Giving a big relief to homebuyers, Supreme Court said that homebuyers could decide the allotment period for the housing unit based on the date of the builder-buyer agreement. The court also mentioned that this period would not be fixed based on the date of registration of the project under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act-2016 (RERA).
The Supreme Court passed the ruling in the case related to Messrs Imperia Structures Ltd v. Anil Patni and another bench of Justices UU Lalit and Vineet Saran. Legal Experts said that the builder-buyer agreement becomes effective only with the signature and all the obligations of the flat buyers are attached to the deadline set in the builder-buyer agreement.
But the developers were taking advantage of the delay by delaying RERA registration and adding their responsibilities with RERA registration date. In this case, the builder-buyer agreement was signed on 30 November 2013. The project was registered on 17 November 2017 under RERA. According to the builder-buyer agreement, the unit was to be handed over within 42 months from the date of the agreement.
NCDRC ordered compensation to the builder
Homebuyers filed a case with the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC) over the delay in the project. The Consumer Court had also ordered compensation to the builder, but the builder had gone to the Supreme Court. The builder had argued that RERA registration is valid till December 2020, so the project cannot be considered late.
The allotment period was over before RERA registration
The Supreme Court rejected the builder’s argument and said that the allotment period was over before RERA registration. Just RERA registration being valid till 31-12-2020 does not mean that the entitlement of home buyers to take action will also be delayed.