Let’s face the reality!!

By some or the other means, each one of us has been trapped in a scam, be it advance fee policy scam, lotteries and competitions, love scams, online shopping, employment, gambling scams etc.

But the worst one which I have come across is the real estate scam. Imagine, after countless property site visits, hours-long discussion with the agents, collecting tons of brochures, you have finally zeroed your entire savings into your dream project or what worse could be is loading a burden on your shoulders for years together by taking a loan from the bank and plan to clear the same with monthly EMIs.

But what if I tell you that your dream house will not be delivered on time or will not be delivered to you at all. If this happens to you, then remember that you are not the first one to come across this. There have been hundreds and thousands of people falling prey to the scammers of the real estate field.

Seeing people being troubled with this scam over the years, the Government of India finally decided to come up with a rescue plan which is the RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) Act as the shield for protecting the citizens of India from pre and post property buying scams.

It is your right to be suspicious about every property document you are being asked to sign on, suspecting the promises made by the builders is also natural. Therefore, to distance yourself from such scams, let me take you through the rights assigned to the home buyers by the Indian government under the RERA Act.

I have listed below the most common real estate scamming methods adopted by the not so promising builders and the rightful act that you, as a home buyer, can take under the RERA act. 

Delay in Possession 

You are starving to death and you have placed an order for Domino’s pizza, but how would you react if it has been 50 mins post placing the order and your pizzas still haven’t arrived!! Frustrated? Annoyed? Willing to claim compensation? 

Oh yes, these are the precise words that would be explaining your mood and therefore, Domino’s will be obligated to pay you compensation for the late delivery. Late delivery of pizza itself is heart-breaking. 

Imagine months and years of delay made by the builder for giving you your dream house. Well, do not sit idle, take action. If the builder fails to complete the project within the discussed period then as a buyer you have the right to withdraw from the project or can also continue with the project till the completion. In the end, receiving compensation is by default.  

Didn’t get it right? Let me explain it to you with an example. Assume the project was due for completion on 31-3-2018 but it couldn’t be completed on that day. So, on 1-4-2018 you will have the option to withdraw from the project.

If you decide to withdraw from the project then for the period from 1-4-2018 till the payment is made, you will be entitled to receive the interest.

In case you choose not to withdraw from the project then say the actual completion of the project takes place on 31-3-2019 then from 31-3-2018 to 31-3-2019 you will be entitled to interest every month.

False promises 

Be it relationships or buying a house, faking promises in each field has become a new normal. Now the one who makes false promises aren’t really at fault, instead the one who believes the words of others and makes a decision without doing thorough research is the one to regret for life. 

However, know that the RERA Act supports you completely if you have noticed a mismatch in the commitments.

For instance, you were legally promised a house area of 1250 sq. ft but what if in the end, you receive your possession with just 975 sq. ft. This means the builder has breached the contract. Feel free to claim compensation!!

No updates

If you have invested money, then, it is your duty as well as your right to know where and how exactly is your money being spent.

Compulsory Legal Documents

  • Sale Deed- This document will act as evidence to prove that you, as a buyer has purchased a property and therefore, have complete ownership rights over it.
  • Mother Deed- Giving you the ownership of the property, you will be required to present this document to the bank when taking a loan against the property 
  •  Sale and Purchase Agreement- A list of terms and conditions that have been mutually agreed upon by you as a buyer and seller get recorded in this legal document. 
  • Building Approval Plan- The document will claim that your property has been approved under the builder approval plan
  • Possession Letter- Made by the builder, this legal document will be stating the date of your possession of the property as a buyer. 
  • Completion Certificate- This document will ensure that the building has been completed and approved by the municipal corporation or the local authorities
  • Khata Certificate- It is a revenue document containing details of the property like size, location, area etc. for paying property taxes. If you are planning to take a home loan, do have this certificate. 
  • Allotment Letter- If you plan on booking a home that is yet under construction then this document will include details regarding the flat payment and the additional fee for an additional facility. 

With these documents, you can acquire the precise details of your investments being used. 

Wrongdoing with the property papers

Legal documents speak louder than words. To avoid unnecessary troubles in the future, as a house buyer, you have the right to claim relevant documents and plans from the developer after gaining the physical possession of the property.

Below listed are the must to have legal documents to claim the ownership of your property

  • Sale Deed- This document will act as evidence to prove that you, as a buyer has purchased a property and therefore, have complete ownership rights over it.
  • Chain of Ownership- It is your right to learn about the other buyers having bought this property before you and how the transaction was conducted. 
  • Clearances- Approval by a municipal corporation is mandatory, with this legal document, you can ensure that the property has been legally approved. No objection certificate must also be issued. 
  • Search Report- Prepared by an advocate, the search report will be declared and also approve that there are no existing loans, conditions, or claims made by the previous owner or the builder itself. 
  • Title Certificate- This document will be mentioning a clear statement of the title of the property. It also ensures that the title is marketable and free from kind of nuisance 
  • 712 Extract, Index II- This document will include details like survey number, location of the property, the dimension of the property, date of launch, development, and keys handed over to the home buyer

Note* To be on the safer side, I suggest you always keep a copy of all the legal documents with yourself

Shady infrastructure in construction

You spend thousands on something which doesn’t even last for a week, isn’t that similar to throwing away your earnings into trash?!! I believe quality matters the most.

What if water starts dripping down the ceiling of your living room within one year of your dream house purchasing!! This thought itself must have made you speechless, right?!!

If such a thing happens with you within the first 5 years of acquiring the possession, then don’t panic, your builder will be entitled to rectify the damages within 30 days of the notice at no additional cost to the buyer. Isn’t that a relief?!!

Overview on RERA ACT

During or post acquiring the possession, if you notice the above-listed happenings taking place, then the builder will be found guilty for violating the contract.

