While buying a house beware of the types of tricks the builder’s play. Given below are a few points which will help you to guard against some of the common problems.


    When do I get my house?

    What to do. Don't just take the builder's word on the progress of construction. Check it out from time to time. If you feel a delay is likely, start building up pressure on the developer. The best way to do this is to form a society. Usually, builders have many projects running at the same time and they push the ones where the pressure is higher.


      Where are my papers?

      What to do. Sale agreements often don't mention the completion certificate. If yours doesn't and you notice it before signing the papers, insist on the inclusion of a clause that you will be given the completion certificate when the flat is handed over to you. Ask the builder for it as soon as he announces that the house is ready for possession. If you move into the house without it, the court will probably be your last resort.


        What's the guarantee of quality?

        What to do. Don't fall for the builder's glib talk. Insist on including the sanctioned plan of the building and the specifications of the raw materials to be used for construction in the purchase agreement. If you are already facing quality problems, you can go to the consumer court. If you want to approach the consumer court, move it within two years from the day you take possession. Alternatively, flat owners can form a Residents' Welfare Association (RWA) and get the builder to fix the problems.


          What is the price really?

          What to do. The last stop is the consumer court. Many malpractices are offences under the Indian Penal Code, for which the responsible party can be prosecuted. Keep checking with the builder if any changes are being made to the specifications mentioned in the agreement and the allotment letter. Also, try to get it mentioned in the contract that if a sum higher than the original price has to be paid by you, the builder would give you additional time for that. You must also ask for a copy of the sanctions that the builder has taken from the authorities to carry out the alterations.


            What else do i pay for?

            What to do. Builders generally have a take-it-or-leave-it attitude with conscientious buyers while striking a deal. Even so, it pays to be scrupulous and to read the agreement and its fine print. Get a lawyer, an architect or an evaluator to determine the correctness of the purchase. Finally, do some quick math and keep aside some funds to get your house up and running.

              How big is house?

              What to do. Builders usually follow the same practices through all their projects. So, before buying, check out the builder's earlier projects to see if he plays fair. Start a blog or join one to share your experiences with others, though this doesn't guarantee redressal.


                What's the carpet area?

                What to do. Buy property on the basis of carpet area, although the builder will not like the idea. Argue with him that if the super built-up area is mentioned on the basis of the approvals and sanctions, the carpet area can be quantified. There should be a provision for termination of the contract and resumption of the property so that builders don't have an upper hand. However, in the absence of rules, buyers should be vigilant.


                  Will I get a well-managed property?

                  What to do. You are unlikely to get relief through correspondence and phone calls. You can go the e-way to attract the builder's attention to seek guidance.

                  Though the dice is clearly in favour of the builder, the buyers can still fight back. Now, the government urgently needs to put a regulator in place to ensure proper disclosures and protect the buyers.

                  What we need
                  A home is the biggest investment of one's life. So, don’t buy it in a hurry. Don’t sign any of the papers without reading them.
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