Can I get compensation from builder for not keeping his promise
I purchased a 3 BHK flat in Oct 2013 and in the agreement land owner is the consenting party. There is a joint development agreement between builder and land owner. The project was started in 2008 and was supposed to complete in 2011, but it got delayed due to various reasons. I got a discount from land owner, hence decided to buy flat from the land owner instead of builder. I paid booking amount of Rs 5 lac to land owner in Jun 2013, but the builder delayed the registration of agreement until Oct 2015. I was supposed to get the possession of the flat by Dec 2013 as the building was almost complete. However, the agreement mentioned that possession will be given in Apr 2014. I kept on following with the builder to get an update and every time the possession date was forwarded by couple of months. I eventually was provided a demand letter for possession of flat by the builder in Oct 2015. However, the builder had not acquired the occupancy certificate from municipality and apart from my building, rest of the buildings are still being constructed and builder has not developed common areas, like garden, children's play area, jogging track, etc. Hence I declined to take possession of the flat at that time. Builder told me that as I am delaying possession of the flat, they will start charging the maintenance from Oct 2015 even though flat was not handed over to me. There was no written communication regarding this and I have been asking for the same from the builder through emails multiple times.
At the time of agreement in 2013, I was also asked to pay service tax and VAT for the entire agreement amount as against the break up provided to me in the detail sheet by the builder. They told me that this will be refunded at the time of possession. I kept on asking for update on that as well and finally I was given a written assurance by the builder that they will refund the amount in Oct 2015. The total amount is Rs 1,90,000. Finally, builder got the OC for the flat and asked me to pay the remaining amount and take possession. I asked them to provide me the check of Rs 1,90,000 and I will pay the remaining amount, but they told me that service tax department has declined to refund the amount now and hence they cannot pay me that amount which they had promised.
As per my agreement with the land owner and verbal assurance of the builder I was supposed to get a covered car part with the 3 bhk flat. However, at the time of possession, I was given an open car parking. When I objected, the builder said it was there in the agreement and I should have raised the issue at the time of agreement. I also noticed that builder has put other terms in the agreement, that the maintenance paid by flat owners will be non-refundable and unaccountable. We will need to raise any concerns regarding the construction of flat within 15 days and after that we will not raise the issue or held the builder responsible for any structural faults in the flat.
I have hence declined to pay the balance amount to the builder and have been communicating with him to get the following issues resolved.
1. I should be paid amount mentioned by builder in writing of Rs 1,90,000 irrespective of what is going on in the background. I think he may have deliberately put me in the dark for last 2 years so that I do not take any action.
2. How can he charge maintenance if I have not been given possession and there was no OC. Common were are yet to be completed.
3. He has delayed the possession of the flat by 2 years and is not ready to pay any compensation for the same as the agreement says builder will not be liable to pay any damages for delay in possession, but buyer has to pay 9% interest if there is delay in making payment.
4. The terms in the flat are one sided and buyer should have full write to check accounts related to maintenance of the flat/society.
5. Land owner has agreed in front of builder that we had agreed for a covered car park, but the same was still not provided and builder has inserted open car park at the time of agreement.
6. In addition to the above, builder had promised to provide certain amenities which are not there now. Like, Piped Gas, Solar Street lights, School, Hospital, Solar water heater in all wash rooms. Now he is saying that he cannot provide those due to regulatory issues and other reasons.
My family is advising me not to take any legal action as the builder has already told me that he is not afraid of anyone and I can go to court. I am not sure how much time it will take if I go to a consumer court and will it be worth all the trouble.