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Aggrieved soul   27 November 2015

Builder not formed society and terminated agreement.

Hello Everyone,

This is a long post but want to be detailed rather than miss out on important points, also builder has challenged us that he'll ensure that our society does not gets formed. 

We are in dispute with a builder based in Mumbai who has not formed the society since 2011, contrary to MOFA, the builder has not maintained the building (damaged entrance gate, over head water tank burst few years back and was not replaced, debris not cleared to name a few), not paid property assessment tax running into lakhs, not paid the water bill for the past 4 years, has chained and locked the stilt parking lots and uses only for himself and couple of other flat owners. He has taken 2-3 lakh rupees in cash from several flat owners for the parking and did not allot them the same. (Mistake by these flat owners). The builder wants to add one more floor to the building and no permission has been given to him for that and that is the reason he is not forming the society.

As per terms of agreement we had paid him a year maintenance in advance which I believe is the norm. After that we asked him to form the society, provide piped gas connection and other things which was part of the agreement but he did not do so. Majority of the members hence have withheld the maintenance since that time period owing to the fact that he is not maintaining the building. The builder never asked for maintenance since 2012, neither in written nor verbally, and now for the past 2-3 years we were facing acute water shortage as our building had the water line which was sanctioned for construction of the building and the builder never asked the Municipal Corp to increase the widdth of the pipeline. 

Couple of years back few flat owners including me initiated the formation of society but builder threatened few flat owners for different reasons who withdrew their signatures and that got stopped then.

Now the flat owners owing to the water shortage issue got really troubled and decided not to bow down to the builder and initiated formation of society and sent a letter to the builder about his failed duties on maintaining the building. The builder again threatened everyone but we didn't do the same mistake.

Seeing that builder sent everyone a letter asking us to pay the maintenance and VAT. He levied 24% interest on the maintenance and compounded it and sent us a notice asking us to pay it within 15 days or he will terminate our agreement. All flat owners decided to pay only the VAT and few paid maintenance minus the interest. The builder later sent us a notice that he has terminated our agreements and asked to vacate the flat, this after 6 years of purchase of our flats, registration of agreement and everything. 

Meanwhile we decided to approach the Municipal Corp to resolve the water pipeline issue and got to know that the builder has not paid the water bill since 2012 and property assessment tax running into lakhs since 2011 and they will not be able to provide the new water connection unless that is paid.

We sent a notice to builder who kept delaying the payment and finally we had to make the payment of the water bill but later got to know that NOC is required and that will not be granted unless property assessment tax is paid. Currently we are hiring water tankers using our own money every odd day and even that is not being sufficient.

Our hearing with the Dy. Registrar, for society formation without builder co-operation, happened this week and the builder's lawyer was present who said that they have terminated the agreement and will need to study our application to find out if members who's agreement have been terminated are on the list or not and the Dy Registrar promptly gave next month for the hearing. Shouldn't the Dy Registrar heard us out why we didn't pay the maintenance and decide the case at that moment itself?

Wish to know from all the learned legal people as to what our next course of action should be?

Should we approach the consumer court and file a case against the builder? (Will this delay/affect society formation pending resolution of the case?)

Should we wait for the society formation and then approach the consumer court? (society formation looks like it will run for months, already 3 month passed and didn't have a proper hearing yet)

Should we hire an advocate and send a legal notice and also get the lawyer to represent our case in front of the Dy Registrar and Consumer Court?

Any other inputs welcome!

 



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