Karnataka Builders Owe Rs 486 Crore in Refunds to Homebuyers

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    In Karnataka, developers have not given back Rs 486 crore to people who bought homes from them because the homes were not ready on time. A report from the Karnataka Real Estate Regulatory Authority (KRERA) shared with Moneycontrol revealed this information.

    Up to January 31, 2024, the government managed to get back money in 138 cases, but still needs to sort out 1110 more cases.

    According to a law from 2016, if builders don’t give back money or pay compensation to the homebuyers, the real estate authority can ask the government to make the builders pay.

    Among these, big companies listed in the stock market owe about Rs 10 crore, which is 2% of the total money that needs to be returned.

    The report mentions that Puravankara Ltd owes Rs 0.24 crore, its branch Provident Housing owes Rs 4.3 crore, Shriram Properties owes over Rs 5.1 crore, and Unitech Ltd owes Rs 0.9 crore.

    The total amount that needs to be collected by the government has nearly doubled from Rs 245 crore in July 2022.

    From July 2022 to January 2024, the government has only managed to get back money in 54 cases out of 683 orders.

    One homebuyer, Sudhakar Lakshmanaraja, has been waiting for more than two years to get his money back from a Mantri Group project in Bengaluru. He said he has tried many ways to get his refund but hasn’t received any response. The Mantri group owes more than Rs 4 crore to homebuyers.

    The process is slow because the builders’ debts are treated like land dues, and there’s no set deadline for getting this money back.

    An advocate mentioned that the authorities in charge are not acting quickly enough. They suggested that buyers need to push these authorities to take action against builders’ other properties to get their money.

    In February 2024, the Karnataka High Court ordered the government to ensure that homebuyers get their money back within four months in a specific case involving the Ozone Urbana project, which owes Rs 93.6 crore.

    The lack of a fixed timeline for refunds shows that the government needs to do more to help buyers, according to Dhananjaya Padmanabhachar, head of a home buyers’ group. He believes the government should set deadlines for both the revenue department and the real estate authority to make sure buyers get their refunds faster.

    Also read: Odisha RERA Demands Builders Share Bank Details for Transparency

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