How To File A Consumer Complaint Against A Builder

Published on 27 Sep 2018 by Shivi

The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 aims to protect the rights of consumers from unfair and illegal trade practices of the sellers and service providers. These unfair practices may include selling or providing deficient or faulty products or services, charging more than the selling price of the goods or services, or defrauding the consumer in any other manner.

A consumer is any person or his/her legal representative who pays some amount to buy or avail some goods or services from a seller or service provider. Within this meaning, a home buyer is also considered as a consumer who buys some property from the builder and the builder is considered as the service provider who provides their services for construction of the property of buyer.

Home buyers have been actively taking a legal action against unlawful activities of the builder since the implementation of Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA). However, the RERA laws and rules have not been uniformly implemented by different States in India and therefore, lacks the impact the RERA law was expected to make. The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 provides an alternative in such situation, allowing the home buyers to file a consumer complaint against the builder.

Grounds Of Consumer Complaint Against A Builder

A consumer complaint against the builder can be filed for the following reasons:

  1. The builder has delivered substandard or poor quality work.
  2. The builder has constructed the building, flat or unit without proper approvals from the concerned authorities.
  3. The builder has constructed the property on illegally acquired land.
  4. The builder, promoter or real estate agent has committed fraud in booking the property.
  5. There is a change in land use, layout plan or structure without the prior approval from the home buyer.
  6. The builder is charging some hidden charges at a later stage.
  7. The builder is charging some enhanced external development charges.
  8. The promoter has cancelled the project without any explanation or substantial reason.
  9. The builder has forfeited the amount.
  10. The builder is causing delay in delivering possession.
  11. The builder has created a third-party interest in the property i.e. sold the property to another buyer.
  12. The builder is not providing the Completion Certificate or the Occupancy Certificate.

READ: Comparison Of Legal Remedy For Home Buyers In RERA And The Consumer Protection Act, 1986

Procedure To File A Complaint In Consumer Court Against Builder

The first step is to send a legal notice to the builder or construction company before you proceed to file a consumer complaint against the builder. The legal notice must be well-drafted by an experienced lawyer who can include all the necessary information like the deficiency in service faced at the hands of the builder and the remedy sought. If the builder is willing to rectify the deficiency, they will send a reply to the legal notice stating their sincere reason for the delay or take the essential measures to amend their errors. If the builder fails to do any of these things, you can proceed to file a consumer complaint against builder.

You can file a consumer complaint under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 against the builder by consulting with a good property lawyer in India. The lawyer will evaluate the facts of your matter and file a complaint with the appropriate consumer forum. The consumer forums in India are divided on the basis of value of cases they can accept:

  1. If the value of the property and claim made is less than Rs. 20 lakhs, a complaint can be filed with the District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum.
  2. If the value of the property and claim made is more than Rs. 20 lakhs but less than Rs. 1 crore, a complaint can be filed with the State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission.
  3. If the value of the property and claim is more than Rs. 1 crore, a complaint is to be filed with the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission.

ALSO READ: How To File A Consumer Complaint In Consumer Forum in India?

A consumer complaint against the builder drafted by the property advocate would include the following details:

  1. Details of the buyer and builder.
  2. Details of the property in question.
  3. The grievance faced by the buyer.
  4. The relief sought from the consumer court.

The consumer complaint is filed along with the relevant documents such as the copy of legal notice, the builder-buyer agreement, the proof of payment made to the builder, etc. as well as the prescribed court fee in form of a demand draft.

MUST READ: Rights And Duties Of Home Buyers Under RERA

You can cancel your property booking and claim a full refund of the amount paid to the builder along with interest on such amount as well as compensation for any damages caused. If you do not wish to cancel your booking, you can ask the court to order the builder for delivery of the property within suitable time.

Legistify connects you with the best property attorneys in India who can assist you in filing your consumer complaint against the builder as well represent you before the consumer court. To file a complaint against your builder in a consumer court, you can send us an email at [email protected] or call us at 846-883-3013.


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