Maha homebuyers get another option to resolve disputes with builders before approaching RERA

The MahaRERA set up the forum, which will have a representative each of the builders’ association and a consumer activist for mediation between the two parties, as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism.
In case both the parties reach an understanding, they have to sign an agreement and adhere to its terms.(FILE)
In case both the parties reach an understanding, they have to sign an agreement and adhere to its terms.(FILE)
Updated on Jan 30, 2018 10:05 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByHT Correspondent, Mumbai

From February 1, aggrieved homebuyers can approach the Conciliation Forum to get their grievances solved, before lodging complaints with the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA).

The MahaRERA set up the forum, which will have a representative each of the builders’ association and a consumer activist for mediation between the two parties, as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism.

The aggrieved party can lodge their grievances online by paying Rs1,000, cheaper compared to the Rs5,000 to be paid to MahaRERA. The conciliation forum will solve the case within 45 days.

Vasant Prabhu, MahaRERA secretary, said, “It will help the aggrieved party get their dispute resolved easily. We have received 1,600 complaints in RERA so far and 600 rulings have been passed. In 40 % of the cases, the parties came to a settlement among themselves. This forum will reduce the load of MahaRERA and we can concentrate on critical cases.”

He said the forum is an option for the aggrieved parties and they can approach the RERA if they don’t find a solution.

In case both the parties reach an understanding, they have to sign an agreement and adhere to its terms.

In case of breach of agreement by one party, the other can lodge a complaint with RERA.

Shirish Deshpande, president, Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP), a consumer body, said this will give confidence to homebuyers. “This forum will help iron out differences between the builder and the homebuyer,” said Deshpande.

Builder Niranjan Hiranandani, who is one of the members of the forum, called it a welcome step. “It would cut down legal hassles. Our ultimate goal should be to complete the project and give out the house in time,” said Hiranandani.

HOW IT WILL WORK

A party initiating conciliation can file an online application with the Conciliation Forum

A copy will be automatically emailed to the other party

The other side needs to give its consent within seven days

Both the parties will then be referred to the Conciliation bench and intimated of the date and timing for the hearing

Both parties have to come or depute their representatives for the hearing. They can’t send their lawyers

The members of the forum— one from the builders’ association and other from Mumbai Grahak Panchayat -- will try to resolve the dispute.

If the parties agree, a consent agreement will be drawn and signed by them

If they fail to reach an amicable settlement, the conciliation process would stand cancelled

The parties can then approach the MahaRERA or any other court

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