But homebuyers say 14-month wait is too long
The first-ever auction of a property to recover money from a developer who defi ed Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority’s (MahaRERA) refund orders will fi nally happen next month in Ambivali near Kalyan, raising serious questions on whether Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act can really give swift justice to buyers. The Act came into effect on May 1, 2017.
Kalyan Tehsildar Amit Sanap has issued the final public notice to auction flat 404 in Falco Woodshire project in Ambivali belonging to Pradnya and Nikhil Sable, a Kalwabased couple, along with four others on February 21 to recover a sum of Rs 51.88 lakh which includes principal sum of Rs 36.86 lakh and interest at 10.5 per cent, from the developer, Kambar Constructions. All flats in the auction have base prices ranging from Rs 15-17.30 lakh.
The auction will take place based on a revenue recovery warrant issued under Section 40 (1) issued by MahaRERA in June 2018 after Kambar Constructions failed to comply with its November 2017 order directing it to refund a sum of Rs 36.86 lakh to homebuyers—the Sables. Kambar Constructions had claimed that a local goon’s terror reign in Ambivali had resulted in delays in completing the project by December 2015.
The developer challenged the MahaRERA order before the appellate tribunal, but the appeal was rejected. When the developer still did not comply with the order, the Sables filed for execution of the decree. MahaRERA then issued the revenue recovery warrant and sent it to the Thane collector to take further action under the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code.
The warrant was forwarded to Sanap for property sealing and auctioning to recover the money. As per the process, two notices were issued to the developer to pay up before Woodshire building was sealed, and five flats were put up for auction.
Sanap said, “The recovery process takes five to six months. The base price of each flat was decided after the public works department examined the flats and decided its current value according to the work completed. If three of these flats get sold and we recover Rs 51.88 lakh, the auction stops automatically. If the auction fails, we can organise a re-auction.”
But, homebuyers Pradnya and Nikhil Sable, who had to wait for 14 months for their investment, are already exhausted. After MahaRERA came into effect on May 1, 2017, the Sables, who were paying a home loan EMI as well as rent, filed their complaint in September and were happy at the swift refund order by MahaRERA in two months. The developer claimed he faced serious liquidity crunch and could not repay the amount. “When the developer did not comply after the tribunal rejected his appeal, we expected the process to move faster. I wish MahaRERA had a direct role in the recovery process. Recovery warrants are not exactly a priority in the collector’s office,” said Nikhil