Decoding builder-buyer agreements


The Supreme Court has recently asked the Central Government to ensure uniformity in Builder-Buyer Agreements for safeguarding consumers. Model agreements have been sought by the Court for this agreement and deals between buyers and agents. The Central Government should create agreements in conformity to RERA. This will be a good move towards safeguarding home buyers, doing away with one-sided and problematic agreements that often put buyers at a clear disadvantage while dealing with builders, agents and promoters.

Experts feel that before signing the agreement, buyers should check for all property approvals including title and IOD copies, approved plans and so on. The personal details should be mentioned clearly without any errors. Check whether the NOC is there from the NBFC/bank as well. They also state that RERA makes it mandatory for developers to reveal BBAs at the time of registration and it should be available in the public domain. BBA should also be registered as per RERA guidelines. While no uniform agreement format exists till date, some States have their own versions for safeguarding home buyers while some do not.

Co-Founder and CFO, Square Yards, Piyush Bothra, states that it is mandatory to have a uniform BBA for safeguarding first-time and inexperienced home buyers from any wrongful clauses added by developers. He adds that usually promoters/developers add biased and one-sided clauses in these agreements for their own benefits although this may lead to future trouble for buyers. For getting both parties in sync and infusing more transparency into the industry, a model agreement, as suggested by the Supreme Court, is a welcome move according to him.

Buyers should check the RERA information on the project while consulting lawyers to decode the BBA while helping in understanding key aspects like deadlines for the project, project plans, refund and opting-out policies, grace periods for developers and aspects like jurisdiction and property title. The BBA should be registered and stamp duty paid in the suitable amount. Buyers should go through model agreement as suggested within RERA, before signing. Buyers should check whether the builder has secured all approvals while verifying all land and title documents as mentioned. Check force majeure clauses as well. Buyers should understand the financial duties outlined in the agreement, including payment of interest for delays/defaults in payments.

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Published Date: Oct 21, 2021