Section 18 of RERA permits the allottee to get interest at the prescribed rate for every month of delay on his amount. The rate of interest is prescribed under rules, which is 2% above State Bank of India’s marginal cost of lending rate, which is currently 8.05% pa.
Observing that the law provides that the rate of interest payable to allottee and promoter shall be equal, a MahaRera member in a recent order said, “I find that both parties are entitled to get simple interest on their amount…”
B D Kapadnis, Rera member who heard a dispute between Shrikant Pandit and Sudha Pandit against Rahul Anklesaria, HDIL, over delay in possession of a flat in Kurla, dealt essentially with the legal question whether a builder is entitled to interest from a buyer in a complaint filed by the buyer who wishes to continue with the project despite delay in delivery. The buyer had filed a complaint seeking interest for delay in possession. The answer, said the Rera member, was that the builder was entitled too.
The buyers’ said they booked the flat at Premier Exotica-l Building in Kurla for Rs 1 crore. The agreed possession was end of August 2016, with a 12-month grace period, but the builder failed to hand it over on that day. The Pandits, citing provisions of Rera Act, claimed monthly interest on the flat cost from the builder till delivery. The builder admitted to delay in delivery but said he had received only ₹51 lakh till October 2016 from the buyer, with no more money received from them, though by August 95% construction was complete and they were liable to pay 95% towards the flat cost by then. The builder said they were liable to give possession only on full payment and argued that since payment was pending, the buyer was not entitled to interest.
The authority directed the builder to pay pay the Pandits simple interest on Rs 51 lakh, which had been received from the buyers, from March 1, 2017, till they hand over the flat. The buyers were directed to pay the builder Rs 48 lakh as unpaid dues, with interest from August 9, 2016.
The flat booked was in an SRA project’s free sale component. There was a plan to expand Mumbai airport and a rehabilitation scheme connected to it was later shelved by the government, the builder said, adding that though rehab buildings were ready, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority was not ready to take the buildings and therefore, the occupancy certificate of the project was withheld, a reason for delay beyond its control. The builder had sought dismissal of the buyers’ case but the member rejected this contention.