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Claim refund of money against the builder under RERA

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I booked a flat in a development project situated in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The builder said that the project would complete in July 2016. However, I booked the said flat in the year 2014, but it is still under construction. The builder refuses to return my hard-earned money. More importantly, I have paid the total amount in the year 2017.

Now the worst scenario is the builder says that he has no money to complete this project and the LDA had restricted further construction. I want to file a complaint in RERA for return of the total amount. Whether the claim will be maintainable because I booked the flat before the commencement of RERA.

Question from: Lucknow

Your complaint is maintainable under Section 18 of The Real Estate (Regulation And Development) Act, 2016. However, you have booked the flat in the year 2014, but the project is still pending. The RERA came into force on 1st May 2017, and according to Section 3, all the ongoing projects come in its jurisdiction. Your builder did not get the completion certificate from the concerned authority. Therefore he cannot claim that his project is out of the RERA jurisdiction.

You may file a complaint before the RERA authority under section 18. This section empowers the buyer to claim a refund of the amount which he has paid to the builder and compensation for any other loss. This section also entitles the buyer to get simple interest upon the paid amount.

As far as the application of RERA provisions is concerned, it does not matter that you booked the flat in the year 2014 and paid the total amount in the year 2017. Section 3, 12141819, 71(1) and 79 of the Real Estate (Regulation And Development) Act, 2016, have retrospective effect. If a project is incomplete or does not get the completion certificate, then the RERA will applicable thereon.

Hence, you can file a complaint before the RERA authority under section 18 for the refund and compensation. If you do not want the refund of total amount and project is likely to complete shortly, then you are entitled to get simple interest on the amount. The interest will accrue from the date mentioned in the agreement for completion and transfer of possession of flat. Generally, the court orders lending rate of interest of SBI + 2 % simple interest on the investment. You are entitled to get interest from the date mentioned in the contract for giving possession of the flat.

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