scorecardDistressed Home Buyers Come Onto The Street To Protest Against Unitech
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Distressed Home Buyers Come Onto The Street To Protest Against Unitech

Distressed Home Buyers Come Onto The Street To Protest Against Unitech
StrategyStrategy3 min read
Over 300 home buyers of Unitech Group’s residential project Sunbreeze Apartment have protested against real estate major at their office in Gurgaon on 20 Sept 2014. The buyers have accused the real estate developer of cheating for not delivering the project on time. According to these buyers, the realty major was supposed to have completed the apartment and delivered it to owners by 2012. However, the company has allegedly delayed delivery dates several times.

“The project never seemed to be a priority for Unitech which commenced construction of this project only in January 2011 and then inexplicably stopped all work shortly thereafter. Construction started again only in the second quarter of 2012. The project was supposed to be handed over to us in 2012. Sadly the project is still lagging way behind and is no way near any completion,” said Sasha Bhatia Cruz, an apartment allottee and a member of Sunbreeze Apartment Buyer’s Welfare Association (SABWA), a registered body formed by the buyers of the project.
He further added that the company has been dilly-dallying with the progress report of the project too. “Time and again, we were given dates and dates either verbally or via emails - the milestones kept shifting endlessly,” Cruz sighed.

Aditya Chamaria, a distressed buyer and treasurer of the association, noted that the delay in the delivery of the apartment has resulted in an unnecessary financial stress for the buyers. “It gets difficult for service class people to sustain with this kind of EMI while we paid 90% of the amount by 2012. What is worse is that there is no way of recovery also”.

Chamaria had bought a four bedroom flat in Sunbreeze Apartment in 2009 and has taken a loan from HDFC bank. He shells out around Rs 41,000 as EMI along with Rs 30,000 as house rent. “The down payment for the apartment was 30% of the flat value which had to be given within 120 days. The rest is construction link payment wherein the buyers have to pay a major part of the total value once the super structure is constructed”, he averred.

Himashu Dube, another aggrieved investor who bought a flat in the apartment in 2009 told BI India that he has been paying an EMI of Rs 37,000 along with a rent of Rs 25,000 in Gurgaon. Similarly, Dilip Arora, a retired professional had purchased a flat in the apartment in 2009 with hopes of living his retired life with his wife in his own house in 2012. However, Arora has been struggling with the finances because of delay in the completion of project.

“The delay in possession has totally disturbed my post retirement life as I am going through a personal crisis wherein my wife is suffering from cancer. The non-delivery of the flat has added to my personal woes as I am paying rent for my present accommodation and suffering huge interest loss”, complained Arora.

Interestingly, the company will pay the allottees a penalty of Rs 5 per square foot at the time of possession as against an 18% interest on delayed payment by the customers. “The double standards of Unitech have been exposed time and again. The massive differential in the penalties payable by us vis-à-vis the penalties payable by Unitech seems to be the reason why the company is in no hurry to deliver this project, leaving hundreds of flat owners in the lurch, desperately trying to find out a solution to the pressing situation that they find themselves in,” Cruz complained.

Emails sent to the group chairman Ramesh Chandra, managing directors of the group Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra along with the company's spokesperson remained unanswered at the time the story went to press.