• I had booked a flat, but then asked them not to process my cheque. Can they sue me for the money?

Hi,

I had booked a flat, but the next day requested them to cancel it the next day. They did not process my cheque. But after a month, they are sending demand letters for the amount (they are presuming I already paid the booking amount which I did not because they did not submit the cheque). 

I have sent them a mail complaining about it, they have replied in the mail "Dear Sir Kindly Ignore, its an system generated email from Thane.". I also talked to them on phone and have a voice recording of several calls where they confirm that they would remove my name and I would not have to pay anything. They later sent me a mail saying "Dear Sir Your cancellation request has been updated in the system.".

I have not signed any sale deed or anything other than the booking contract. Can they still sue me for some money? I will upload the booking contract (uploaded here).
Asked 1 year ago in Property Law from Pune, Maharashtra
Religion: Hindu

1. First instruct the bank not to honour the cheque if they place the cheque for encahsment.

2. If that is done then you will not have to run after them seeking refund of money. So this is most essential.

3. Then send them a written notice cancelling the agreement and informing them not to present the cheque to ban as you have given instructions of ' stop payment' to bank.

4. If they have got the money in the money in the meantime then you will have to seek refund in the cancellation noitce and if they do not then file case before the consumer forum.

Devajyoti Barman
Advocate, Kolkata
18124 Answers
260 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

No, you need not to worry. When they themselves admitted that the booking contract has been cancelled as per your request then they cannot sue based on the cancelled booking order. Their email correspondence are necessary to prove your case, in case if they a file recovery case or cheque return case under NI act. Immediately, give a stop payment request to the bankers to the said cheque.If they initiate any legal proceedings they cannot succeed. Thus, you are need not to worry about the same.

Selva Perumal
Advocate, Chennai
288 Answers
31 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

It is necessary to peruse terms of allotment signed by you

2) if you have signed the contract and failed to make payment builder can sue you to recover money due under the contract

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
69049 Answers
4153 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. IF the Builder has duly acknowledged the Booking cancellation and no contract had been signed by you, THEN the booking cancellation becomes LEGALLY final.

2. HOWEVER, you need to take back your booking cheque back from the builder, to avoid any subsequent mischief by the builder.

Keep Smiling .... Hemant Agarwal

Hemant Agarwal
Advocate, Mumbai
2839 Answers
16 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1) No, they can't sue you in the court.As you have already cleared all your doubts plus they had cancelled your name from their computer system.

2) Plus you have so many evidence with you and basically you have not entered in sale deed contract. So don't worry, just keep all these evidence with you documented on Google drive or pen drive for future benefits, because your intention is clear, what about other party intention may changed in the future.

So precaution is a safety and ignorance.

Ganesh Kadam
Advocate, Pune
8264 Answers
69 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

Hello,

Yes you should pay them the booking amount as once you entered into the contract you are bound to comply the terms of the contract .

Regards

Swarupananda Neogi
Advocate, Kolkata
1147 Answers
2 Consultations

4.8 on 5.0

No the builder cannot sue u on these grounds as there is still no agreement between u and builder. But if the cheque is still there with the builder then he can put the cheque in your account anytime and give u a legal notice u/s 138. Also pls get the cheque stopped in the bank if its with the builder.

Girish Bhambhani
Advocate, mumbai
24 Answers

4.0 on 5.0

Once booking application has been signed by you and accepted by builder you have to entered into contract with the builder

Builder can sue you to pay amount mentioned in booking form

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
69049 Answers
4153 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Sir first of all ask bank to stop payment of that particular cheque.

The. Send a written notice to builder stating all this conversation and mail you have sent them asking them to return the cheque given in lieu of booking which was cancelled.

Further they cannot sue you based on form under RERA recently builder cannot take advamce money without signing the agreement.

Shubham Jhajharia
Advocate, Ahmedabad
20911 Answers
81 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

So stay free you won't be used just take your cheque back or make sure it is not put in bank for transaction you have enough evidence to satisfy that bonefidely cancelled and lianle to pay anything.

And now builder cannot charge just on the form agreement necessary.

Shubham Jhajharia
Advocate, Ahmedabad
20911 Answers
81 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Your question: I have not signed any allotment, just the booking application. I signed no other sale deed or contract. Can I still be sued?

Answer: A booking application is also a contract. So be careful with them, keep oral, written evidences which are in your favour. You may need them incase they don't return the money or refuse your refund or seek money from you.

