Delay in handing over possession of a ready flat amounts to adopting unfair trade practice, the Mumbai Suburban District Consumer Forum has ruled.
It has directed a developer to pay a flat purchaser arrears of rent for the past 24 months, and continue to pay the monthly rent amount till possession of the flat is given to him.
The consumer forum has also directed the developer, Falsa Constructions, to complete construction of the incomplete wing and handover ready possession of the flat admeasuring 345 sqft carpet area to Vitthal Dhoke within six months.
If it is not possible for the developer to complete the building, the forum has given it an option to purchase a flat with similar measurements in an adjoining area and give it to Dhoke at the rate at which he had booked his flat.
The Mahim resident had booked a flat in Madhuban building (A Wing) at Dahisar (East) in August 2005, being constructed by Falsa Constructions. He had paid Rs1.01 lakh as the booking amount. Immediately after, the developer executed a sale deed, under which possession of the ready flat was to be handed over to Dhoke by December 2008. However, he is yet to get possession.
In November 2010, Dhoke approached the consumer forum through the Consumer Welfare Association seeking possession of the flat booked by him and a monthly rent amount of Rs7,000, which he was required to pay from June 2010.
The developer contested the complaint, stating the delay in completion of A-wing of Madhuban building was because of reservation of a Development Plan (DP) road and court matters involving some encroachments on the land.
The forum, however, found that the developer had not cited any pre-condition of completion of the DP road for construction of the A-wing.
The bench of forum president JL Deshpande and member Deepa Bidnurkar held that under provisions of the Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act, it was mandatory for the builder to complete construction of the building, and give possession of the ready flat to the purchaser in stipulated time.
The forum has now directed the developer to pay Dhoke arrears of rent at the rate of Rs7,000 per month from June 2010 onwards within six weeks, and continue to pay him till the ready flat is handed over to him — either the one booked by him or another flat in the adjoining area.
Dhoke will also get Rs10,000 towards cost of the litigation.