Should You Wait Until Possession to File a Case for Delay in Consumer Court?

Is the delivery of your apartment delayed, has the work at site been suspended, are you being denied penalty? If yes, then should you wait until possession to file a case in consumer court for delay and higher compensation? The answer is NO, let me try to explain it.

For the last couple of years I have been in the center of consumer activism. While there is no denying that informed home buyers have started raising their voice in the recent past, it is very important to note that they raise it at right platform and at right time. Bitter truth of Indian real estate industry is that after trying all possible platforms, one can only get justice from the court.

The concern:

All the buyers associations and individuals I have interacted with in recent past have this fear in mind:

“If I file the case in consumer court before taking the possession, builder may deny me the apartment or cancel it.”

Logically speaking, the above statement is thing of past now. Builder can not deny you possession if you file the case before taking the possession.

In a recent case of Buyer’s Association in NCDRC, members of the complainant society were denied possession citing the pendency of the complaint before court. Buyers were given an offer to withdraw from the case or wait for final order from the consumer court.

The solution: 

However, on society’s request, the Honourable consumer court passed an order that:

During pendency of this complaint, the possession of the flats in question will be handed over to such of the flat buyers who are the members of the complainant Association and are yet to receive possession, without asking them to sign the waiver letter.

So, even if you file the case for delay in delivery and higher compensation, your apartment is not at risk.

Now the question that may come to your mind is, when should you to approach consumer courts for delay in delivery and higher compensation? Legally speaking, the answer is NOW. There is no benefit of waiting till possession if your apartment is delayed by more than one year. However, it is very important to time your case. Keep minimum three months buffer between filing the case and offer of possession if you foresee it. This will give you enough time to secure an order of the kind.

What’s the harm in waiting for possession?:

Time is the essence. When you delay filing the case, you gives builder a chance to prepare defence. Have a look at what all explanations builder usually give for not giving the penalty : Force Majeure, Can Builder Escape Payment of Delay Penalty?

 

While taking the possession, you may also be asked to sign certain waiver forms and No-Dues agreements. This may dilute your stand in the consumer court of law.

“The Logical Buyer’s” suggestion:

We suggest that if your apartment is delayed by a significant months and there is no sight of delivery, you should approach the consumer court as buyers association without waiting for the possession.

20 thoughts on “Should You Wait Until Possession to File a Case for Delay in Consumer Court?

  • July 31, 2015 at 9:11 am
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    How does one go about filing a case in a consumer court. Is it essential to go through a lawyer?
    Kindly advice the process for filing the case.

  • July 31, 2015 at 10:42 am
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    Is it possible for individual buyer to file a case against renowned builder OR he has to be a member of some association and association can only file the case against builder. Pl revert. If possible please let me know the contact details.

  • July 31, 2015 at 11:08 am
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    will an order by a consumer court is binding for all the flat owners even if some of them have not filed a case. e.g. the enhanced compensation for delay by the builder

  • August 1, 2015 at 3:24 am
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    It is true, for an individual buyer, it’s only the court who can help. It is also true that knowing this fact too many buyers are not able to muster enough courage to file a complaint. The traditional tendency to keep away from Doctors, Police, and Courts and lawyers ‘ka chakkar’ is so strong that they are rather ready to accept long unreasonable delays, poor quality construction and non fulfilment of builders grand promises at the time of sale and various hassles.. No one calculates the financial, physical and mental loss to self.. It’s a strange phenomenon which I can best attribute to either the slave mentality.. Thanks to our colonial rulers.. Or the chalta hai attitude most Indian seems to inherit ..its a shame and a pity. When will my countrymen stand up and demand their rights??? When.???

  • August 1, 2015 at 3:25 am
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    It is true, for an individual buyer, it’s only the court who can help. It is also true that knowing this fact too many buyers are not able to muster enough courage to file a complaint. The traditional tendency to keep away from Doctors, Police, and Courts and lawyers ‘ka chakkar’ is so strong that they are rather ready to accept long unreasonable delays, poor quality construction and non fulfilment of builders grand promises at the time of sale and various hassles.. No one calculates the financial, physical and mental loss to self.. It’s a strange phenomenon which I can best attribute to either the slave mentality.. Thanks to our colonial rulers.. Or the chalta hai attitude most Indian seems to inherit ..its a shame and a pity. When will my countrymen stand up and demand their rights??? When.???

