Friday, February 12, 2016

How to avoid being duped by the nexus of builders, banks & architects?

Learn from the flat buyers of Misty Trails on Handewadi Road at Hadapsar,
who successfully filed the FIR against their builder
Bhujbal Brothers Construction Company
for cheating & fraud!:

Why did the flat buyers of Misty Trials file FIR against Bhujbal Brothers?

A group of some 80 flat buyers of Misty Trails on Handewadi Road at Hadapsar filed the FIR against Bhujbal Brothers Construction Company.

After thorough research & rigorous follow up with the builder, these flat buyers realized that this is a case of cheating & fraud.

Misty Trails flat buyers realized - Why were they not getting possession of their flats?
Not because of some legal issue with the landlord.
Not because the construction was delayed - slowed or stalled.
Not because of the financial problems of the builder.
Not because of the sanctions & approvals issues with Pune Municipal Corporation.
Misty Trails flat buyers realized - the builder had systematically duped them all.

Misty Trails flat buyers had lost their own money
- which they had given to the builder as their own contribution.
Their banks had disbursed their home loans to the builder.
They were paying EMI to their banks.
They were paying rent.
And there was zero possibility of builder completing the project.
Getting possession of their flats was next to impossible.

Misty Trails flat buyers have also realized that the builder could not have duped them
without the help of the architect of the project & the banks.
The architect went on issuing the certificates of completion of the construction stages and
the banks went on disbursing the home loan installments to the builder.
That's why many flat buyers have paid nearly 70 - 80 percent of their home loans to the builder, when the construction was not even 20 - 30 per cent complete!

Recently, I had a chat with Aparna, Swapnil, Aniruddha, Santosh & Pankaj of Misty Trails and video recorded their views & learnings from the experience of filing FIR against their builder Bhujbal Brothers. I am sure - you can learn a lot from them and successfully avoid being duped by the nexus of builders, banks & architects. Here is the brief summary of their video interview -

1) Don't offer yourself for exploitation & extortion:

The builders dupe, cheat & loot you because you offer yourself for cheating, exploitation, extortion.

When Bhujbal Brothers duped them, the flat buyers realized that the builder could do this only because they offered themselves for it. Before the builder made a fool of them - they had made a fool of themselves by booking a flat in Misty Trails!

Bhujbal Brothers launched affordable housing at competitive property price with an attractive offer and trapped the financially weak flat buyers.

When the builder dupes you - keep in mind that - you are responsible for it.

2) Do your homework before booking a flat:

When you are financially not prepared to book a flat - you force yourself to take a chance - you do not do due diligence & check the track record of the builder, land title, sanctions - approvals - environmental clearances etc.

If the flat buyers had done the due diligence before booking a flat at Misty Trails - they would have come to know that Bhujbal Brothers had duped the flat buyers in Vatika at Balewadi, there was a legal dispute with the landlord & PMC has not sanctioned all floors of all buildings!

3) Remember that most of the builders in Pune are not eligible to book at the launch stage & at the under construction stage of the project:

Every builder pretends that he is capable of completing the project as planned. Most of the flat buyers also assume that any builder can complete the project as it is presented in the sales brochure and the launch ads.

But the fact of the matter is - most of the builders are not capable of completing the project as it is planned. The main reasons are -
1) Lack of financial & construction management skills
2) Greed for money & expansion
3) Appetite for risk.

Before Bhujbal Brothers duped the flat buyers in Misty Trails, Forest Mist, Valay at Hadapsar & Vatika at Balewadi - Bhujbals have already robbed themselves! Otherwise, for more than a decade or so they were doing quite okay by developing their own land in Kothrud. But young Suraj Raman Bhujbal took over the business and his lack of financial & construction management skills, greed for money & appetite for risk put him in danger.

Suraj Raman Bhujbal is not an exception. There are many Suraj Raman Bhujbals in Pune real estate market. It's very easy to identify them. These Suraj Raman Bhujbals spend huge amounts on advertising & promotions and offer out of the box - lucrative offers. These Bhujbals release big ads in the local newspapers like Sakal & Times of India, buy expensive TV slots, put hoardings on every road in Pune, rope in Bollywood Heros & Heroines as Brand Ambassador, and are on page three.

Point is - with the help of an architect and an advertising agency - anyone can launch a project - but a very few can complete it as planned. So, before booking a flat, find out - Is this builder capable of completing the project? Most of the time - you will get the answer - "No!"

