How To

Cancelling an apartment booking? Here are the things you need to know

Sometimes issues such as delayed project and exuberant cancellation fees being charged by builders are faced by such buyers.

Ankit Sharma, Bureau

Saurabh from Bangalore booked an apartment in January 2014 after taking a home loan from a well known bank. However, now he wants to cancel the booking and is ready to bear the necessary monetary loss. He wrote to enquiring about his available options while cancelling the booking?

Buyers like Saurabh, who due to various reasons, are forced to cancel their booked property. However, the path to booking cancellation is unfamiliar to many.

Sometime issues such as delayed project and exuberant cancellation fees being charged by builders are faced by such buyers.

Following are some circumstances that buyers can identify and their solutions with while cancelling their booking.

Asha Nayar Basu, partner, S Jalan & Co, a legal firm in response to Saurabh’s query says, “Carefully go through the sale/ allotment agreement on the clause pertaining to cancellation of the booking. It will be as per the agreement. Some agreements have clauses such as; `that after the buyer terminates the contract to buy the apartment if the developer does not commence project construction within a year of allotment letter, the builder will refund the amounts paid by the buyer with simple interest of 6 per cent per annum.’ So please be aware of your rights as per the agreement.”

There are others who did not sign any agreement or did not have a clause of cancellation of the agreement. Take for instance Dharmesh, who entered into an agreement for an under construction flat. His agreement had no provision for cancellation. In such cases Basu advices, “In case there is no clause for termination or cancellation, you can cancel the same on certain grounds of impossibility to perform the same, which can be made out from the agreement. However, if the agreement is cancelled on the baseless grounds then it will be a breach of contract and you may have to face some legal implications.”

“In case there is no agreement, there must be a receipt, application form or allotment letter which will have the terms and conditions of cancelling an amount. If there is no such clause, such letter/receipt can be used in court while asking for refund of the amount,” says Ajay Sethi, advocate from Mumbai.

Sethi says, “In general, cancellation amount/charge is part of the sale agreement and is deducted basis it. However, if developer refuses to pay back the booking amount even after the presence of clause in the agreement, a person can file case in consumer forum asking for refund with interest.”

If the project has been delayed or has not started for a long time, buyers can ask for a complete refund. However, buyers must know that if they have paid stamp duty, registration charges, service tax and VAT, it will not be returned in case of cancellation.

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