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Safeguard from corrupt developers

Saturday, August 20, 2011
By Gajanan Khergamker

With the move to create a Lokpal Bill gaining momentum, it’s time residents heed their gut feeling and keep abreast with their rights. After all, it’s important to know how to protect yourself from fly-by-night developers, says Gajanan Khergamker

Considering that property has become such a significant and expensive commodity in the past couple of decades, there are always a number of corrupt builders out there who want to make a quick buck and dupe unsuspecting buyers. To avoid such situations, it is necessary for prospective buyers to get into the prescribed form of agreement instead of signing the one given by a builder which could have additions and alterations working to his benefit.

Very often, crooked builders drafted agreements which included terms and conditions that were contrary to the provisions of The Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act and Rules as well as the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act. To combat this, the authorities made amendments providing a prescribed agreement form to protect the interests of innocent buyers.

The particulars of the prescribed form are mentioned below:
• If a building is to be constructed, it is the liability of the Promoter to construct it according to the plans and specifications approved by the local authority where such approval is required under any law which is in force at the time;
• The agreement should specify the date by which the possession of the flat is to be handed over to the Purchaser;
• It should clearly mention the extent of the carpet area of the flat including the area of the balconies which should be shown separately;
• It should specify the price of the flat plus the costs including the proportionate price of the common areas and facilities (should be shown separately) which are to be paid by a purchaser and the intervals of instalment that have to be made;
• The agreement should plainly inform the purchaser of the precise nature of the organisation that is to be constituted by the other persons who have taken or will take the remaining flats in the building;
• It should include the nature, extent and description of the common area and facilities;
• The agreement should clearly state the use for which the flat is intended and also impose restrictions if any;
• The agreement should also have a certificate by an Attorney-at-law or advocate under clause (a) of sub-section (2) of section 3;
• It should also have attachments of the Property Card or extract of Village Forms VI, VII and XII or any other relevant revenue record showing the nature of the title of the Promoter to the land on which the flats are constructed or are to be constructed.
• The agreement should also have plans and specifications of the flat as approved by the concerned local authorities.

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