4) No. It's not safe to book a flat even if the project is approved by SBI or by any other bank.

For the last 200 years - from Napoleon's Defeat at Waterloo to Subprime Mortgage Crisis in USA - the whole world knows that banking is a criminal enterprise.

In India bank frauds & frauds in housing finance are rising every year.

But the naive first time home buyers believe that if a project is approved by a bank - particularly by the State Bank of India (SBI) - if a project has received an APF number - the project is safe to book - there are no legal issues!

The flat buyers of Misty Trails have experienced that the builder could duped them only because the banks did not mind to get involved in these criminal activities of the builder. The banks ignored the legal issues. The banks accepted the payment slabs decided by the builder. The banks did not bother to confirm the stage of construction. The banks went on disbursing moneys to the builder. This is done by all banks. Including SBI.

So, keep in mind that the banks - including SBI - is not on your protector. The banks are the members of builder's gang. The bank approval - APF number - doesn't mean that the project is safe to book.

5) Remember that misleading & deceiving the property buyers is considered as the standard business practice in Pune real estate market:

Misleading property buyers about the exact location of the project - calling Sus as Baner Extension & Undri as NIBM Annexe - is not considered as cheating in Pune real estate market.

Pre Launch offers - accepting money before obtaining all necessary sanctions is not a crime in Pune real estate market.

Forcing the property buyers to book a flat by showing the glossy brochures which have no authentic information & legal status is not considered as a fraudulent practice in Pune real estate market.

Collecting exorbitant amounts for MSEB, Society Formation, Legal Fees, Club Membership etc. is not considered as extortion in Pune real estate market.

Selling parking as Infrastructure Charges is not considered as breaking the law in Pune real estate market.

Collecting maintenance charges at the time of possession and not giving an audited accounts to the flat buyers is not considered as misappropriation of money in Pune real estate market.

Not sharing complete legal information about the land ownership & the exact status of sanctions and approvals of the project with the property buyers is not considered as deceiving the property buyers in Pune real estate market.

Not paying compensation for the delayed possession or offering only the rent for the delayed period is not considered as looting & robbing the property buyers in Pune real estate market.

Not forming a society and doing the conveyance is not considered as a crime in Pune real estate market.

For the builders & flat buyers in Pune these are standard business practices!

It means that - the entire system is set up to dupe the flat buyers. Some are duped by not giving possession of the flats. Some are duped even after getting possession of their flats.

6) Remember that the slab related payment system is a trap set up to loot & rob the property buyers:

In the RCC slab related payment system, you end up paying around 80 - 85 percent of the property price to the builder and then wait for 18 - 24 months for the completion of the construction of the building.

In this payment system banks earn exorbitant Pre EMI - pure interest - on the disbursed loan amount - from you. The builder uses your disbursed money to acquire land for his next project. And you keep on waiting for possession.

When you get the possession, most of the time the entire project is not ready - particularly the amenities are not ready, society is not formed, your maintenance funds are used to pay the bills of builder's business.

It means that we need an installment system which will start from the plinth and end only when the conveyance is done. Till then keep in mind that you are duped by the builder.

7) Remember that by not sharing atrocities of their builders - many property buyers became accessory to crime:

Many property buyers - mostly the property investors - do not share atrocities of their builder. Sometimes because of the fear of builder. Sometimes because they believe that the bad publicity will harm the appreciation of their properties. Sometimes they are too selfish to prevent the builder from duping the new flat buyers.

For example, if the flat buyers in Vatika at Balewadi - the previous project of Bhujbal Brothers - had shared their experiences in the public domain - those who have booked the flats in Misty Trails would have been saved.

Same about the flat buyers in KUL Ecoloch & KUL Nation.

Enlightening the other property buyers in Pune - was our intention behind filing the FIR, participating in an awareness program at CREDAI Pune Metro Property Exhibition & giving video interview - said the flat buyers of Misty Trails.

And we appeal to all Pune property buyers to join hands to change the current system which is programed to exploit the flat buyers.
Fighting against one builder is not enough.
We have to join hands to change the corrupt system.
Said Aparna, Swapnil, Aniruddha, Santosh & Pankaj.

What say you?
Please, view the video, and share your ideas about how to avoid being duped by the nexus of builders, banks & architects in Pune real estate market.

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