Relief in sight for 50,000 buyers ‘illegally’ occupying flats in Noida, Greater Noida

Around 50,000 20in Noida and Greater Noida, who are living “illegally” in their houses as they are yet to receive the occupancy certificates from builders, can now get a “sub lease agreement” to ward off legal hassles, officials said on December 19.

The Gautam Buddh Nagar administration said an “agreement for sub lease” between buyers and builders/developers could be signed if there is a delay in getting other documents.

The move will also help the government recover up to Rs 1,300 crore in stamp duty, it said.

According to District Magistrate Brajesh Narain Singh, the Stamp and Registration Department has carried out a comprehensive survey that revealed that several builders have given possession to buyers but no legal deed registered in the name of allottees.

Several buyers were facing problems due to lack of legal recognition and running from pillar to post to get their issues resolved.

A couple of months back, the builders, who were found violating the relevant laws, were issued notices and FIRs were registered against 30 such offenders, but despite that only six builders issued transfer deeds to their buyers, the DM said.

“When contacted, these builders said they have dues pending to the local authorities which is why they are not getting the no objection certificates and completion certificates (which are required to give buyers the occupancy certificate),” he said.

He said the district administration held a meeting this morning with several builders and developers where this solution — of having a sub-lease agreement as mentioned in the Stamp Act — was arrived at.

“An agreement to lease could be made which would be duly registered at the stamp office and get acknowledged. A stamp duty of five per cent (of the house cost) would be paid for it. On the basis of this agreement, their possession would get legally acknowledged by the Stamp Department.”

As of today, there are around 50,000 people living in flats without having any legal instrument of possession and causing an approximate Rs 1,300 crore loss in the form of stamp duty, he said.

So, when this instrument is done, their possession would get legally acknowledged by the Stamp Department, the DM told reporters.

Subsequently, whenever builders clear their dues to the authorities then another instrument would be signed which will have the buyer pay only Rs 50 as per the law, the magistrate said.

He said, “We are giving this in writing in the first agreement itself that the subsequent agreement for sub lease would need them to pay only Rs 50”.   “It is a win-win situation for both the buyers as well as builders/developers,” Singh remarked.

It has been decided that for flats where possession has been given by the builders/developers to buyers without any transfer deed getting registered due to whatsoever reasons, those buyers now have an opportunity to get an ‘agreement for sub lease’ registered with their builders in the next two months, Singh said.

“Failure to do so will attract strictest of actions against the builders or developers of the flats,” he warned.

Noting that in Noida and Greater Noida, it’s a tripartite agreement with the local authority also being involved along with the builder and the buyer for getting land/flat registered, he said, “This could be an important step toward resolving this issue.”

He reminded that similar steps were taken earlier in the district in 2009 when there were 250 cases linked to the GIP Mall, among others.

“There are people who are paying EMIs, they have paid full money to builders and certainly need a place to live in. The basic concern here is to ensure that they have a legal possession and this agreement can ensure that the Stamp Department can never raise a question on their occupancy in future also,” he said.

The move has attracted appreciation from the residents welfare associations, while builders and developers were not much enthused by the move but said it would certainly benefit buyers and the government.

“This is a good decision to resolve the problem of thousand of home buyers. We welcome the step by the administration,” N P Singh, the president of Federation of Noida RWAs, said.

Real estate association CREDAI said the step would help the government get money through stamp duty and buyers will benefit only in cases where the buildings are ready.

“There are several builders whose projects are ready and they are just waiting for the completion certificate and a NOC from the authorities,” President of CREDAI western UP Prashant Tiwari told PTI.Not many developers/builders may show interest in using this instrument though, he said, adding there would be no loss to the builders either with the move.