The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) on Wednesday asked a builder in Mumbai to return an advance of Rs 26.15 lakh to a buyer, the first such order since the real estate law came into effect in the state on May 1. The order came on Wednesday in a case registered by a buyer from Khar against the developer for a project in Virar (West).

In the first order since the Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act came into effect in the state, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority has directed a Mumbai builder to return an advance of Rs 26.15 lakh to a Khar resident who filed a complaint after the developer failed to hand over a flat booked by him in a Virar project within the deadline. The complainant said at the time of booking the flat in 2012-13, he was told that the project would be ready in 2016. But with the work dragging on, he filed a complaint on the MahaRera website. Soon after the order was issued, the builder handed over the cheque.

The complainant, a consultant who agreed to speak to with  PROPERTYALWAYS.COM on condition of anonymity , said he had registered the complaint under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act because he was not getting a refund of the advance paid for the project.

MahaRera authorities said the comp lainant, who booked the flat in 2012-13, was told that the project would be completed in 2016. The case was filed as the project was dragging on with no end in sight.

“We are extremely happy that MahaRERA ruled in our favour. The developer immediately issued the cheque following the order,“ said the complainant, who was present at the MahaRERA office with his spouse. He had filed a complaint on the MahaRERA website by paying Rs 5,000.

RERA officials said the builder agreed to pay the complainant after three hearings. “Consent terms were filed by both parties and the developer agreed to return the amount...complaint was heard before adjudicating officer B D Kapadanis,“ MahaRERA secretary Vasant Prabhu told . He added this was the first decision taken after MahaRERA was constituted.

Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP) chairperson Shirish Deshpande said they were expecting more consumers to register their grievances against developers registered with MahaRERA. “We have to wait and watch,“ he added.

A deadline for registering housing projects in the state with MahaRERA ended on July 31. Since then the authority has registered over 13,000 projects, highest in the country . And the authority has so far received 98 complaints from buyers.

Credai-Maharashta president Shantilal Kataria said builders' response to MahaRERA registration was encouraging.“At least 17 lakh residential units, over 1 lakh commercial units and above 2 lakh plots have been registered with MahaRERA. This is among the highest in the country . We hope more developers will register with MahaRERA in near future,“ Kataria said.

Note :-  pls subscribe your Email id below for more property related newsletter.