Delay in possession a double blow for homebuyers
According to property consultants, 60 projects in Bengaluru are either stuck or delayed
Krishnan had invested in a house in an apartment complex in east Bengaluru in 2013. However, over seven years later, he is yet to see his new home. What he’s been left with instead is the burden of an EMI and additional spending on rent in his existing temporary accommodation.
“We were promised possession by September 2017. But even today, over 1,000 of us are stuck in a similar situation. There are more than 350 complaints against the project in the Real Estate Regulatory Authority, Karnataka (RERA-K), wherein we got mixed deadlines as verdicts. Some people opted for exit. There are complaints in the police station too. But nothing has eased our situation where we are paying home loan EMIs and rent, and seeing no progress in the project since three years. Even retired people have invested in the project. Our case is not even related to COVID-19,” he rued, as he spoke about the ₹50 lakh loan he has been repaying.
With many housing projects stuck and the RERA-K giving extensions twice to builders in view of the pandemic, people who had invested in real estate have been dealt a double blow. According to private property consultant ANAROCK, in 2020, Bengaluru saw completion of 20 projects, comprising over 9,150 units, that had missed their deadline. Currently, 60 projects comprising 29,850 units worth over ₹22,276 crore are either stuck or delayed. These include all projects that were launched in 2013 or before, and are classified as ‘highly delayed’ units.
Anuj Puri, chairman, ANAROCK Property Consultants, says, “Project delays have been the bane of the Indian real estate sector over the last decade. Even implementation of RERA had only a little impact on this. Among other factors, the liquidity crunch threw up roadblocks for developers.”
RERA-K had extended the period of validity of registration of all registered projects by six months in May last year, invoking the ‘Force Majeure’ clause. In December, a further extension of three months was given to projects whose completion date, revised completion date or extended completion date is expiring on or after March 15, 2021.
But homebuyers are crying foul. “There is no specific State government order or direction to Karnataka RERA to provide such an extension. Even as per advisory of the government of India, the further extension of three months was to be exercised by RERA authorities on a case-to-case basis. However, the buyers are taken for granted where they are not getting any benefit and have the liability to pay both EMI and rent,” pointed out M.S. Shankar, General Secretary, Forum for Peoples Collective Efforts.