In the first ruling under the RERA Act, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has ordered a builder from Mumbai to return the full booking amount of Rs 26.15 lakh to a homebuyer for a project in Virar (West) as the builder failed to give possession of the flat booked by the complainant in a residential project, within the committed time. This is the first verdict under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA), which came into effect in the state on May 1, 2017.
The home buyer had booked a flat in 2012-13 and the developer had promised possession by 2016. However, the developer failed to hand over the property within the committed time and was not willing to refund the advance when the buyer wanted to withdraw from the project and demanded a refund of this investment. The homebuyer registered a complaint under RERA and wanted his investment to be refunded under Section 18 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, (RERA) 2016. Section 18 (1) states “If the promoter fails to complete or is unable to give possession of an apartment, plot or building… he shall be liable on demand to the allottees, in case the allottee wishes to withdraw from the project, without prejudice to any other remedy available, to return the amount received by him in respect of that apartment, plot, building, as the case may be, with interest at such rate as may be prescribed in this behalf including compensation in the manner as provided under this Act.”
MahaRERA’s decision in the buyer’s favor came after three hearings. The builder has refunded the booking amount and the complainants have received full amount thus satisfying their full claim.
Meanwhile the complaint window of MahaRERA has already received about 100 complaints from homebuyers and is working on resolving them.