The Assam Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (REAT) recently delivered a significant judgment, highlighting the ongoing responsibility of builders even after handing over possession of a property to buyers. In a case involving an apartment purchase, the tribunal dismissed appeals against the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), Assam. The ruling emphasizes the importance of absolute transfer of property title through a Conveyance Deed and ensures buyers are not left in legal limbo. This article provides an in-depth analysis of the case and its implications for the real estate industry in Assam.
The case involved an agreement made in August 2013 between an allottee (buyer) and a builder for the purchase and sale of an apartment within a project. The allottee paid the total consideration amount of Rs. 18,00,000/- and received possession of the apartment in November 2015. However, the landowners, responsible for completing the project due to the builder's financial constraints, refused to hand over possession to the buyer. In January 2016, the landowners and the builder entered into a Deed of Agreement, which stipulated the transfer of flats already sold by the builder upon receipt of the entire sale consideration amount.
The Real Estate Regulatory Authority, Assam, carefully examined the case and made pertinent observations in their judgment. They noted that the Agreement for Sale between the buyer and the builder was executed in August 2013, with full payment made before the subsequent Agreement between the builder and the landowners in 2016. According to the RERA, any provision in the 2016 Agreement that contradicted the 2013 Agreement for Sale, without necessary amendment or mutual consent of both parties involved, would be deemed void. Consequently, the RERA directed the landowners to vacate the flat within 30 days of the order.
Assam REAT's Decision:
Two appeals were filed against the RERA's order, but the Assam REAT, comprising Mr. Justice (Retd.) Manojit Bhuyan, Chairperson, and Shri Onkar Kedia, Member, dismissed them. The tribunal stressed that if differences between the landowners and the builder impede the transfer and alienation of the flat to the buyer, it is the responsibility of the parties involved to resolve those differences. However, under no circumstances can the buyer be deprived of peaceful possession and transfer of title to the flat. The Assam REAT ordered the builder and the landowners to comply with the orders within four weeks.
The recent judgment delivered by the Assam Real Estate Appellate Tribunal reinforces the critical role of builders in ensuring the seamless transfer of property ownership. Merely handing over possession to buyers after receiving payment is not sufficient; an absolute transfer of title through a Conveyance Deed is necessary. The ruling establishes a precedent that protects the rights of buyers and emphasizes the accountability of builders in completing all legal formalities. This decision is likely to have a significant impact on the real estate sector in Assam and encourage transparency and compliance among builders and developers.
Note: The information provided in this article about Assam Real Estate Regulatory Authority (ASSAM RERA) is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal or professional advice and readers should consult qualified professionals for advice specific to their circumstances. The information provided in this article is based on the press release before the Assam Real Estate Regulatory Authority
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