Maharashtra RERA Appellate Tribunal: Right to reserve flat includes right to withdraw

Kareena Eugene

The Maharashtra Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (MahaRERA) in an order that may provide relief to several flat allottees, observed that the right to reserve a flat includes the right to cancellation of reservation. A builder cannot ask an allottee to forfeit the booking amount on withdrawing their reservation.

The panel observed a clause in the reservation from not allowing prospective flat purchasing to withdraw from the arrangement.

Asking the buyer to forfeit 10% of the flat’s value or the amount paid in the initial stage is ex-facie unreasonable, unfair and inequitable.

The panel consisting of members Sumant Kolhe (Judicial) and S. S Sandhu directed Piramal Estate Pvt Ltd. to return ₹5,61,967 to couple from Kalwa, Thane, Dinesh and Ranjana Humane, who cancelled their reservation due to medical emergencies in their family. The allottees were represented by Advocate Sunil Kevalramni.

The Panel in their observations mentioned that, The existence of such a condition in the printed form of “request for reservation” by allottee is against the object and purpose of RERA… and not binding on the parties”.

The Tribunal observed that, the promoters cannot take undue advantage of a one-sided clause. The parties (the builders and the buyers) had not entered into a sales agreement nor was a confirmation or an allotment letter issued to the party (the couples).

The tribunal further noted that the conditions for forfeiture were only for the purchasers and not for the promoted.

“As per clause 17, Allottees have no right to withdraw their request for reservation. This is absolutely unfair and unreasonable and a one-sided condition imposed on the Allottees. Allottees cannot be restrained from exercising their right of withdrawing the request. Right to make request for reservation of flat includes the right to withdraw such request for reservation of flat”, the Tribunal observed.

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