Supreme Court gives friendly advice to property buyers

Here is a warning right from the Supreme Court for home owners. People get attracted to the flats and houses offered by real estate builders, more so when they are offered by reputed and large builders. At the same time, the terms and conditions of the deals offered by these builders can be complex, and not easily understood by normal buyers. For example, the builder may offer a deal whereby there is a penalty clause if the handover of the property is delayed, but most consumers that I have talked to are hesitant to call up the builder on this, In many cases, they are worried that either the builder will rush through things, or maybe handover the property when everything around the property including facilities are incomplete. Hence the warning by the Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court has cautioned prospective flat buyers to look for the devil in the fine-print of documents before signing a contract with builders, who generally promise speedy construction, timely delivery and little or no escalation in price.

It said after a person signs an agreement with a builder for getting a flat in an under construction residential complex, there is little the courts can do to rescue him as he is bound by the clauses of the contract. Though it reduced the amount forfeited by a person for dropping out of the instalment payment scheme for acquiring a flat in a housing complex built by DLF, it frowned upon the practice of builders to put a clause that barred the buyer from challenging the escalation costs.

It is typically a world of buyer beware. Once you enter a contract that is not totally lopsided, then it is difficult for the courts to step in and void the terms of the contract.

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