Developers pushing ahead dates to hand over apartments would find themselves in hot water from now, with state regulator Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) ruling that the possession date of an ongoing project should be corresponding to the pending work.

According to the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, which came into effect in the state on May 1, 2017, developers have to specify the possession date, delay in which would invite penal action. This is one of the reasons why developers tend to push ahead deadlines. “All the projects where the possession date has been pushed ahead will be examined,” a MahaRERA official said.

The latest order was issued by the MahaRERA chairman Gautam Chatterjee in reference to a complaint filed by a Mumbai-based flatbuyer. He had booked an apartment where the date of possession was specified as March 2016. However, despite the occupation certificate (OC) being obtained on January 14 this year, the builder set a revised date for completion of the project as December 2020 in the MahaRERA registration.

The respondent (developer) should have completed the said project by May 2018. As the OC has been obtained by the respondent, during the pendency of the present complaint, the respondent shall immediately hand over the possession of the said apartment to the complainant. The respondent shall be liable to pay interest to the complainant from June 1, 2018, up to the date of receipt of the OC,” order issued by the regulator stated.

The MahaRERA officials said depending on the work and timeline, the developers should set realistic deadlines to ensure that the residential units are handed over to the buyers on time.

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