What are the methods home buyers can use to take legal action against builders for delay in possession?

What are the methods home buyers can use to take legal action against builders for delay in possession?

Date : 07 Nov, 2019

Post By Vishal Kumar

Delay in possession by builders is becoming an important issue these days. Project delays are common whenever there is a slowdown in the real-estate market. Up to 2 years of delay in property possession is commonly seen now in the real estate industry. However, builders still don’t refrain from over-committing and giving aggressive completion dates in agreements. But, should a home buyer just be a mute spectator to this entire delay episode? While there is no easy way out from delayed projects, buyers should be careful about their investment and minimize the risk by only buying from a RERA certified builder. Mostly in case of project delays, if the builder is not governed by authorities like RERA, buyer may suffer at the builders hand and not be allowed any penalty. 

Home buyers can take legal action against the fraudulent builders who delay construction of property in the following ways:

  1. A civil recovery suit could be filed against the builder against the amount paid by the buyer for the possession of flat or delayed delivery of flat. The claim refund or/along with interest value from the builder is filed in a civil court, DSJ or before the high court, depending upon the amount of recovery claimed by the home buyer.

The suit should be filed within 3 years from the date on which the possession of the flat was confirmed by the builder. For filing a recovery suit there is a prescribed court fees which may be much higher than the one involved in a consumer complaint.

  1. In a consumer complaint, a simple complaint can be filed before the district, state or national forum, depending upon the amount of the claim made. If the case value along with the interest and compensation demanded is less than INR 20 lakhs, then the complaint could be filed in district forum. However, if the total case value is up to INR 1 Cr., the case must be filed before the National Commission.

  1. RERA in today’s scenario could prove to be the best option for aggrieved home buyers who wish to take action against the fraudulent builders. Now, the registration under RERA has become mandatory for home builders. RERA has the power to cancel the registration of any builder and this makes it a very effective body for solving such disputes. 


In case of delay in the possession of the property one has to be very certain about his/her rights and necessary steps should be taken in order to protect the interest of the buyers.

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