“What is the possession date”?
This is the most pertinent question which real estate investors or end users have in their mind when they are buying into an under-construction property.
The real estate industry has been quite infamous for construction problems, delays in construction projects, not delivering what was promised at the time of booking and in the majority of the cases, giving delayed possession and in certain cases not delivering at all !
Delayed possession always escalates the cost for customers who are paying rent for the property which is currently occupied and are also paying EMIs for a housing loan with the help of which the under-construction property is bought.
Now what options do customers have in case they find themselves in the above situation?
Keeping in mind regular occurrences of customers losing out on timely possession or no possession, the central government of India formulated Real Estate Regulation and Development Act (RERA) which came into force on 1st May 2017. RERA is a Central Act and majority of the states have implemented RERA albeit with certain modifications.
Under RERA, the developer/ builder needs to exclusively mention the possession date and if the builder delays the project due to reasons totally under his control, he would need to pay a compensation for delayed possession of flats.
How to handle disputes with builders?
A customer who has been deprived of timely possession can approach the Real Estate Regulator under RERA and file a case with the Regulator.
In case the customer happens to be from Maharashtra, he can first approach the Conciliation Forum formed to sort out the grievances of the customer amicably before reaching the Regulator.
Maharashtra is the only state in the country as of now to form a Conciliation Forum .The Forum consists of 8 builders, who are members of developers’ bodies including the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) and National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO). There are also 15 representatives of Mumbai Grahak Panchayat and Grahak Panchayat Pune to safeguard homebuyers’ interest.
No customer books an apartment expecting to go through the hassles of approaching authorities in case of delayed possession. However, with RERA in place, its honest and strict implementation would help customers who are trapped in mess.
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