Sunday, December 8, 2013

what is the value of your apartment??

Interestingly when a home buyer books an apartment anywhere in India, he is shown a brochure that announces various categories of flats in the project with their area and the BASIC SELLING PRICE. Naturally other attractions of the project like, power back-up, 5 Star Club facilities extra are also depicted to entice the prospective buyer to close the deal. kindly view a debate on same topic on NDTV Profit..

The link for the same debate in english kindly click on the link ..

when the booking amount is paid by the buyer, he has accepted the offer made by the Builder and therefore an agreement is made. what happens thereon is that at a much later stage the Builder launches his project and calls the home buyers to get allotment of their dwelling units where by the builder declares or provides the Payment plan of the units with the BUYER SELLER AGREEMENT.
It is at this stage the Buyer actually gets to know that there are additional charges to the cost of the BSP and the rates of these charges. after having paid almost 30% of the cost according to BSP of his unit. The additional charges are in the shape of ;
1. Lease Rent/EDC
2. Car parking charges
3. Preferential location charges for floor or park facing/club facing
4. Fire fighting charges
5. stamp duty or conveyance charges
6. Maintenance charges
7. any taxes or govt. charges as are applicable or would become applicable in the future.
8. Escalation charges
9. club charges
10. external electrification charges.

all these charges enhance the cost of the flat by roughly Rs. 1000 per square feet for any standard/basic flat or apartment. which could be either 40% or in some cases 30% of the basic selling price of the unit. why is this done, how builder gains by such pricing mechanism, what does the buyer get even after paying extra costs, why these can not be bundled in the BSP, what is compelling factor that the builder has to charge additionally, what choice does the home buyer have or in other words how you can legally protect yourself from such arbitrary charges??

As explained earlier that the contract was made once the consumer has paid consideration as a sign of his acceptance to the offer made by the builder. Therefore when another agreement with different clauses or materially different conditions of cost, time of delivery extra is put forward, it is legally speaking breach of the original agreement or departure from the earlier promise and the Home buyers at this very stage can challenge the Builder by taking him to the consumer court and seek protection from abusive clauses. This will not only help the home buyer to secure and protect the present and future monetary loss but also protect his future propriety interests and rights over the dwelling unit and the undivided share in common areas.

The Hon'ble Supreme Court of India has deplored the Car parking charges on the grounds that it is a part of common area which is already charged in the Basic Selling Price of the unit and therefore the builder can not charge the home buyer twice for the same area. Placing the same argument on PLC of floor or green area facing, aren't these areas part of home buyers common area therefore to charge them again under some other head would infact tantamount to charging the same area twice. Ditto for club and fire fighting and external electrification charges., these also constitute the same common area and facility which is mandatory by law, therefore should not charged on top of the Basic selling Price of the dwelling unit.

Lease rent?EDC is govt. Charges. It goes into the public funds to be used for specific purpose. Therefore to ensure that what is being demanded by the govt from the builder is charged by the builder from consumers should be made transparent.  The Competent Authority who sanctions the layout plans of the Builder can easy come up with such a mechanism. This will stop any undue advantage the Builder can take by either overcharging in name of Govt. fund or by collecting the and not depositing the same with authorities.

Finally what is the criteria for valuation of property on which the stamp duty would be charged on the flat.  It is bewildering as in other cases related to Property transactions, the RTI reply received from the tahsildar Faridabad states categorically that no other cost consideration other than the allotment price is not a part of registry. Find the RTI Reply below;

Therefore its clear that only the allotment price is the final computation of the value of the flat on which the flat would be registered or stamp duty charged. Thus its unlawful if builders include certain costs such as parking charges, EDC, External electrification charges etc for stamp duty purposes. It is most essential that Home buyers are aware of these facts which enhance without reason the burden to pay additional costs for flat which does not transcend into any meaningful addition to the value of the flat.


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