Builder can’t force buyer to take possession of incomplete flat: NCDRC
A builder cannot force a homebuyer to take possession of a flat which is not fully constructed and for which completion certificate has not been issued by the local authority and doing so amounts to unfair trade practice, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has said in a ruling that could help many consumers who often find themselves in a similar situation.
A bench of C Viswanath and Ram Surat Ram Maurya directed a Bengaluru-based real estate company to refund the entire amount of around Rs 3.5 crore with interest to a buyer who refused to take possession of a villa without completion certificate and filed a complaint against the builder. The panel passed the order after noting that there was delay of more than two years in construction and still the flat was not fully constructed and was not livable.
“When the complainant went for taking possession, the builder insisted them to sign the paper, in which, it was written that they were receiving possession of the villa in fully ready condition, in the garb of alleged rule of the builder that if they wanted to take key of the villa, they had to sign it. This was an unfair trade practice. Offering possession with incomplete construction and without obtaining Completion Certificate does not justify the act of the builder,” it said.
In this case, the buyer— Suman Kumar Jha and Pratibha Jha— had booked in 2013 a 3,900 sqft luxurious villa in the project launched by Mantri Technology Constellation Private Limited in Chennai. The builder had promised to complete the construction and hand over possession of the villa by May 2015. The couple had paid all instalments as per the construction-linked plan to the builder.