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Haq Ki Baat: What to do if builder imposes lime in the name of super area, flat takers must know these things

New Delhi : It is necessary to take many precautions before buying a house or flat. Is the builder making any hidden or additional charges somewhere? Is he fooling around in the name of super area? Same happened with flat buyers of JMD Garden Society, Gurugram. The builder collected money from them in the name of super area. But on Wednesday, the decision of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) brought huge relief to 480 flat buyers. The commission ordered the builder to return the amount collected from flat buyers in the name of super area along with interest. In the series ‘Haq Ki Baat’, let us know what to do if the builder is charging you money in the name of super area? After all, is this super area, carpet area, built up area?

According to the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Act enacted in 2016, it is mandatory for the builder to specify the size of the flat or apartment on the basis of carpet area. That means the price will also be decided by the carpet area and not by the build-up or super build-up area. Yes, builder can charge maintenance for common areas like lift, staircase. Now let us see the case of Gurugram society. The builder collected money from the flat buyers of JMD Garden Society in the name of super area. Against this, the Resident Welfare Association of the society reached the Consumer Commission. After a legal battle that lasted for 8 years, the NCDRC finally gave its verdict in favor of the RWA. The commission ordered the builder to refund the excess amount recovered from the flat buyers along with 9 per cent interest.

what is carpet area
Above are the terms like carpet area, built-up area and super area. It is important to understand their meaning. First thing about the carpet area. This is the area that you can use by laying carpet. In simple words, it can be understood that the carpet area is the only space that you can use in your home. It does not include stairs, lifts, lobbies, outer walls, terraces etc. However, the walls inside the flat come under the carpet area.

What is built-up area

Built-up area includes the area taken up by the walls in addition to the carpet area. Apart from this, areas like balcony, terrace, flower bed also come which are not commonly used. That is, the built-up area is always more than the carpet area.

what is super built up area
An apartment or a housing society has many common areas such as lobby, lift, swimming pool, garden, park, etc. By adding these common areas to the built-up area, a super built-up area is formed. i.e. super built-up area = built-up area + common area

How to complain against the builder
Where and how to lodge a complaint if the builder has broken his promise or charged undue amount or has any other complaint? The answer is in RERA or in the Consumer Commission. The flat buyer can file a complaint against the builder with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA). But if the flat has been bought before the RERA Act came into force in 2016, then he will have to file a complaint under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 only.

Complaint can be lodged without a lawyer
If you have any complaint against the builder regarding the flat, then you can file it in the consumer court. There is no need to hire a lawyer for this either. Its process is also easy. Let us understand the process of filing a complaint spate by step.

First send notice to the builder
Before filing a complaint against the builder in the consumer court, you have to send a notice to him. Tell him what your complaints are. If he does not resolve your complaint even on this then you can go to consumer court.

Register online complaint
If the builder does not respond to your notice, the next step is to file a complaint against him in the consumer court. You can register it by visiting the consumer helpline website of the government. After signing up/login to the site you will be required to fill personal and project related details. By filling these details, give the details of your complaint and upload the necessary documents in support of it.

You can file complaints like delay in possession, non-receipt of completion certificate, shoddy construction, construction without necessary approvals, property fraud, hidden charges, change in land use or layout plan.

After filling the details related to the complaint, you will have to deposit the fees. The fee charged for the complaint depends on the amount of the case. For example, if the complaint case is up to Rs 1 lakh, then you will have to pay a fee of Rs 100. If there is a complaint up to Rs 1 crore, then a fee of Rs 4000 will have to be paid.

Up to Rs.1 lakh – Rs.100
1-5 lakh – Rs 200
Up to Rs 5-10 lakh – Rs 400
Up to Rs.10-20 lakh – Rs.500
Up to Rs 20-50 lakh – Rs 2000
Up to Rs.50 lakh-1 crore – Rs.4000

If property worth more than Rs 1 crore There will be complaint in NCDRC
If the value of the property is more than Rs 1 crore, then the complaint will have to go to the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC). For this, a fee of Rs 5000 will have to be paid.

Check complaint status online
After registering the complaint, you get the docket number. To check the status of the complaint, you have to enter the docket number and your registered mobile number on the consumer helpline website.

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