In our recent experience, particularly in Navi Mumbai, we have come across numerous instances of builders giving a false picture to flat buyers, in order to sell their flats. Some of these methods are listed below and could be classified as scams to rip off the gullible customer….
“There is only one flat available”
This is the most common statement made by builders to any inquiries about their projects. It is more prevalent in smaller buildings of 4 floors or less. These are typically small plots of 200 sq.meters in Navi Mumbai and are usually Tripartite (also called CIDCO transfer plots by some builders).This is done to project a false image of a booming market. In most cases the builder has not even sold a single flat, let alone all flats. He makes this statement expecting the buyer to hurry his purchase and to sell his unsold flats. And normally this ‘available’ flat is either the ground floor or the top floor or some other location with a really bad ventilation or view. This is the flat that will give him the maximum headache while selling, therefore he wants to sell it first. In big projects, its normally the 4 bhks which the builder wants to get rid of first.2 and 3 bhks are relatively easier to sell.
“All flats have been sold to investors,you will have to buy from them,there is no flat available directly”
This is nothing but another attempt to make you feel that the flats are in such a huge demand that there are none directly available from him. But dig a little further and ask him for a copy of the registered and stamp duty paid sale agreement of all those investors and you will be told that he doesn’t have anything like that because they have all paid in cash !!.So basically he can catch a sweeper and make him appear like an investor cause cash payment has no record. Don’t believe any such crap. This is just a trick to make you believe that he has sold all his flats. In most cases, he has not even sold a single flat.
“For carpet area,subtract 33% from the Saleable area (super built up area)”
This is the biggest scam being practiced on gullible buyers. When a builder tells you to assume that loading is just 33%,you can safely assume that the actual loading is almost 50%.You will end up paying a few lakhs more just because of this scam. It is safe to assume that in buildings that have been constructed recently (upto 3-5 years ago),the carpet area is exactly half of the built up area or maybe even upto 40% of the super built-up area. This is the main reason why older buildings are cheaper, since their carpet area is much more.
The technical term for this scam is ‘Loading’.
Please read other sections of our website for detailed explanation of this scam.
“You will get the legal papers only after paying the cash component of the deal”
Honest builders should give you a copy of all legal documents like title certificate, Municipal sanctioned plans, sample sale agreement (on blank paper) etc which you should get verified by a lawyer. The lawyer will normally not charge you to look at these papers. Don’t make the mistake of blindly paying the builders in cash. You will never get it back and you will be trapped.
Society formation charges,Parking charges,Development charges.
Basically, you can safely assume that these charges will be taken in cash and no receipt issued as all of these charges are illegal. Supreme court has banned sale of parking space. Society formation charges are a scam as the registration of the society barely costs 5000 rupees ! What the builder doesn’t tell you is that he is not only charging for the society formation but also taking money for the conveyance of land and building to the society after its formation. Development charges are also illegal.