Real estate developers evoke little confidence among home-buyers and it is not without reason. While, this year, a large number of them have been focussing on offering delivery of their existing projects to customers, rather than launching new projects, home buyers are facing a new issue. Several developers offering possession letters have given residents an unpleasant surprise with several demands for charges that were not disclosed earlier.Developers are demanding additional charges under various heads. While some are asking for money in the name of labour welfare charge, others are demanding huge amounts in the name of authority meters. There are other charges that are being demanded by most developers such as a one-year advance for maintenance of society, etc. In some cases, developers are cutting corners by leaving some key interior works for the customers to complete — like keeping the fire safety pipe network inside the flat exposed.
An industry expert said that creativity to cut costs is at its peak as developers are stressed on various accounts. While developers have witnessed their project costs escalate because of delays in execution and completion, it has also resulted in a rise in their overhead expenses on account of inflation.
What can a customer do?
Industry insiders feel that in the absence of a sectoral regulator, this is something that no one can control and home buyers need to be more aware and vigilant at the time of buying the house and look for the charges being disclosed by the developers. Singh said, “Homebuyers need to be more vigilant at the time of buying the house and they should ask the developer upfront to list all the charges and agree to pay only those charges. This is one way where homebuyers can safeguard their interest.” Experts say that since most of these charges are imposed at the time of possession, there is hardly anything that a customer can do about it. “A customer looking for possession of his flat that has already been delayed accepts to pay these charges,” said a real estate consultant with a leading property portal. Katiyar said that only a regulator can set the norms about the charges that developers can impose and a delay in entry of a regulator will only see a rise of such instances.
* Rs 2,00,000: Approx. additional charges at the time of possession which are not disclosed upfront
* Most developers across Delhi-NCR have imposed an advance maintenance fee for the next one to two years and legal consulting fee amounting to around Rs 20,000
* There are also water charges amounting to around Rs 20,000 and PNG connection charges
* A developer on the Greater Noida Expressway is demanding authority meter charge amounting to Rs 70,000 from customers for 7 KVA power back up at the rate of Rs 10,000 per KVA — a rate which industry experts say is exorbitant –