 or this case can be sorted out in Maharera because it is 12 years now since the booking can’t wait any longer.

The Builder took too much time to complete this project. He does not want to return my money. In this situation what is the option available to me against the Builder for taking money. I am very sure that the Builder will not return my money. Can I initiate any legal proceeding against the Builder for refund of money either with interest or without interest?

Question from Maharashtra

You can initiate legal proceeding against the Builder either in the consumer forum or before the Maharera. I think this project is not registered under the Real Estate Regulation Act. You have only an allotment letter however you have paid full price. In spite of that you can take legal action against the builder for refund of money with interest.

Preceding under RERA 

Section 31 of the Real Estate Regulation Act provides that buyers can approach the rera authority even if property is not registered under rera. So you should approach the rera authority and claim a refund of money from the builder.

There is a dispute between the Builder and landlord. That dispute has existed for more than 12 years. Therefore it is not possible for the Builder to  give the possession of the flat within time. The condition of your case suggests that you should claim a refund from the builder with interest. Section 18 of the Real Estate Regulation Act empowers the buyer to get a refund from the builder with interest. 

Interest is right of the buyer if the builder does not give or transfer the possession of flat within a stipulated time. The Builder has received the full amount of the flat. He is not in the position to perform his promise i.e. to complete the construction within the time due to builder and landlord dispute.

You can also claim the refund of money in the proceeding before the consumer forum. The consumer forum has the power to compensate the buyer for his losses. When the builder has got benefit from your money then he shall compensate you. The consumer forum will direct the builder to pay the entire amount with interest.

Allotment letter 

Buyer issues allotment letter generally after receiving an amount which is at least 10% of the value of the flat. The Builder has to execute a buyer-builder agreement after the issuing of an allotment letter. This thing did not happen in your face case therefore, it is a fault of the Builder.

Allotment letter is a legal document and the Builder cannot deny that he has not received the whole amount. You can initiate legal proceedings on the basis of an allotment letter. If the allotment letter does not reflect payment of entire amount then you should take a certified copy from the bank to prove the payment.

Send a legal notice

You should send a legal notice to the Builder and claim a refund of the entire amount with interest. Take a copy of legal notice for filing a case against the builder for return of the amount. If the Builder does not refund the money then you should file a case either before the rera authority or  before the consumer forum. you should initiate proceeding before the RERA authority because it has better enforcement power than the consumer forum.

Kanoonirai has been advising in legal issues since October 2014. You can consult a lawyer through online media, telephonic consultation and video conferencing.