December 12, 2010

Regulatory Body for the Housing Sector

There’s an urgent need for establishing a government authority to regulate the real estate companies – on the lines of TRAI or IRDA. In today’s context, home should be seen as an essential commodity and not a luxury. After all we do say that all humans need and deserve “roti, kapda and makaan” – out of these three, makaan is the one that costs significantly more than the other two.

The recent strain on the entire real estate industry has made the “proverbial wolf to come out of the sheep’s clothing without any pretensions whatsoever”. Even in earlier days, the builder community was not known for ethical business practices.

My own experience in dealing with one of the top builders of NCR has been very painful. I went ahead with the booking of a property relying on the builder’s brand image. After having failed to get home loan for making the down-payment I tried to get refund but have been made to go in circles just like what you see on a “jalebi”.

I am still trying hard to settle this matter – either get the builder to hand me a list of banks who have pre-approved the project (so that I get loan) or get refund of the money.

It is true that many customers are requesting for refunds (even the genuine buyers). The primary reason includes the delays and indefinite waits which home buyer s have experienced since the last quarter of 2007. On top of it, builders have taken money from home buyers even for those projects which have not got approvals from government authorities and banks. The poor customers are in a fix as they cannot afford to pay additional amounts to the builders since getting home loans disbursed these days is next to impossible.

In the above situation, either the government should step in to settle the matter or like good old capitalist rules of game the builder files for bankruptcy and pays the home buyers whatever salvage value is possible.

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