Allottee is a person to whom a builder/promoter allots, sells or transfers a plot, apartment or building. Nowadays, builders or developers misuse their dominant position in the market. They exploit allottees, due to which it is required that allottees be aware of their rights while booking a flat.
The rights of an allottee are:
1. File Complaint About One-Sided Builder Buyer Agreement
If the allottee gives advance payment for booking a flat and after that the builder makes him sign a one-sided builder buyer agreement (BBA), in that case, the allottee has a right to file a complaint in the consumer forum. If the terms of a BBA are one-sided, favouring the allottee, it is termed as an unfair trade practice. In a landmark judgment of Pioneer Urban Land and Infrastructure Limited vs Govindan Raghavan, it was held that if the terms of the agreement are one-sided, unfair or unreasonable, then it constitutes an unfair trade practice as per section 2(1)(r) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
Example: In a BBA, the penalty for delayed possession on builder is 5% p.a. whereas the penalty for delayed payment by allottee is 18% p.a. This is one-sided terms of the agreement.
2. File Complaint if the Quality of Work Is Sub-Standard
Supreme Court of India in Lucknow Development Authority vs M.K. Gupta (1994) held that if the builder uses sub-standard material for construction or the representation given by the builder at the time of booking is different from the construction done actually, then the allottee can file a complaint in consumer forum for deficiency in service and can also file a civil suit for breach of obligations by the builder.
3. File a Civil Suit for One-Sided Maintenance Agreement
In many states, there is a rule that after completion of the project, the builder is required to handover the maintenance to the Resident Welfare Association (RWA), but it is observed that in many cases, the builder tries to manipulate the allottees and get the maintenance agreement signed making them agree with the maintenance agency of builder’s choice. In that case, the allottee can file a civil suit irrespective of the fact that the majority of allottees have signed the maintenance agreement.
4. File a Civil Suit for Cancellation of the Booking
After getting the booking amount from the allottee, if the builder cancels the project or the booking, the allottee has the right to file a civil suit against the builder in court or a complaint about a refund.
5. File a Complaint if There Is a Delay in Possession
If the builder is unable to provide you possession of the flat on time. In that case, also, the allottee can file a complaint under RERA, consumer forum or a civil suit in court.
6. Right to Obtain Information
Allottee has a right to obtain information from the builder regarding the project, the construction progress, sanction of layout plan, etc. Plus, the allottee can ask for a completion certificate after the completion of the project.
Important: In case you are a second-hand flat buyer, then too you will be treated as an original allottee and will have all the rights which are provided to an original allottee.
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