  • August 1, 2015 at 8:49 am
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    Dear Sagar,

    Although one has an option to go alone but it is not advised. Best is to file complaint as buyers association or group. It is not mandatory that association is registered.

    We will cover this topic separately and will update you on the same.

  • August 1, 2015 at 9:09 am
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    Dear Rajesh,

    It is possible to file case individually. However, it is usually cost effective when you file as a group.

  • August 1, 2015 at 9:13 am
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    Dear Mr. Aggarwal,

    In most of the cases it is applicable to only those who are part of the case.

    However, in those cases where the benefit is like rollback of extra charges etc would eventually be applicable to all.

  • August 1, 2015 at 9:15 am
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    Dear Partha,

    What you mentioned is true but there exist good samaritans as well. People have lately started leading large groups without any personal benefits and this is surely giving builders sleepless nights.

  • September 17, 2015 at 5:14 pm
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    The buyers must muster courage to demand his rights of timely delivery of homes. The builder has no legal right to take refuge under force majeure clause or delay caused due to not obtaining regulatory clearances from relevant authorities or one sided buyer agreement. Such delays are due to indifferent approach of the builder for seeking clearances. The buyers must get together and filfe complaint with NCDRC as soon as work is suspended beyond delivery schedule.

  • December 7, 2015 at 9:57 pm
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    I am a land power n builders delays to start work 4 last 3 yes. Though the agreement n registry process was done.they are unable to start the building. Debasmita Chakraborty

  • December 7, 2015 at 10:02 pm
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    I m a land owner. I m suffering 4 last 3 yrs as builders r not able 2 start da building construction though the agreement n registry process was done. Builders even not giving any satisfactory reason. Debasmita Chakraborty

  • December 22, 2015 at 6:16 pm
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    To discuss a particular situation after buying in prelaunch from a well known group in gurgaon, I sent an email earlier. I and many more people I have put together are having some common issues. I am sending an email again now…awaiting your response.

  • March 14, 2016 at 6:41 pm
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    what i wanted to find out that if u have purchased a flat in resale and the flat is delayed by more than 3 years as per the bba i have bought a bba which is governed by the indian contract act ..so will i get late penalty as per the contract or after i bought the flat the flat was sold in 2008 and is still incomplete in status and will take minimum 1.5 years more to complete the person who bought it in 2008 start paid complete downpayment to builder in 2008 itself and i bought in 2012 end thanks for ur reply!

  • July 16, 2016 at 3:07 pm
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    Had booked a flat about 1.5 yrs ago. The plan was for a 5 storey building. The slabs of the 5 floors was constructed during that time along with the walls.Based on the plan got a loan sanctioned. But later the builder applied for permission to make the building 12 storey. Due to this the project has got delayed. Now he has got permission and will start the construction from 6th storey. He did not take our consent while changing the plan. The possession date has passed and it will take around another 1 to 2 years for the project to get completed.Can i get compensation from the builder for this

  • July 16, 2016 at 4:39 pm
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    Hi Vijay,

    Yes, you can file a case in NCDRC or your concerned HC and get a stay on such construction or can demand refund of money.

  • July 21, 2016 at 7:27 pm
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    I Cancelled my booking in pre launched project in noida but builder is not refunding my money now I want to seek legal options available for me. Please guide me..

  • October 18, 2017 at 6:01 pm
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    what will be the approx. total expenditure for a case against builder by any individual in honourable NCDRC & upto Honourable supreme court.

  • October 22, 2017 at 11:12 am
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    Mahesh, there is no fixed amount and it is very subjective. Depends on lawyers you engage. It can be as low as 50000 to few lakhs as well.

  • March 29, 2018 at 11:46 am
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    Sir,
    I have filled a case in district consumer court about not delivery of flat in time , deficiency of service & change in the plan without my acceptance .

    The case are pending & under hearing since May 16. but builder are reminding for dues regularly.
    what can i do ?

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