Photo: Mint

Photo: Mint

Did you know | You can ask developer to fix construction defects even after you get possession

Did you know | You can ask developer to fix construction defects even after you get possession

Just before moving into your new house if you find that there are cracks in the wall or the sanitary fittings in your bathroom are broken, you can ask your builder to carry out the repair work. They are liable to do the repair work for one to three years even after you get the possession of your flat as part of the defect liability period clause in your builder-buyer agreement.

What is defect liability period?

Photo: Mint

Some developers have introduced a change in the defect liability clause recently. It says that instead of repairing the defects themselves, they ask the buyer to get it done and deduct the same amount from the amount that has to be paid as external maintenance charges or the pending possession amount. Across all payment plans, usually around 5% of the property’s total cost is to be paid at the time of possession.

What kind of defects are covered?

An apartment is constructed on the basis of some architectural estimation with which the final structure may not necessarily comply with in exact detail. Often due to shortage of cement supply or increase in the cost of raw materials, the builder may try to cut expenses by making the walls thin or compromising on other aspects. Then, there may be some broken window panes or cracks in the ceiling or elsewhere that may have gone unnoticed during the course of construction.

What should you do?

When signing the builder-buyer agreement, ensure that this clause is included because in the absence of this clause you can’t do much about defects in construction.

Watch out for construction defects before signing the final possession papers. If you find defects, you can take the possession of your apartment “under protest" and ask your developer to sign the documents. To certify that you have taken possession with the knowledge that there are defects, take a receipt of this possession letter with the builder’s official signature and full details of company executives party to the sale agreement.

If other occupants in the same project find such defects in their apartments, you can form a group and approach the builder to repair these defects. In case the builder refuses to carry out the repair work, you can approach a consumer court and file a case under non-execution of service.

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