Kochi state consumer disputes redressal forum declared a builder can’t cancel the booking of an apartment all of a sudden without compelling reason/reasons. In salvage of a Kottayam local, whose booking in Ernakulam was negated by the builder without any valid reason, the forum presided by P Q Barkathali discovered that the developer indeed cancelled the project booking beyond any valid reason. Therefore, the forum ordered the builder to refund entire booking amount to the plaintiff.
Along with the booking amount a surcharge interest will also be levied on the builder as well. The forum ordered the builder to pay addition 12% interest rate of the amount yearly, starting from May 2013 up to the period of the realization of the order.
What’s booking amount?
A financial deposit made to a seller showing the buyer’s good faith in the realty transaction. Basically, at the time of property (home, commercial etc) booking, buyers are required to pay upfront to the developer, an agreed booking amount. This booking amount is usually 10% of the property value at contemporary market rate.
Fact synopsis- Claimant Alex Mathew of Manarcaud had booked an apartment in Shawas Homes project at Karumalloor village in Paravoo in May 2010. The fast cost him 13.52 lacs and the construction of the project was supposed to be finished within 3 years.
According to his filed petition Alex paid the signed amount other than Rs. 5, 00, 390 towards the registration and building tax, furnishing cost, water connection and electricity charges. At a later date he paid Rs 12,500 on August 30, 2014 and Rs 2,500 on June 15, totalling to Rs 18, 82, 390. The builder cancelled the booking of the flat saying that Alex did not pay Rs 94, 720.
He also alleged the builder on the ground of non-completion, as the builder couldn’t finish the project within scheduled timeframe. Defending this allegation the builder claimed to the forum that they could complete the construction and obtained door number from Karumalloor panchayat. The builder also said that they delivered the possession to Alex as well. The builder also contended that Alex booked flat for commercial use for hotel business on lease and in that way the appeal is not maintainable. But the builder has failed to prove their accusation before the forum.
Justifying their wrangle, the builder produced a copy of the building tax register kept in the panchayat, indicating that the construction of the apartment was completed on December 16, 2013. While crosschecking with the local panchayat secretary the forum found that the project verification was not at all processed under his supervision.
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