Owning a home that proudly carries our name on the name plate is the biggest dream of us Indians. We go to great lengths to buy our dream home. First we shuttle ourselves from one builder’s office to another to find a property suitable to our needs and wallet; we get into heavy mortgage agreements with banks for long periods of time; agree to pay huge sums of processing fees to the government; keep paying home rent as a tenant till our dream house is ready; run to the builder’s office, marketing office, construction site to keep a constant vigil on construction progress and do much much more.
All of it in the name of owning our dream home.
As if the above process wasn’t taxing enough, prospective house owners today have also to grapple with the incorrect attitude of certain builders whose sole intentions are to make money at all costs, even if it involves cheating or duping gullible and innocent customers. They adopt various tactics to achieve their purposes. Some builders run away overnight wrapping up their makeshift offices, some get into legal litigation with the land owners, some halt construction indefinitely citing labour reasons, while some delay the handover process beyond the stipulated agreed time. The reasons go on and on and the one person that gets seriously affected in all these cases are us, the consumers, the prospective home owner, the dreamer.
Consumer courts across India are replete with cases filed by consumers against property builders. Many of the cases are still under process. But certain cases reach their final conclusion, and bring justice to hapless home owners who for no fault of theirs had to suffer mental agony, physical harassment and financial losses.
One such case that reached its judgement stage was the case of Mr. Sanjay Goyal Vs. Unitech Limited, Delhi . Mr. Sanjay Goyal booked a flat in year 2007 at the agreed sum of Rs. 1.3 crores in one of Unitech Limited’s housing project by the name of Harmony at Nirvana Country, a residential township in Gurgaon. As per the agreement, he was to get the property possession by September 2010.
But sadly Mr. Sanjay Goyal was in for a rude and agonising shock. The builder incessantly delayed the handover much to the chagrin of Sanjay Goyal and his family. Till May 2013, which was a date almost one year post Sanjay filing the case against Unitech Limited, he was still waiting for the keys to his dream home. This means Sanjay, in the meantime was paying a huge sum of money as house rent and subjecting himself and his family to physical and mental agonies, all due to the callous attitude of Unitech Limited.
But this didn’t go well with the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission. NCDRC directed Unitech to reimburse a sum of Rs. 14 lakh to Sanjay Goyal, which totals up the rent that is being paid by Mr. Sanjay Goyal staying as a tenant while waiting for possession from October 2010 to May 2013.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) also pulled up the real estate major and its top officials, namely, Executive Chairman Ramesh Chandra and Managing Directors Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra, saying “even after lapse of six years the flats are not ready”. The Commission directed Unitech to hand over the flat to Sanjay Goyal within six moths time, failing which Unitech will have to pay Rs 25,000 for every additional month of delay in handing over possession and awarded Rs. 50,000 as compensation too.
To read the detailed judgement please click here: Sanjay Goyal vs. Unitech Limited
The case is a striking example of victory for prospective and current house owners who have been or are suffering mental and financial losses in the possession of their dream home. And is a lesson for property builders who think that they can get away with their callous attitude and not be held accountable.
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