* Agreement of sale should only mention the carpet area and not saleable or built-up area
* Builders have to provide one car park for tenements having carpet area of more than 80 sq m (861 sq ft) without any extra charges to the buyer
* Common terrace cannot be sold to an individual
* Terrace garden should be charged only one-third the rate fixed for the flat
These are some of the areas that lawyers and activists point out to potential buyers,saying they should be vigilant and not blindly sign on the dotted line like before. Even as property buyers in Pune are waking up to a new reality that they may have been getting the short shrift from the builders for long.
Most builders mention only the built-up area in agreements; they make all customers cough up an extra Rs 1.5-2 lakh for stilt parking; many of them charge half the rate fixed for the flat for terrace garden and at least a few even charge 50 per cent for loft space; advance payment should be only 20 per cent of the sale price and that too has to be made only after a written agreement of sale and not on the basis of allotment letters.
One area where the buyer is at the receiving end is the improper measurement of the flat he buys. Unlike in any other product,an apartment is one purchasable commodity where the buyer has to blindly believe what the builder says and has no recourse to validating it, said a city realtor,not wishing to be quoted by name. This is over and above the fact that a 1,000-sq ft flat mentioned as saleable or built-up has only 700-750 sq ft as carpet area,he said.
All these are in complete violation of the Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act 1963 (MOFA) and development control rules of the Pune Municipal Corporation, said High Court advocate Yogesh Mehta. Any violation is a penal offence where conviction can be imprisonment for a term extending up to one year.
The MOFA Act 1963 also helps purchasers in cancelling an agreement if they do not get possession of the property in time. According to Section 8 of the Act,if the purchaser is not given possession as per the agreement,the purchaser can cancel the agreement and claim the money back at a nine per cent interest. Most buyers do not know this clause and are made to wait, Mehta said.
Promoters and Builders Association of Poona chairman Lalit Kumar Jain said all builders have to abide by the MOFA Act. We have control on the 260 members of our association. If there is any violation we are willing to take it up. We have no control on the others, he said.
RTI activist Vivek Velankar said most buyers are not aware of these rules and those who feel bold enough to point them out to builders are not entertained.