Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Bring more transparency in builder-buyer agreement

Two days after a Rajya Sabha select committee invited feedback on the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013, Ghaziabad homebuyers have asked the panel to ensure greater transparency in builder-buyer agreements.

The 21-member select committee, headed by MP Anil Madhav Dave, had asked individuals, organizations, institutions and experts to submit their views on the real estate bill, to be discussed ina meeting in New Delhi on July 7.

Among other proposals which have been compiled by Federation of Apartment Owners Associations (FedAoA) of Ghaziabad, buyers have asked the panel to clarify the scope of minor deviations from original building plan that are allowed to builders. They also demanded that the area allotted to convenience shops in group housing projects to be restricted to 5% of the total.

FedAoA president Alok Kumar said majority of conflicts recorded in the past between developers and flat buyers are due to obscurity in the builder-buyer agreement. The concept of 'minor deviations', as proposed in the model builder-buyer agreement, has been pointed out by FedAoA for lack of clarity.

According to the proposed bill, builders will have to adhere to an approved project plan. Only minor deviations will be allowed due to engineering constraints, etc. However, buyers said conflicts will continue if a limit on minor deviations permissible in projects is not defined.

"The bill should also include provisions to hold real estate developers and their brand ambassadors responsible, if there are major deviations in dimensions and properties of flats given out for possession, against those promised in the agreement," said Kumar.

Federation members also asked the panel to fix the ratio of convenience shops allowed in a housing society. Kumar said Ghaziabad Development Authority's building bylaws restrict the total area for convenience shops to 5% of a project area, but developers build more shops under the widely-followed norm of five shops per 200 flats. Rise in the number of convenience shops leads to greater pressure on public infrastructure.

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