I own a flat in Mumbai. It is self-occupied. At present, there is no society for the occupants, so the builder maintains the property but charges maintenance at ₹ 15 per month per sq.ft of the carpet area, in contravention of verbal assurance that it will be around ₹ 6-7 per sq.ft per month. Further, the developer has not provided various facilities it promised, even after a year of handing its possession. Are there any provisions in this regard in Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) or any other applicable law? What other remedies are available to a flat owner?
—P. Sita Dhrub
We presume that you have executed an agreement of sale with the developer, duly registered, which records the terms and conditions on which you have purchased the flat. We also presume that the agreement for sale is in sync with the modal format of agreement for sale provided under RERA, and under such agreement for sale, the developer/promoter is required to provide clause/ term pertaining to (i) maintenance charges, which the developer/promoter will charge for maintaining the common amenities, till the date of formation of the society, (ii) amenities to be provided by the developer/promoter under the flat/apartment and in the project, and other clauses.
Considering these presumptions to be correct in the present case, the promoter is bound to comply with its obligations, which are so recorded in the agreement for sale, and in such a scenario, and the terms recorded under the agreement for sale would prevail over the verbal commitments. However, in case the promoter has failed to comply with its obligations, which are recorded in the agreement for sale, which is duly registered, coupled with the fact that the same project is registered by the promoter with RERA, then you can file a complaint before the regulatory authority to seek concerned reliefs under relevant provisions of RERA.
Further, in case you file the complaint before the regulatory authority under the provisions of RERA, then you would not be required to file a complaint before any other court/ forum, since Section 79 of RERA specifically bars the jurisdiction of courts to entertain any suit or proceeding in respect of any matter, which the regulatory authority or the adjudicating officer or the appellate tribunal is empowered by or under RERA to determine.
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Amit Kolekar is associate partner, Rajani Associates.
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