According to a recent order issued by the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority, any false information found in the publicity brochures of new projects and constructions will directly cost the developers.
The order was issued by the Maharashtra RERA member, Mr Vijay Satbir Singh on April 22 for a project in the state of Maharashtra which allowed the particular homebuyer to withdraw from the project with a refund and interest based on false representations stated in the brochures by the developer under Section 12 of the Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA) 2016.
In this case, the booking of the project was done in April 2017 and then, the brochures clearly stated that the project would be completed by December 2019. While registering the project at MahaRERA, the developers had cited the project completion date as December 2021 instead of December 2019 as stated in the brochures and revised the same till June 30, 2022, which was a misinterpretation of information as stated by the order.
According to Maha RERA member, Mr Vijay Satbir Singh, this is a landmark judgment which will teach a lesson to all the misinterpretations and false promises made by the developers in their brochures for publicity. Hence, under section 12 of the Act, the buyer is entitled to claim a full refund of his money along with a compensation which is passed in the interest of home buyers.
The homebuyer had lodged a complaint with the Maha RERA and asked for a refund along with interest last year, December under sections 18(1) and 12 of RERA. According to the order issued by Mr Singh, it noted the fact about the home buyer’s complaint of putting all his hard earned money to book the flat and had paid a substantial amount to the respondent. But even after accepting the amount from thr complainant homebuyer, the developers failed to deliver their promise. The order also stated that the promoter of a MahaRERA-registered project had kept the complainant homebuyers in the dark even after taking huge amounts from them and tormenting them from 2017, the same year when RERA was formed.
Despite frequent reminders and follow ups by the complainant, the respondent (developers) went ahead and unilaterally terminated the booking stating non-payment of outstanding dues, in spite of their failure to complete the project on the agreed date of handing over possession which was December 2019 after receiving more than 20% of the amount. This was a violation of the provisions of MOFA, as well as Section 13 of RERA.
Maha RERA settled the matter by allowing the homebuyer to withdraw from the project further directing the builder to refund the entire amount accepted along with the interest at the rate prescribed by it, which refers to.the marginal cost of funds based lending rate of the SBI plus 2% interest within a period of two months.