MahaRERA, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority, clarified that homebuyers cannot claim compensation or interest for delayed possession under Section 18 of the RERA Act after taking possession of the house. This ruling stemmed from a case involving Girish Bhoite and Paranjpe Schemes Construction Limited in Pune.
In this instance, Girish Bhoite purchased a property valued at Rs 50 lakh in June 2015, with an expected possession by March 2019. However, possession was attained only in May 2022, prompting Bhoite to file a complaint with MahaRERA seeking interest and compensation.
The developer cited delays due to environmental clearance and the COVID-19 pandemic. They further noted obtaining the occupation certificate in April 2021, with Bhoite taking possession in May 2022.
MahaRERA’s interpretation highlighted that claims under Section 18 of the RERA Act can be made only if the developer fails to complete the project or provide possession by the agreed-upon date. Since the complaint was lodged after Bhoite took possession, it was deemed inadmissible.
The authority emphasized that Section 18 relief claims should be raised while the developer’s default continues at the time of filing the complaint, emphasizing the importance of identifying violations upon filing.
However, the Maharashtra Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (MREAT) expressed a different view in a 2021 order. MREAT suggested that Section 18 of the RERA Act could be invoked if possession is handed over beyond the specified date, providing relief to homebuyers.
MREAT criticized MahaRERA’s stance, expressing concerns about potential adverse effects on the real estate sector if widely accepted.