Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Builders in Bengaluru force home buyers to take over incomplete flats

BENGALURU: In a bid to beat the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016, builders in Bengaluru are arm-twisting property buyers into taking possession of flats in incomplete projects, consumers who spoke to Express said.
The builders are in a rush to get Occupancy Certificates (OC), as only ongoing projects come under the purview of the Act. Such instances have particularly gone up over the last one month, as the deadline for implementation of RERA is approaching. The Act will make it difficult for builders to sell flats that don’t conform to norms.
A case in point is Vishnu (name changed), an IT professional in the city whose builder has threatened him with a hefty penalty of Rs 70,000 for not agreeing to take posession of an incomplete apartment.

Vishnu who has bought a property in Anekal from an established brand told Express that the builder recently got hold of an Occupancy Certificate (OC), based on a Certificate of Completion (CC) from his own architect. The builder has not even completed all the amenities promised as per the contract. “His own architect gave a CC. Also, the Panchayat is not authorised to give the Occupancy Certificate. They were asking me to take possession even before completion of the official procedure. Since I refused, they have threatened me with holding additional charges for the property.” Express spoke to several buyers who said their builders were making scurried attempts to get occupancy certificates without completion of the amenities mentioned in the contract.
Property buyers are forced to enter into sale deed, pay balance amount and take possession of the apartment in incomplete projects. The builders would not even have ensured basic amenities like electricity and water, explained M S Shankar, who leads the Karnataka chapter of the forum Fight for RERA. He said the number of these instances had grown over the last month since the deadline for implementation of RERA was drawing close.
‘Don’t dilute RERA’
‘Fight for RERA’ wants the government to ensure that all the ongoing projects are covered under the Act. “In some states, the Act has been diluted by excluding projects that have seen 60 per cent completion. We want the government to ensure that all ongoing projects are under the purview of the Act to hold them accountable,” Shankar added.
‘Nothing wrong in getting OCs’
If a builder has completed his project and is expediting the process of getting an OC, there is nothing wrong with it, observed Suresh Hari, spokesperson, CREDAI. As for amenities that have not been completed, the builder is legally bound. “It is subject to legal scrutiny. The builder cannot escape from delivering it,” he said.
Delayed implementation in Karnataka
While the Union government had stipulated May 1, 2017 as the date from which RERA would come into force, the implementation of the Act will be delayed in Karnataka, as the government is yet to notify the rules. In October last year, the state government brought out the draft rules for the Act. However, the final rules are yet to be passed. Sources in the housing department said they were still working on it and it would not be announced by April 30, as hoped earlier. Housing Minister M Krishnappa too said they were looking into it and it would be presented in the next cabinet meeting.

- Source: Indian Express