Flat buyers find holes in MahaRERA order

Buyers of flats at a residential project in Mira Road have accused the MahaRERA of taking more than the mandated 60 days to give a ruling in a delayed possession complaint filed against the developer and then directing the builder to cough up interest from February 2018 whereas the original possession date was December 31, 2015.

The home buyers, who had invested in Man Global Ltd’s Man Opus project and are simultaneously paying EMIs and rent, are now planning to approach the Appellate Tribunal to get the interest period extended by over two years. A group of 53 people had filed a complaint against Man Global Ltd, accusing it of failing to deliver the flats on the designated date of December 31, 2015, and sought interest on delayed possession.

The project has a total of eight buildings, including two under the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) rental housing scheme, and was to be developed in three phases. When it was registered with MahaRERA in mid-2017, the developer had revised the possession date to December 31, 2018. During the hearings, the developer promised to complete three buildings in Phase-I by April 2018, and the three buildings in Phase-II by June 2018 even as home buyers had paid 95 per cent of the flat costs.

According to the MahaRERA order, the developer then made a disclosure that in April 2018, MMRDA issued some additional specifications for the internal works of the two rental housing scheme buildings without which it wouldn’t issue a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for the sale component. When the project failed to obtain OC even by December 2018, the revised completion date, MahaRERA granted an extension till August 2019.

The developer’s representative, Suraj Kulkarni, and advocate Abir Patel blamed the delay in arrival of environmental clearances and the MMRDA’s refusal to give NOC till their specifications were adhered to. MahaRERA chairman Gautam Chatterjee said though the developer has cited reasons that are beyond his control for the delay, the allottees cannot be made to suffer. Stating that the reasonable time could only be six months from the date of registration, he directed the developer to pay interest on the delay from February 1, 2018 for phase I buildings, and from April 1, 2018 for Phase II building till he offers possession.

If the developer fails to complete the project by April 2019, the home buyers are at liberty to seek revocation of developer’s registration, the order adds. Speaking to Mirror, housing activist Ramesh Prabhu, who represented some of the buyers, said, “We will challenge the order before the Appellate Tribunal. The developer was aware of MMRDA rental scheme norms but is blaming the MMRDA NOC for the delay. This cannot be dubbed as unforeseen mitigating circumstance (force majeure).”

Home buyer Tilkesh Soni said, “I filed my complaint in September 2017. MahaRERA is mandated to give a ruling within 60 days, but we got the judgment 445 days later. In the April 2018 hearing, MahaRERA had asked both the parties to settle the matter amicably, and Man Global had agreed to pay interest from May 1, 2017 when the RERA was enacted. But, from April 2

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