MUMBAI: Home buyers find order barring them from exiting project confusing
Home buyers like IT engineer Nikhil Sable, who initiated a recovery process to get their money when the developer failed to honour MahaRERA’s refund order for three years, are confused after the regulator allowed the same developer to continue with 51 per cent consent of other home buyers and asked buyers not to withdraw from the project in the larger interest of completion of the project.
Sable, 32, and his wife Pradnya had invested in Falco Woodshire project in 2013, but when the project was not completed by 2017, they approached MahaRERA, and swiftly got an order asking the developer to refund their money – Rs 36.86 lakh with interest. But their joy was short-lived.
The developer, Kambar Constructions, challenged the order, and the appellate tribunal also upheld the refund order. When the developer still did not honour the refund order, Sables filed for non-execution of the order and MahaRERA issued revenue recovery warrants in May 2018, directing the Collector to recover the money.
The order went to the Kalyan tehsildar who sealed the building and set up an auction. The first auction was cancelled and a second auction was organised.
“In the second auction, five flats were put up for sale and only one got sold. We received a sum of Rs 11.11 lakh, which we paid towards the home loan interest. Our total refund amount is nearly Rs 62 lakh, and Rs 50 lakh of our dues are still pending. But the latest order asking home buyers not to withdraw from the project has got us confused. What happens to all those of us who got refund orders, went through a lot of frustration over the last three years to get the warrant recovery process going?
The process is still on,” said Nikhil Sable speaking to Mirror.
MahaRERA had indicated that the developer could be allowed to continue and complete the project if majority of the home buyers of the project or 51per cent of them gave their consent.
Falco Buyers Welfare Association, which represents buyers from five buildings including Falco Woodshire, had prayed that the same developer, Kambar Constructions, be allowed to continue as the developer with consent from majority of 51per cent buyers of the project.
“The allottees, who want to withdraw from the project or are seeking interest for delay at this stage, may consider continuing in the project till the completion of the project and then decide on their continuation or withdrawal,” said MahaRERA chairperson Gautam Chatterjee in his November 5 order.
He said in the High Court order upholding the validity of RERA, the court had observed that the object and purpose of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 is to complete the development work within the stipulated time frame.
“Accordingly, keeping the interest of project completion and the larger interest of the association of allottees in mind, any withdrawal from the stressed project or claim on interest on delay, at this stage, will adversely affect the project completion and will not be in the larger interest of the allottees in the project,” he said.
Developer Rohit Chugani, appearing personally, had submitted that a large number of allottees in project Woodshire have been approaching him to start the project work and complete it, as has been done in respect of other towers which have got MahaRERA Order under section 7 read with section 7(3) of the RERA Act, 2016. He added that they are in discussion with India Infoline Housing Finance Ltd (IIFL), which had provided construction finance and are hopeful of settling the outstanding dues of IIFL.