Bombay HC rules homebuyers can claim interest for delayed possession even after taking possession

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The Bombay High Court has made a significant ruling stating that homebuyers can claim interest for delayed possession from developers under Section 18 of the RERA Act, even after taking possession of the property. This decision comes after a case filed by a developer against verdicts by the Maharashtra Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (MREAT) regarding payment of interest for delayed possession.

According to the RERA Act 2016, homebuyers are entitled to claim a refund or interest if they wish to exit a project due to delayed possession or if they take possession after a delay by the developer.

In a specific case concerning a project in Pune, two homebuyers filed complaints against the developer with MahaRERA seeking interest for delayed possession. Despite the developer’s arguments citing various reasons for the delay, both complaints were ruled in favour of the homebuyers by MahaRERA and later by MREAT.

The Bombay High Court’s recent order upheld the decisions by MREAT, emphasizing that the homebuyer is not responsible for issues like stop work notices and it is the developer’s responsibility to ensure timely completion of the project. The court stated that Section 18 of the RERA Act allows homebuyers to claim interest for delayed possession even after taking possession of the property.

Legal experts have welcomed the decision, considering it a relief for homebuyers facing similar situations. Trupti Daphtary, a Mumbai-based advocate, highlighted that the ruling clarifies that homebuyers can take possession after obtaining an Occupation Certificate (OC) and still file complaints with MahaRERA for interest on delayed possession.

This ruling reinforces the rights of homebuyers and underscores the importance of developers fulfilling their obligations under the RERA Act. It provides clarity on the recourse available to homebuyers in cases of delayed possession, ensuring accountability and protection of consumer interests in the real estate sector.

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