No way home for new homebuyers

Bangalore City Karnataka State

The deadlines for unfinished projects have been extended thrice since March 2020 by Karnataka Real Estate Regulatory Authority.

Bengaluru: Many homebuyers in Bengaluru have not received their homes even after a year past deadlines set by K-RERA and are repaying home loans for the flats they haven’t even received yet.

Nagendraprasad K., secretary of Karnataka Real Estate Regulatory Authority (K-RERA) said, “We have released a list of unfinished projects and the developers will face legal actions if they are not able to hand over the flats to the customers by the deadlines.”

Sunil Kamath, a homebuyer at Trinco Nandanavana said, “RERA is just created for builders not for customers. The deadline keeps on changing and no action is taken against developers. I am paying EMI and rent both.”

After the pandemic hit the country, all projects whichhad the deadline around March 15, 2020 were given a six-month extension. K-RERA identified 424 incomplete projects. The developers again sought extension and the deadlines were extended by three months. Only 51 projects were completed within the extended time. K-RERA extended the deadline for the third time in August, 2021 by six months.

K-RERA has listed 525 unfinished projects. The deadlines for 241 projects have been extended whereas 284 projects are seeking an extension in deadlines. The completion date has expired for 976 projects.

Rudra Pratap Singh, a lawyer at Patna High Court said, “Often contracts are made between buyers and developers. RERA has been set up to make sure that both the parties fulfill their obligations. RERA must also address the issues of the customers rather than extending the deadlines because everyone is suffering during the pandemic. The decision should not be made only in favour of the developers.”

The real estate sector is one of the worst hit sectors during the pandemic. Many people have lost their jobs and are paying EMI and rents. On the other hand developers are facing problems due to lack of labourers. The construction was also halted due to lockdown which added up to the existing issues. The sector has still not recovered from the losses.

Jayalaxmi S, a homebuyer at Marvel Oriel said, “There is no use of any complaints to RERA, they always take decisions in favour of the developers. My flat was supposed to be handed to me in March 2020. It has been more than a year and I am paying EMI for the place I am not even living in.”

Real Estate Development and Regulation Act, (Link) 2016 states that the developer must pay nine percent interest on the value of the flat for the delayed period besides compensation fixed by K-RERA.

Sanjay S., Owner of Majestic Constructions said, “The projects are not being completed because of lack of labourers during the pandemic. Many of them went to their home towns and never came back. Those who stayed were not enough to complete the projects.”

On September 17th, 2021, a RERA court ordered to hand over a 14-storeyed, 235 unit unfinished project to the buyers to be completed by themselves. The decision was equally criticised as it was appreciated. Few customers were happy to get their flats finally after a long wait. But, those who have paid full amount are unhappy to receive incomplete flats The homebuyers are looking forward to the completion of the projects within the new deadline.