In Focus

Read The Fine-Print Carefully Before Signing Up

By Gajanan Khergamker

If you take the claims made by a developer in a brochure or on a website seriously, you could be in for some serious trouble. Every developer makes claims of providing amenities that are world class and simply the best in the business. The onus of checking out his credentials rests upon you.As an astute buyer, you need to double check assurances of swimming pools, shopping options, gymnasiums, malls in the vicinity and the works as promised in brochures and on websites. It makes sense to take tall claims of amenities with a pinch of salt and be ready for contingencies wherein there’s scope of redress for non-performance.


You may not have an issue with renowned developers have a reputation to protect and almost always deliver whatever has been assured during the stage of construction with the exception of a few ‘luxuries’ that are ‘adjusted’ against freshly provided others with the buyers’ knowledge and consent. There are, however, several occasions when a few shady developers fail to deliver some very basic amenities to buyers despite promising the same.

A buyer must take his time to ensure that the promises made, before a deal, are delivered. Or else, the issues that arise later while attempting to get an errant developer to cough up damages or deliver as assured can be a huge cause of worry.

The one issue that affects most home buyers is water. On completion of the building, developers are supposed to apply for an occupancy certificate only after which can flat-owners obtain water from civic authorities. Just in case the occupation certificate is not provided, home-owners are left with little option but to pay up a fortune for water fetched through tankers or through the BMC at market prices.

Within six months of completion of a minimum of 12 flats, a builder has to form a society by law. The developer is also bound by the Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act to convey the property in the name of the society but unscrupulous builders conveniently delay the process, leaving bonafide buyers in a lurch.

There is the option of either approaching a co-operative court, civil court or criminal court in case of any transgression by the builder. If a building hasn’t been registered as a co-operative society, he could approach a criminal court and file a suit under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code for cheating against the builder.

Sadly, since more often than not, legal procedures are lengthy and can cost a fortune; most home-owners prefer to avoid moving court and instead opt for a settlement. A buyer needs to ensure they study the fine print in sale deeds and documents instead of mulling over trivia to ensure he doesn’t land in a mess. Often, most ‘luxury’ amenities offered by developers come with riders that are very smartly concealed by the use of legal jargon. Also, most home-owners don’t stand a chance of pulling up shady builders who’re adept at the business and leave little that can hold any ground against them in a court of law.

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