The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has recently passed several strictures against real estate companies for either failing to deliver on promises or deviating from advertised plans.

Here is a checklist of what to take note of, and how to avoid future litigation:

1. Record discussions with developers and builders, and do not sign anything without taking expert legal advice first.

2. Ask for the final blueprint from the builder, and use this as a point of comparison to the final product. Builders will then not be able to go back on promised amenities like open spaces, and instead utilize them for more built-up space.

3. Get a list of amenities and facilities in writing from the builder.

4. Make a thorough check of the title deed – this involves going beyond a search in the land register maintained by the Revenue Department. Such registers give only details of liabilities, occupancy and ownership, but revenue records need to be studied in detail too.

5. Banks are supposed to study title deeds in detail before approving a project, but that cannot be relied on, nor can the responsibility for a thorough title search be fixed on a bank in the event of a third party dispute. The Transfer of Property Act requires individual buyers to do an independent and comprehensive due diligence and title search.

6. In case of a dispute, first approach the appropriate Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission. If aggrieved customers of a particular project can come together to approach the Consumer Court, it would work better. Make sure all the documents are made available to the Court and be realistic while claiming compensation.

Source: http://www.thehindu.com


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