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KRERA orders Prestige Group to pay compensation for delay, Despite homebuyer taking possession

The Prestige Group claimed that the complaint was not sustainable as the homebuyer had already taken possession of the apartment and had been residing there from 2019 onwards. This comes after, the developer failed to deliver the apartment in Prestige Bagmane Temple Bells due to ongoing litigation in the National Green Tribunal regarding the lake buffer zone located near the project. The Karnataka Real Estate Regulatory Authority (KRERA) recently asked Bengaluru-based listed real-estate developer Prestige Group to pay Rs 2.17 lakh as compensation to a homebuyer after it failed to hand over the apartment within the stipulated time.

The KRERA move comes even as the homebuyer has already taken possession of the apartment. The developer reportedly failed to deliver the apartment in Prestige Bagmane Temple Bells due to ongoing litigation in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) regarding a lake buffer zone near the project.

Passing the order on May 20, the authority said: "The developer is ordered to pay the amount for the delay period between December 2018 and July 2019, within 60 days of the order." It also asked the homebuyer, Pramod SM, to pay Rs 76,774 for defaulting on his regular instalments. The project, located close to Rajarajeshwari Nagar, was supposed to be completed and handed over to Pramod by 2018. However, the respondent could only obtain the occupancy certificate in 2019.

Appearing before the authority, Prestige Group claimed that the complaint was not sustainable as the homebuyer had already taken possession of the apartment and had been residing there from 2019 onwards.

"The project was completed in 2017 and the developer obtained the completion certificate from the architect before the handover date," the developer told KRERA.

However, a litigation regarding the lake buffer zone near the project at the NGT delayed issuance of the occupancy certificate by the local municipal corporation, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike.

"In 2019, the Supreme Court set aside the NGT order and issued directions to the BBMP to provide the OC. Therefore, the delay in handing over the apartment was due to unforeseeable circumstances (force majeure)," the developer claimed.

The order

After hearing both sides, KRERA noted that there was a delay of about seven  months in handing over the apartment to the homebuyer.

Rebutting the developer's claims that the project was completed within the stipulated time, the authority said that Prestige Group, having registered the project under the RERA Act, is also bound by it.

KRERA also noted that though the developer is not responsible for the delay in issuing the occupancy certificate, Prestige Group is liable for paying compensation for the delay to the homebuyer.

Hence it ordered the developer to pay Rs 2.17 lakh in compensation against Rs 1.16 lakh calculated by the developer (the developer had calculated at the rate of 15 percent where it should have considered SBI Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate, with an additional 2 percent interest for delay). Source: https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/real-estate/despite-homebuyer-taking-possession-krera-orders-prestige-group-to-pay-compensation-for-delay-12742473.html



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