Friday, Oct 31, 2014

Builder told to cough up Rs 1.35 lakh for giving flat with smaller area to customer

Express News Service | Pune | Posted: April 28, 2014 2:08 am

The Pune District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed a city-based builder to pay Rs 1.35 lakh as compensation to a customer who had complained that the area of the flat sold to him was smaller than what was agreed upon.

As per the complaint filed by Satish Muchalamkar, he had approached the builders in July 2011 to buy a house in their project ‘Jadhav Heights’ after he saw an advertisment in the newspapers. After negotiations, he booked a flat by depositing Rs 1 lakh on August 25, 2011.

Soon after, a sale agreement was executed and the builders agreed to give possession of the flat in February 2012.

However, the builders failed to complete the project at the promised time and hence could not give possession of the flat to Muchalamkar in February. This had forced the complainant to pay additional rent of Rs 4,000 per month till July for the apartment he was staying in. In July 2012, when the complainant received possession of the flat, he found many deficiencies in the construction, the most glaring being the discrepancy in the area — it was 560 sq ft and not 640 sq ft, as was agreed upon. Muchlamkar also found seepage of water from the walls that had damaged its paint and substandard electricity wires and material used in the construction. He also claimed that the toilet was so small that it could not be used properly.

When Muchlamkar approached the builder citing the problems, the latter allegedly demanded Rs 1.74 lakh more to rectify the problems by doing extra work.

Following this, the complainant approached the consumer forum demanding a compensation of Rs 2,66,360 for less area, Rs 24,000 as reimbursement for the extra rend paid by him, Rs 20,000 for repairing of the duct area, Rs 1,000 for repairs of toilet door, Rs 50,000 towards compensation for mental and physical suffering and Rs 15,000 as cost of litigation.

A panel of forum president V P Utpat and member Geeta Ghatage went through the photographs and other evidence produced by the complainant and concluded that there was indeed deficiency in service on part of the builder.

“It is the opinion of the forum that the complainant is entitled to Rs 1 lakh on the ground of less area and inconvenience faced for the same. He is entitled to compensation for repairs and deficiencies to the tune of Rs 25,000. The complainant is also entitled to receive an amount of Rs 10,000 towards compensation for mental and physical suffering and cost of the litigation,” it said.

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