Housing regulation authority Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has directed a builder to honour a home buyer’s agreement signed with the previous developer despite not having any such agreement with her of their own.
The builder had been using the absence of these documents in his defence for not giving the home buyer a possession of the flat.
The MahaRERA was hearing a plea filed by Mala Sen seeking possession of her flat and interest on delayed possession. During the hearings, Sen’s advocates Sandip Karu and Dinesh Mishra contended that Sen had booked two flats in the West End project in Malad West in April 2006 with developer Amit Patel. The project was, however, transferred to Ahimsa Developers who renamed the project to Ahimsa Heights.
After dillydallying for years, in 2013 Patel promised her flat C-304 in the new building and gave her only a letter saying so. No agreement to this effect was signed.
But when the Ahimsa Heights project was completed, the developer denied her possession which is when she approached the MahaRERA.
During the hearings before MahaRERA member Vijay Satbir Singh, advocate Sanjay Chaturvedi for Ahimsa Builders claimed that the complainant was not an allottee as per the definition of Section 2(d) of RERA, and they had neither entered into any contractual obligations with Sen nor issued any allotment letter to her.
Chaturvedi contended that the project was assigned to Ahimsa by Patel and he is yet to fulfil the contractual obligations towards the Transfer of Development Rights (TDR).
Chaturvedi argued that Ahimsa does not recognise Patel as a co-promoter of Ahimsa Heights and that they had not received the sale consideration for her flat from Patel, and hence they cannot execute any agreement with her. They also contended that a mere letter assuring Sen that C-304 is reserved for her cannot be construed as an allotment letter or any kind of agreement.
Patel’s advocate Robin Fernandes argued that Sen’s complaint was not maintainable as there is no allotment letter or registered agreement for sale for flat C-304. He claimed that the flat C-304 was offered to Sen if she paid a sum of Rs 14 lakh and other charges towards society dues, stamp duty, registration etc, but she had refused the offer.
MahaRERA member Vijay Satbir Singh observed that Patel had neither terminated the agreement for sale executed for Sen in 2006 nor refunded the money. Ruling that Sen is a “lawful allottee” in the project, Singh observed that since Ahimsa Builders had taken over the project from Patel, they are bound to take on all the liabilities too in respect of the project including that of the complainant.
Ahimsa and Patel were then directed to execute the registered agreement for sale with Sen for flat C-304 subject to a payment of Rs 10 lakh agreed upon by Sen’s advocate during the hearings. “Since the arbitration petition is pending before the High Court, the agreement is executed after final disposal of the proceedings,” the order said.
Ahimsa Builders could not be contacted for their comments.