MahaRERA has directed a real estate developer in Mumbai to repay ₹66 lakh plus interest to a homebuyer due to delays in the project.

In a notable decision benefiting a homebuyer, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has ordered a prominent property developer in Mumbai to reimburse ₹66 lakh, along with accrued interest, to the buyer. This directive comes as a consequence of the developer’s failure to meet the project completion deadline as stipulated on the RERA website.

Three complaints were lodged against Nirmal Lifestyle by buyers seeking refunds for payments made, as the company did not deliver possession of flats on time. Each complainant had paid over 50% of the total amount due, yet did not receive possession of their booked flats. However, two of these complaints were dismissed by the authority citing insufficient documentary evidence and maintainability issues.

Amrithanand Salian, represented by advocates Dhrumil Shah and Mihir Nakrani, stated in their complaint that the company failed to specify a completion date, despite the MahaRERA website listing 2017 as the deadline for handing over possession of the flats. Salian, who had paid more than ₹66 lakh, requested a refund with interest due to the project’s non-completion.

Salian sought recourse under Section 18 of the RERA Act, which requires a promoter to refund the received amount if the allottee withdraws from the project because the promoter failed to provide possession of an apartment, plot, or building by the agreed-upon date stated in the sale agreement.

Findings of MahaRERA

Since the allotment letter did not specify a possession date, MahaRERA noted that the project registration date of June 30, 2016, as uploaded by the developers on the MahaRERA Project Registration webpage, would be deemed as the official possession date.

Furthermore, the authority observed the project’s incomplete status due to the company’s failure to upload the completion certificate on the webpage. MahaRERA Chairperson Ajoy Mehta stated, ‘When declaring a date, the Promoter (Respondents herein) must conduct thorough due diligence on the Project. The Allottees (Complainants herein) have no means to ascertain the issues and challenges involved and make a booking solely based on the completion date declared by the Developer/Promoter.

Mehta instructed the company to reimburse the full amount paid by the complainant, along with interest, as per Rule 18 of the Maharashtra Real Estate Rules, 2017, within sixty days.

Additionally, the authority advised the complainant to file a new application with the Adjudicating Officer to seek compensation for the mental anguish and harassment endured.

Posted and reproduced in Public Interest by

Adv. Sulaiman Bhimani Legal Consultant

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