This is my advise to you:

1. Firstly engage a lawyer and let him/her read the terms and conditions of the booking application which is very important;

2. By the bare perusal it seems that the Builder has certain points in his favour;

3. Still it does not matter, therefore you should find out if the building is RERA registered or no;

4. Now if you want to cancel the booking, and the builder is not allowing you or you have to forfeit a large/arbitrary/exorbitant amount then you can file a complaint to RERA on the website through online process;

5. If it is not RERA registered then you can issue him a legal notice;

6. If he still does not respond well to you, then you can easily file a complaint in the consumer forum;

7. It is not possible that you cannot terminate the agreement from your end or cancel the booking;

Gowaal Padavi
Advocate, Mumbai
1844 Answers
2 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

They cannot sue based on the booking application. If at all if they have grievance they had to issue the claim notice before cancel the booking application. When the booking application was cancelled on the very next date, there would not be any damages or loss to them. Therefore the question of loss or damages on the booking contract would not arise at all.

Selva Perumal
Advocate, Chennai
288 Answers
31 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

No, they cannot sue you to collect any payment from you since your booking request was never processed.

Let them update the records in their software and most probably the issue will be resolved with this updatation.

Vibhanshu Srivastava
Advocate, New Delhi
8734 Answers
144 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Do not worry since you booking application form was never processed since the payment made by you against this booking by means of a cheque was returned back to you.

Vibhanshu Srivastava
Advocate, New Delhi
8734 Answers
144 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. Do not worry. the builder office has already informed you by email that your cancellation request is already updated in the system

2. also they did not encash your booking amount cheque

3. the builder by now must have sold the flat which you intended to buy, to some other person

4. also you have sent them an email clarifying that you cancelled the booking and the builder also did not deposit the cheque. the builder has replied to your email. that is enough. you need not do anything further

Yusuf Rampurawala
Advocate, Mumbai
4665 Answers
28 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Hi,

There are three stages in purchasing an apartment:

(a) Execution of the booking form and the payment of token amount;

(b) Payment of 10% (generally) of he cost price and execution of agreement to sell; and

(c) Payment of the balance amount and the execution of the sale deed.

It seems from your query that you have merely filled the booking form and did not pay the money. Therefore, by cancelling the booking very next day, you have put an end to the transaction. Since, you stopped the payment they must not have issued any receipt evidencing the stage of completion of booking. Therefore, they cannot claim that you have initiated the transaction and are aborting it by denying the payment.Furthermore, the recordings and emails, as stated by you clearly evidence that the cancellation has been accepted by the builder.

Generally, the next stage is payment of at least 10% of the project cost. Under the Real Estate (Regulation and

Development) Act, 2016 (RERA), the builder cannot accept any payment above 10% without executing a written agreement. Therefore, assuming that they seek payment and you pay it, the builder cannot accept such amount. Since, you did not sign the agreement to sell and the same has not been registered. In this paragraph I am assuming that the project is an ongoing project i.e. construction is continuing post the enforcement of RERA.

With the above overview responses to your queries are as under:

1. I have not signed any sale deed or anything other than the booking contract. Can they still sue me for some money? I will upload the booking contract (uploaded here).

Response:Since, you cancelled the booking the next day itself, and did not block the apartment for yourself, there is relatively less likelihood for any case to be filed by you. Assuming such a case is filed, your case stands on a strong footing.

2. "if you have signed the contract and failed to make payment builder can sue you to recover money due under the contract" - I have not signed any allotment, just the booking application. I signed no other sale deed or contract. Can I still be sued?

Response: The builder has accepted the cancellation of the apartment. Further, you have not signed any agreement to sale. Therefore, the builder does not seem to have a strong case against you.

Given the above, it may be difficult to say whether a party may or may not file a suit. However, based on the facts presented by you, if the builder initiates any proceeding your chances are strong.

Please note that I have not reviewed the booking form as the same is not accessible. Only one aspect which needs to be reviewed is the time within which you may cancel the booking. Generally, we have seen that within the stipulated time period, the buyer may cancel the booking with any claim arising from the builder.

Regards,

Prashant Kumar
Advocate, Bangalore
15 Answers

4.0 on 5.0

HELLO SIR, since you have not entered in to any builder buyer agreement ,there is no contract that binds you legally ..In absence of any such contract , there is no liability that can be made against you..

Hemant Chaudhary
Advocate, Gurgaon
4310 Answers
31 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

This is contestable if you have inform the builder to not to deposit the cheque and he deposits but should have in writing to claim the non payment.

