When investing in real estate, one of the most common advice that experts give is to do a due diligence on the builders. This essentially means checking on the developers’ past projects, quality of construction, delivery schedules etc. The realty industry is plagued by many fly by night operators who cannot be trusted. It is therefore always prudent to invest in a builder who is affiliated with a governing body such as CREDAI.
CREDAI which stands for Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India is a body of developers that has been formed to regulate the realty industry, promote development and transparency in all dealings. All members of CREDAI are forced to follow a code of conduct which covers vital aspects such as launching projects only after getting all approvals, detailed area statements of the saleable area, uniform agreement clauses for all buyers, terrace rights, conveyance of 100% UDS , delivery as per commitment etc.
However many times, despite our best efforts be feel deceived by our builders. What does one do in that case?
1) The first step of redressal is to approach the developer directly. Most developers today are very customer oriented and would gladly oblige the buyer or offer a compensation if required.
2) If the developer is a member of CREDAI and in case he is not obliging, the grievance can be taken up with the CREDAI Chapter in the city having the Customer Redressal Forum to find solution. You can file a complaint online by clicking here.
- Once the complaint is received, it is duly filed, serial numbered and sent to the members against whom the complaint has been filed.
- He then has to respond within a stipulated time from the date of the receipt of the letter. In case the response within the said period is not received, the same is to be brought to the notice of the Grievance Committee for action. The receipt of the comments from the Member, same shall be sent to the complainant.
- If deemed necessary by the committee, the members of the committee may carry out inspection at the site.
- If the Complainant is not satisfied by the reply of the Member and if issue is not resolved the committee shall call both the parties for personal hearing and tries to resolve the issue with a suitable order and close the matter
3) While CREDAI is a governing body that functions on a national level, there are also many such local bodies, who (if the builder is a registered member) can guide the consumer. For instance BRA-I (Bangalore Realtors Association India), an arm of NAR (National realtors association) in Bangalore has a special grievance cell for consumers. To know more about such associations click here.
4) Consumers who have bought property with non CREDAI builders can approach the National Consumer Helpline (1800-11-4000) and CORE (www.core.nic.in) website. To understand how the national consumer helpline in India works to address a consumer complaint click here.
5) Alternately the consumer can also file a complaint against the unfair practices of the builders before the Competition Commission of India which has been empowered to investigate anti-competitive practices and impose stringent penalties on the offenders. A fully functional committee with a Chairperson and six members appointed by the Parliament, the commission, works towards protecting the rights of the consumers. You can learn more about how to file a complaint with CCI by clicking here.
6) The last resort for an aggrieved consumer is to take legal action by filing a case in the consumer / civil / criminal court depending on the nature of the issue.
Image: By Mark Ahsmann (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Lakshmi Datta Arun for IndiaProperty.com