Regarding development agreement with a builder

This query is : Resolved 

Querist : Anonymous (Querist)
11 April 2019

In year 2014, we had signed an agreement with a builder to construct apartment in our land. They had paid an advance (later adjustable) amount of Rs 2.5 lakhs to us. In addition to this, they committed to pay 33% of the total flat. This includes 3 flat and 3 car parking. The agreement was not registered but notarized. The builder has not taken Power of attorney (GPA) to construct the building despite of repeated request.

However they have constructed 5 floors (only concrete structure) and later stopped their work. The building plan they had passed from local authority is also now lapsed. They have put the construction work on hold for almost 2+ years now. We have verbally requested them a lot to complete the work but they did not heed us. They are also not returning our land title deed and other original documents. Now when we are insisting on them to return our document they are threatening us to serve legal notice and go for Arbitration to intentionally delay the proceedings and harass my father. My father is a septuagenarian and they are making him run pillar to post for the original documents. We have already hired a lawyer but an expert opinion always help. Hence approaching this forum.

I have the following questions please advise.

1. Does the builder have any ground to serve legal notice to us and file a case for arbitration?
2. Can we now revoke the development agreement?
3. How can we get our original documents including title deed back from them?
4. Can we lodge a complaint in Consumer Forum against this builder and seek compensation for harassment?
5. Can we sell the land to any other buyer without the original title deed. We have a certified true copy available from the district authority?
6. Do we have to pay for the construction done by them without taking GPA from us? How do we find out how much they had spent for the 5 store concrete structure?
7. Do we have to refund Rs. 2.5 lakhs advance?
8. Is it advisable to go for arbitration or filing a court case for getting the original title deed?

Your advise in this regard would be highly appreciable.

Hemant Agarwal (Expert)
02 May 2019

1. A Notarised Agreement has no legal value and CANNOT be used for arbitration or whatever.

2. According to a HC judgement, IF the builder has delayed the project beyond reasonable period, THEN the Landlord is entitled to revoke the building contract /agreement, without giving any amount to the Builder.

3. IF your said property is in Mumbai area, THEN we can help in completing your project.

Keep Smiling .... Hemant Agarwal

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