Section 138 will not be applicable on stop payment after a valid notice.

Vimlesh Prasad Mishra
Advocate, Lucknow
5683 Answers
19 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

Hello,

They can not sue you if no payment has been made by you.

Do not worry

Anilesh Tewari
Advocate, New Delhi
17270 Answers
267 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

You can not be sued. Do not worry.

Regards

Anilesh Tewari
Advocate, New Delhi
17270 Answers
267 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

I have not signed any sale deed or anything other than the booking contract. Can they still sue me for some money? I will upload the booking contract.

Since you had expressed your desire to buy the property but the next moment you realised that it is not worth buying, hence you decided to cancel the booking even though you paid token by cheque but subsequently given stop payment instructions.

Therefore, it is clear, especially when the builder acknowledged your decision to cancel the booking through email, ther is no cause of action for filing any suit against your by the builder.

No such case is maintainable even if hew has any plans for that

T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
58895 Answers
746 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

if you have signed the contract and failed to make payment builder can sue you to recover money due under the contract" - I have not signed any allotment, just the booking application. I signed no other sale deed or contract. Can I still be sued?

Dont be confused and frightened listening and reading various opinions.

There is no case maintainable against you with the given situation hence you need not be worried

T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
58895 Answers
746 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

There is absolutely nothing to worry about on this account.

Devajyoti Barman
Advocate, Kolkata
18124 Answers
260 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. Booking Application is NOT a contract and neither a Allotment Letter and neither a Sale Deed. Booking Application is only a proposal having literally nill legal value.

2. Based on the above, there is no scope of any litigation of any kind by the builder,on you.

Keep Smiling .... Hemant Agarwal

Hemant Agarwal
Advocate, Mumbai
2839 Answers
16 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

You don't have to worry. Nothing will happen. You can claim some part of your booking amount also after deduction of cancellation fee from them if you want.

Prashant Nayak
Advocate, Mumbai
14536 Answers
25 Consultations

4.6 on 5.0

It appears cheque has been cancelled hence builder forwarded xerox copy of cheque with lines drawn over it

2) you can rely upon audio recordings in your possession to prove they agreed to cance the cheque

3) it is doubtful they would sue you for the cheque amount

4) cheque bouncing cases take over 5 years to be disposed of

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
69049 Answers
4153 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. you have crossed across the cheque, which means its already defaced and cannot be used by the builder

2. there is no need to again write the word 'cancelled' across the cheque

3. also for that cheque you have already issued stop payment instructions. so no way that cheque can be used for any encashment

4. the builder has already confirmed with you that your booking is already cancelled. since it stands so, you do no owe anything to the builder. so he cannot file any complaint against you under negotiable instruments act. one becomes liable under that act when one has a debt or liability towards the person to whom the cheque is issued. you do not owe any liability to the builder since he has already cancelled your booking

Yusuf Rampurawala
Advocate, Mumbai
4665 Answers
28 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

The three lines crossed cheque means a 'cancelled cheque'.

They cannot initiate a cheque bounce case under negotiable instruments act nor they can file civil suit for recovery on the basis of a cancelled cheque.

Therefore ther is nothing to be worried about it because the booking was cancelled immediately and you have taken proper action for the same.

T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
58895 Answers
746 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

As they have cancelled the cheque by putting lines on it then there is no case made out in Negotiable instruments Act.

Prashant Nayak
Advocate, Mumbai
14536 Answers
25 Consultations

4.6 on 5.0

No if the cheque is cancelled then they cannot sue you under negotiable instrument act further you have collected enough evidence in your favour even if they donot cancel the cheque and present it.

If the cheque is cancelled three lines drawn all over cheque rest assured and feel free there wont be any proceedings against you.

Shubham Jhajharia
Advocate, Ahmedabad
20911 Answers
81 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

That three cross line in the cheque is fair enough, they cannot put the cheque for collection. If you dont belive them , visit their office in person and collect the cancelled cheque. You need not to worry, there is no transaction happened, therefore they cannot sue against you under NI Act

Selva Perumal
Advocate, Chennai
288 Answers
31 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

Don't worry. u are safe.. nothing will happen.

Girish Bhambhani
Advocate, mumbai
24 Answers

4.0 on 5.0

Dear Sir,

Your case is closed in their files as such she is not lifting your phone. Nothing to bother. Just be at ease.

Kishan Dutt Kalaskar
Advocate, Bangalore
4690 Answers
134 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

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