In a recent case before the Haryana Real Estate Appellate Tribunal, M/s Pareena Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd., a real estate developer, appealed against an order passed by the Haryana Real Estate Regulatory Authority. The order directed the developer to refund the amount deposited by the complainants, Rajender Chaudhri and Sushma Chaudhri, along with interest, due to the delay in delivering possession of the apartment. This article aims to simplify and explain the key aspects of the case.
M/s Pareena Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. had provisionally booked a residential apartment in their project named "Coban Residences" located in Gurugram, Haryana. The buyers, Rajender and Sushma Chaudhri, had paid a significant amount towards the purchase of the apartment. As per the agreement between the parties, the possession of the unit was supposed to be handed over within four years from the date of the agreement, which was executed on March 14, 2015.
The Complaint and Impugned Order:
The Chaudhris filed a complaint before the Haryana Real Estate Regulatory Authority seeking a refund of the amount paid along with interest due to the delay in possession. The Authority, in its order, directed the developer to refund the deposited amount with interest at a specified rate within 90 days.
Pareena Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. appealed against the order of the Authority, arguing that the complaint was premature as the due date of possession had not yet arrived. They claimed that a grace period of six months should be added to the due date, extending it to September 14, 2019. The developer cited various reasons for the project delay, such as the ban on construction activities in the NCR area and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Tribunal's Decision:
After hearing the arguments from both parties, the Haryana Real Estate Appellate Tribunal dismissed the developer's appeal. The Tribunal clarified that the six-month period mentioned in the agreement was not a grace period for completing the project but rather a provision for compensating the allottees in case of a delay up to that period. Since the developer failed to complete the project within the stipulated time, the allottees were entitled to seek a refund under Section 18(1) of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016.
The case of Pareena Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. v. Rajender Chaudhri and Sushma Chaudhri sheds light on the issue of delayed possession in the real estate sector. It highlights the importance of buyer protection and the role of regulatory authorities in ensuring justice for homebuyers.
The ruling by the Haryana Real Estate Appellate Tribunal sets a significant precedent by upholding the rights of homebuyers and emphasizing the accountability of developers in delivering possession within the agreed timeframe. The decision reinforces the purpose of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, which aims to protect the interests of homebuyers and promote transparency and fairness in the real estate industry.
The case also underscores the impact of external factors such as the ban on construction activities and the COVID-19 pandemic on project timelines. While these events can undoubtedly pose challenges to developers, it is essential for them to communicate effectively with buyers and provide realistic timelines for project completion.
The ruling in this case serves as a reminder to developers to adhere to the agreed-upon timelines and take necessary measures to ensure timely completion of their projects. It also highlights the need for buyers to exercise due diligence while entering into agreements with developers and understand the clauses related to possession and compensation for delays.
Furthermore, this case emphasizes the significance of regulatory authorities in overseeing the real estate sector and providing a platform for resolving disputes between buyers and developers. Homebuyers should feel empowered to seek redressal for any grievances they may have, knowing that there are mechanisms in place to protect their interests.
The Pareena Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. v. Rajender Chaudhri and Sushma Chaudhri case highlights the importance of timely possession in the real estate industry and the need for developers to fulfill their commitments to homebuyers. It reinforces the role of regulatory authorities in safeguarding the interests of buyers and promoting transparency and accountability in the sector. This ruling sets a valuable precedent and serves as a reminder to all stakeholders of their respective responsibilities in the real estate ecosystem.
Note: The information provided in this article about Haryana Real Estate Regulatory Authority (HRERA) is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal or professional advice and readers should consult qualified professionals for advice specific to their circumstances. The information provided in this article is based on the Appeal No. 553 of 2022 before the Haryana Real Estate Regulatory Authority
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