 Following are the rights issued to the home buyers under the RERA Act 

  • Right to act against delay in possession
  • Right to act against false promises
  • Right to act against defects in possession
  • Right to obtain information
  • Right to obtain legal documents

To ensure proper implementation of the RERA Act, the Government of India implemented the RERA act in each of the states except Jammu and Kashmir with certain changes in the policy for each. Until so far, the rights offered by each state remains the same for home buyers.

Fool-Proof ways of spotting a fraudulent builder

Resisting oneself from discounted offers, whether it is for shopping or building a house, is beyond control. 

It’s time for a reality check now!!

To be fooled or not is entirely in your hands. To make money, fraudulent builders usually offer low-cost budgeting for your dream house, and once you hand over the money to them, you probably wouldn’t get to see that face again. Don’t worry, you can dodge such an unfortunate situation if you carefully lookout for the below mentioned signs

They will ask you to pay in cash

If you are constantly being asked to make payments in cash, it is then a wake-up call for you. Fraudulent builders usually do so to avoid paying taxes and also, you will have no evidence for the payments made. Advance payments are justified but cash isn’t mandatory! You can question your builder about the same.

They will immediately be available for work

If you meet a builder saying he can start the work right from tomorrow itself without discussing it with his team, be alert!! Think of all the possibilities like why isn’t he busy? Doesn’t he have any previous customers to attend to first?

Therefore, take your time to examine the builder, ask him for his previous work and clients. If you feel strongly suspicious, then probably you are right!!

They won’t have an address

Your builder does not have an office address? That’s it then, he is scamming you! Address proof is one of the most evident proofs, if he fails to provide you with the same then he has a reason to stay under the radar.

They won’t have a registration or license to show you

I suggest you walk away immediately if your builder makes excuses for not having legal documents to prove his business identity. No matter how genuine his excuses might sound to you, lack of registration or license is a big red flag.

They will refuse to sign a contract

If your builder fears to sign a contract with you, he is a cheat!! Cancel the deal immediately, whatever the reason is, it is no good for you to put your property at risk. Red flag.

RERA Verification

If you are suspecting your agent right now, then it’s best to go ahead with your instincts. Few agents dare to make false claims and so to avoid wrong investments, as a home buyer, I suggest you to cross-check the RERA registration status of your real estate agent in Karnataka

Let me explain to you the entire process to check the RERA registration.

Step 1- Go to Karnataka RERA portal- https://rera.karnataka.gov.in/home (The info displayed will by default be in Kannada language, to change the language, you can click on “English” displayed on the right upper corner of the webpage).

Step 2- Under the services tab, click on ‘Agent Status’

Step 3- To know information about the registered agents, click on ‘Applications Approved’

Step 4- To check the status, enter any of the following details and click on ‘Search’’

  • Agent Name
  • Application No
  • Company/Firm Name
  • Registration No.

Choosing the best lawyers for your building disputes

Since you have already invested quite a lot for your dream project, initially, you might have second thoughts about hiring a lawyer, but if your house project is being compromised because of the building disputes, then the only option you will be left with is to contact a lawyer at the earliest.

For consultation or if you have already been trapped in the real estate scam, it’s not too late to reach out to the below listed renowned real estate and property lawyers from all over India for legal aid. 

Amlegals, Advocates & Advisors

+91 84485 48549amlegals.com
I.B. Law AssociatesBengaluru+91 98357 16845iblawassociates.com
Atharva Legal LLPNew Delhi+91 99995 39689.atharvalegal.com
Singhania & Partners LLPNew Delhi+91 11 4747 1414singhania. in

Common Mistakes Home Buyers Must Avoid

Not Looking at the Neighbourhood

Your surroundings can either make or break your mood. Consider what you need around you. If you feel too isolated or too cramped, you’ll end up resenting the home.

Overlooking Other Expenses

Home maintenance, property taxes, emergency repairs are important to consider as they may end up going overboard of your budget. Do not pressurize yourself.

Not Hiring a Real Estate Agent

 Hiring an agent will help you save time as well as money

Filing Online Complaint against builders Under RERA

For being trapped in any of the above-listed scams, as a home buyer, you have the right to take action under RERA against the builders. As per RERA Karnataka, by paying ₹1,000 as a fee, any aggrieved home buyer can file a complaint against any violation from the builder’s end.

Follow the below-listed procedure to file an online complaint against the builders

Step 1- Go to Karnataka RERA portal- https://rera.karnataka.gov.in/home

Step 2- Under the REGISTRATION tab, click on ‘Complaint Registration’

Step 3- Provide your details like name, contact number, e-mail id, or address

Step 4- Provide details of the respondent against whom you are complaining

Step 5- Provide the details of the complaint like subject, facts you wish to disclose. Also, upload the documents acting as proof of your complaint

Step 6- Pay the complaint fee using net banking or you can upload challan as a proof of payment

Step 7- Click on the ‘Submit’ tab

And it’s done. If you take the rightful action against the builder. Post submission, you will be receiving an acknowledgment number. 

RERA Karnataka Contact Details

Office Address: Real Estate Regulatory Authority Karnataka, 2nd floor, Silver Jubli Block, Unity Building, CSI Compound, 3rd Cross, Mission Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560027

Telephone: 080 – 22249798, 22249799

Fax: 22253718

Email ID: info.rera@karnataka.gov.in

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is RERA applicable?

RERA is only applicable to the development of property and not on renting of property.

Is it safe to buy a RERA approved project?

It is illegal to buy into a project that is not registered with RERA if it is not yet complete.

What happens if the Builder does not follow the RERA order?

In case the builder fails to enforce the order passed by the RERA in favor of the home buyer, the home buyer can apply to the execution of the RERA order against the builder with RERA.