Assam tribunal pulls up builder over payment demand for ‘non-existent’ area
Construction site

GUWAHATI: The Assam Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (Assam REAT) has expressed strong displeasure against a builder who had demanded payment from buyers for non-existent additional built-up area of a villa purchased by them.

The appellate tribunal made strong observations while dismissing an appeal filed by the builder in the case of Arya Erectors India Pvt Ltd versus Padum Deori and another.

The buyers had executed a deed of agreement with the builder for the purchase of a villa in ‘Arya Smart Living’ at Abhaypur in North Guwahati for a total built-up area of 1877 square feet.

According to the agreement, the villa was to be completed and handed over to the buyers within 36 months (by February 9, 2019). After the buyers had made 90 percent of the payment, the builder demanded additional payment for an increase of 473 square feet in the built-up area of the villa.

“However, a joint physical measurement, conducted by technical persons in the presence of the builder, revealed that the actual built-up area of the villa was 1756 square feet. In other words, the built-up area was 121 square feet less than the area mentioned in the deed of agreement whereas the builder was claiming that it was 473 square feet more,” a statement issued here on Wednesday said.

Neither the builder nor the buyers disputed the measurement taken during the joint inspection.

“Dismissing the appeal, the tribunal directed that the payment for the villa be made only for the actual built-up area of 1756 square feet. The builder will have to pay the buyers’ interest at the rate of State Bank of India’s marginal cost of lending plus two percent on the amount already paid by the buyers from February 10, 2019 until the date of handing over possession,” the statement said.

“The builder was directed to complete the exercise of execution of the conveyance deed and the handing over of possession of the villa to them within six weeks,” it added.

The order was passed by Justice (retd) Manojit Bhuyan, chairperson of Assam REAT and Onkar Kedia, member, Assam REAT.

The tribunal observed that the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 was enacted with the objective of ensuring regulation and promotion of the real estate sector in an efficient and transparent manner as well as to protect the interests of consumers in the real estate sector. 

“It was also observed by the tribunal that the present case illustrates, in a way, the need for regulating the real estate sector, which led to enactment of the Act in the year 2016,” it stated.

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