Circumstances for Raising Complaints Against Builders and Promoters

Last Updated at: Oct 21, 2020
Kerala real estate regulatory authority (K-Rera) will hold its first hearing on complaints against real estate projects. More than 100 complaints have been received by the authority from buyers of projects which have not received an occupancy certificate.


With the advent of RERA, real estate sector has become more regulated and beneficial for the consumer. Yet, before filing a complaint to the tribunal, it behoves a buyer to ensure that their grievances are real and worthy of attention. You will discover some of the issues RERA can address in this article.

With the establishment of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) as a platform for deciding disputes between home buyers and builders, the process has been simplified and made efficient. The anvil of the Act is focused on balancing consumer interests and is largely tilted towards enhancing the quality, efficiency, and ease in the commercial and house property market. However, before submitting a complaint to the RERA, it is imperative to know under what specific circumstances one can file an application and the specific scenarios that you give a right to redressal of one’s grievances by RERA.


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Delayed Possession

Undoubtedly, the most common reason for a dispute between a buyer and a seller of property is the aspect of failing to hand over possession on the agreed date. Delays are an inevitable part of any construction project, however, if the delay is inordinate and is causing you financial harm and mental distress, RERA can step in to force the builder to hand over possession and/or grant compensation. You may also be able to seek an interest payment over and above the compensation, for the deposit made with the builder in consideration of the property.

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However, in certain cases, there may be delays which the court may deem as beyond the control of the builder, in which case, you might not get any compensation. For example, not getting requisite approvals due to administrative delays or a calamity.

What would be the punishment to builders?

In case of a delayed delivery, builder stands not only to lose the registration of the project but may also be liable to an imprisonment for a term which may extend up to three years or with fine which may extend up to ten percent of the estimated cost of the real estate project, or both. This is in addition to the compensation, interest, or specific performance of the contract, that is directed by the RERA to handover the possession to you.

While a good number of complaints pertaining to delay in delivery, there are also complaints against builders for failing to deliver promised features regarding a project. Multiple complaints have been received against a single project itself and in other cases, individual complaints have been received.

Structural Faults in the Property

It may happen that you shift to your new house and find out that the fixtures are broken or the pipes leak and the walls look cracked. The Real Estate Act provides any structural defects in the property, which are observed within five years of the grant of possession (it is deliberately mentioned ‘grant of possession’ and not sale, to give maximum time to the buyer) has to be remedied by the builder. The cost of such remedying is also to be borne by the builder.

Poor Quality of Fixtures

Many contracts for housing property prescribe quality standards for fans, fixtures, bathroom fittings, tiles etc. Even if your contract does not mention exact company names from which products are to be sourced, but a representation is made to you by way of advertisements or pamphlets or if the sample house often shown to the buyers has a set quality of fixtures and the house handed over to you does not conform to the same quality, it gives you a right to knock the doors of RERA. Similar to the legal repercussion of structural defects, any shortcoming in quality of fittings observed within five years has to be repaired or replaced by the builder free of cost.

Shortfalls in Community Facilities Promised

These days, many large commercial estate developers make community-centric colonies with facilities like gym, convention centers, sports areas, swimming pools and play areas for children. The availability of these services also plays a crucial role in helping the buyer decide between alternatives. Hence, any shortfall in these promised services, despite being a ‘common area’ fall under the ambit of the regulatory mechanism of RERA. The buyers may be compelled to provide such facilities and if impossible, may be directed to pay compensation in lieu of the same.

In our next post, we shall discuss how to approach RERA in case the builder refuses to remedy the defects and deficiencies.

One can deduce from the post that there are four major problems that can be addressed by the RERA tribunal. They are delayed possession of the home, structural faults in the property, poor quality of fixtures and shortfalls in community facilities as promised by the builder.

Avani Mishra is a graduate in law from the National Law Institute University, Bhopal. She qualified the Company Secretary course with an All India Rank 1 and is a recipient of the President’s Gold Medal for her academic distinctions. She also holds a B.Com degree with a specialization in Corporate Affairs and Administration.