MCHI Gets Tough on Builders
With a view to curb unethical practices, the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI), the apex body of real estate business in the state, has directed all its members not to book flats without receiving the commencement certificate (CC) from the authorities. MCHI secretary Sunil Mantri told TOI: “Apart from giving this instruction to our members, we have also decided to let builders have stalls in our exhibitions only if they have the CC of their projects.” He noted that this is a statutory requirement under the Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act (MOFA) and that it will be implemented strictly.
MCHI treasurer Ashok Mohanani said, “This step will benefit flat buyers in a big way. People take housing loans of lakhs of rupees and hence it is necessary to protect their interests. This move will ensure that people buy flats only in approved projects.” The MCHI has also asked its members to sell flats as per their carpet area and not on the built-up and super built-up basis, Mantri said. Following a public outcry against the sale of as high as 40% of built-up area, the state government had warned builders of action if they do not sell flats on the basis of their carpet area. Housing law expert D S Wader said, “There is a specific provision under the MOFA that the sale agreement should specify only the carpet area. But most builders do not follow that rule. It is good if the MCHI has decided to implement it.” In fact, some of the builders have already started selling their flats on the carpet area basis.
Builder Atul Shirodkar, who has several projects in Mumbai and Nagpur said: “I have made it clear in my brochures and advertisements that the flats will be sold strictly on carpet basis. In fact, I am asking the buyers to themselves measure the area of their flats before making the final payment.” He added that several builders had called him up and “accused him of spoiling the real estate market”.”But I have decided to strictly follow the law, Shirodkar said. Housing activists have suggested that cheating cases be registered against builders who don’t sell flats on carpet basis.
Mantri said the MCHI has also asked its members to specify in writing the costs involving stamp duty, registration charges and any additional facilities. “This will ensure that there are no hidden costs. We want to introduce greater transparency in all flat dealings,” he said