How to protect your property investments

Apr 19 2014, 18:39 IST
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The Allahabad High Court order in the Supertech case shows that local authorities are not effective at protecting the rights of home buyers. The Allahabad High Court order in the Supertech case shows that local authorities are not effective at protecting the rights of home buyers.
SummaryIn absence of a regulator, buyers have to be prepared to do what it takes to protect their investments.

the movement of fire tenders. There was also deviation on the use of the basement as the developer had carried out illegal construction in the basement.

The court was scathing in its indictment of the Authority. “Noida Authority has colluded with respondent company in sanctioning the plan, hence there was no occasion of the Noida Authority to respond to the specific grievance of the petitioners.”

What can buyers do?

There are several must do’s for home buyers and after this case, one of the most important things to do is to insist on getting the copy of the plan from the developer every 2-3 years.

“Under law the builder is supposed to show the latest plan to the residents that has been approved by the authority and has the proposed changes to be made in the initial plan,” said Kunal Ravi Singh, the counsel for the petitioners Emerald Court Owner Residents’ Welfare Association.

Singh added that the validity of the maps is only for 2-3 years and the builder makes new maps with changes in the plan. “Therefore buyers should regularly demand for the new maps to know the changes proposed by the builder in the original plan.”

Another step buyers should take is to ask their bank or housing finance company to inspect these maps as the banks are also interested parties and they too should exercise a check whether the rules are being followed.

Legal experts say that two major developments have emerged from the court order: One, the RWA has the right to represent the apartment owners in every litigation pertaining to disputes between owners and developers. Two, without taking previous consent of the owner as stipulated in the UP Apartments Act, 2010, no amendments to the sanctioned map can be made by the developer.

When buyers are aware of these provisions, they can use it effectively to check the developer who promises say an open space or an amenity such as a club house on the map, but then goes ahead and constructs another building and markets it as a different project. While the court order says that existing buyers should be compensated for the principal investment with an interest rate of 14 per cent per annum, experts feel that, given the passage of time, that sum may not be enough to buy a property with similar specifications in that area.

“Buyers should ask for adequate compensation and it could be a

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