While it's a tough time for 32,000 home buyers of Jaypee Infratech with the latter entering into insolvency proceedings, it's not the first time that home buyers have been left in the lurch by the builders. Delay in possession, not meeting amenities as per the contract or the changes in project layout without consent are recurring grievances of homebuyers. Here are the recourses available in order to be not taken in for a ride by your builder.
Filing claim: In case your builder has gone bankrupt, the first recourse you can take is to fill the form as an unsecured creditor and in the eventuality of liquidation receive whatever amount is left after clearing the dues of the operational and financial creditors.
Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission: As a dissatisfied home buyer, you can also approach Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission. You can approach it at a district level, state level or national level directly. As per a recent ruling made by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), arbitration you can approach consumer court when your contract with the builder includes a clause about arbitration. Of late the Commission has ruled against leading builders like Jaypee, Lodha Group, Unitech, imposing a penalty of 12-18 per cent.
RERA: Real Estate Regulation and Development, (RERA), Act 2016 seeks to protect the interest of homebuyers. It is applicable on all projects that are registered under this act. Consumers can file the complaint under RERA in the prescribed format for seeking any relief. Even if a case is filed in the NCDRC or other consumer court, consumers can withdraw the case and approach the authority under the RERA. Along with the refund for the amount paid, consumers can also seek fixing structural defects in the property. Under RERA, a real estate firm has to keep a minimum escrow account for each of its projects.
Competition Commission of India: In case you think your builder is using its dominant position, you can approach Competition Commission of India and file a complaint against the builder for misuse of his position. The commission can award harsh penalties on the offenders in case they are found guilty. In the past the Competition Commission of India imposed a penalty of Rs 630 crore on Delhi based DLF Group when it was proved that the builder was indulged in unfair practices.
Criminal court: As a disappointed home buyer you can also seek redressal via criminal court against the builder for cheating and not responding to the grievances or poor quality of construction, etc. The defaulter is asked to appear before the court, failing which a bailable or non-bailable warrant can be issued against him.