What if the agreement does not mention the possession date?


Status as on 21/06/2019

There have been many instances where developers have not mentioned the date of possession in the agreement which makes the matter confusing, adding additional problems for the homebuyers. Important update on the issue is that the, actor vrijesh hirjee who filed a complaint against Skyline construction company for failing to hand over the possession to him, was given relief by the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Maha RERA), who ordered Skyline Construction Company to refund Rs 1.06 crores, along with an interest of 10.5 per cent to the actor, for failing to hand over possession and keeping the date of possession clause empty in the registered agreement.

There are many cases where, the developer on purpose omits to mention the date of possession to the buyer in the agreement. The purpose it serves is that, the aggrieved buyer then cannot claim relief from the authority due to absence of possession date, which gives an upper hand to the developers since they can take as much time as needed to complete the project without worrying about the consequences. But, as per the case mentioned above it is possible to claim relief against the developers even if the date of possession is not mentioned in the agreement because it is the duty of the developer to draft the agreement. Not mentioning the date of giving possession to the buyer is a clear matter of fraud and misrepresentation and as per the Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act of 1963, the exact date of possession should be disclosed in the agreement of sale.

What should buyers do before purchase?

The buyer should only look for projects registered under RERA and read the draft agreement on the website. This agreement should be checked by a legal person, to verify whether it complies to the RERA. The buyer should also check the date of possession mentioned in the agreement and the grace period in case of delays. The buyer should check all the necessary clauses regarding the compensation, delay, alteration to the projects and also the provision(s) in case the developer fails to deliver the possession on time. Having the possession date in writing, gives the buyers assurance that the developer will timely delivery the unit/flat as per the agreement and that their investment is safe.

First things first, the buyer should run a background check on the builder, their other projects and their status. Further the buyer should physically inspect all documents. Keep in mind that the possession date, ideally, should be between two-three years from the inception of the project.

Disclaimer – Please note that the above articles is based on the interpretation of related laws and judicial pronouncement which may differ from person to person. The reader are expected to take the expert opinion on the matter.

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