Every day, we consciously or unconsciously dabble with our rights as a citizen of the nation. Our rights keep us safe, give us a sense of belonging, and help us lead fulfilled lives. Your rights as a homeowner are also an important part of making your ownership as enjoyable. When you buy a home, it is a given that your investment pays you back manifold both in terms of property appreciation and a special sense of pride and satisfaction. In order to enjoy them, you must learn about your rights as an apartment owner and how to exercise them. Your rights as a homeowner may seem trivial, and many may assume that they are a given. However, knowing your rights is a safety net, and assures your peace of mind. We have listed below the most important rights of an apartment owner for your benefit.
It is common for builders to pursue you into paying a booking amount upfront in the first few meetings to keep you hooked. However, you should be aware of your rights regarding the payment of the booking amount. The RERA Act has capped booking amounts across the country including Kerala. According to RERA Kerala, a buyer is not allowed to charge more than 10% of the property price as an advance payment without a written agreement for sale. A property purchase without a written agreement signed between the buyer and the seller is considered invalid in Kerala. Booking and allotment letters are legal documents that a builder may give you to confirm your purchase or booking aside from a receipt of your initial payment.
All home buyers are entitled to receive a construction based payment schedule with specific dates of every new update or milestone like laying the foundation, the roof etc. THe builder is expected to sign off on this schedule prior to signing the agreement. Home buyers must look out for this schedule before entering into any agreement with the builder to protect their interests in case of construction delays. The schedule also allows buyers to prepare themselves for an upcoming payment schedule and to sort out processes with their loan officer. The builder is with the buyer providing support and guidance through each of these steps when it comes to bank related processes.
All home buyers are entitled to receiving statements of accounts from the builder every three months or as requested by the buyer. Ever since the GST Bill was introduced, the buyer is to receive a receipt of the payment made for every milestone as agreed.
Home buyers are entitled to receive assistance from the buyers throughout their loan application process. First time home buyers often feel intimidated by the many documents and processes involved in applying for a loan. The builder must provide a No Objection Certificate and enter into a tripartite agreement if the buyer needs one to clear out any bottlenecks during the loan application period.
The RERA Act protects the rights of the home buyers to receive the amenities that were promised by the builder in the brochure and advertisement materials. Parking space, swimming pools, clubhouse, party halls etc. are some of the common amenities that come with specifications from the RERA body. If a builder doesn’t follow through on the initial list of amenities, the buyer has rights to file a complaint against the builder in the RERA tribunal.
According to the Kerala RERA body, the builder or promoter cannot make any changes or additions to the layout sanctioned by the regulatory body. THis includes the plan, fixtures, amenities and fittings provided in every home. In case of changes, they cannot proceed without the written consent of at least two-thirds of allottees.
If the builder doesn’t comply with the initial agreement on the date of delivery of the property, they are liable to paying interest on the property loan for every month of delay.
According to RERA rules, the builder can promote the legal formation of entities like association, company, federation etc. within the first three months from the date on which at least 51% of the number of buyers in the building have booked their apartment. As a homeowner in an apartment complex, you are entitled and obliged to be a member of the apartment association formed for the welfare of residents. Owners of every apartment are termed as a member of the society or association and have the right to attend general assembly meetings and discuss their issues if any.
When buying a home or an apartment in Kerala, it is always best to choose to make your purchase with top builders. Aside from the construction quality, top best builders in Kerala always put their customers first and protect their rights every step of the way.
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