What to do when a Builder Delays Possession of Property?
Team SoOLEGAL 29 Aug 2023

What to do when a Builder Delays Possession of Property?

Under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, a buyer may file a case and send legal notice to the builder for delay in possession, or they can move their case from a CDRC to the State Real Estate Regulatory Authority. This Act requires a builder to pay 10% interest on the property's worth for delayed possession of units. Home buyers who are dissatisfied with their purchases have three options for resolving their complaints:

Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA):

RERA is a specific court for resolving real estate issues. Its appellate authority, the RERA Appellate Tribunal, has jurisdiction over all real estate cases. Complaints under RERA can be made for any claim amount; however, if the occupancy certificate has already been obtained, a complaint cannot be filed. It permits buyers to receive a 100% refund of their investment with interest or monthly interest until the builder hands over possession.

Consumer Forum:

The Consumer Protection Act,2019, allows buyers to file a complaint against the builder for "deficiency in service." With its Appellate Body, District Forum to the SCDRC (State Consumer Dispute Resolution Commission), the SCDRC to the NCDRC (National Consumer Dispute Resolution Commission), and the NCDRC to the Supreme Court. Buyers can make complaints in the Dispute Forum for up to Rs. 1 Crore, while filing complaints in SCDRC for Rs 1 Crore to Rs. 10 Crore and in NCDRC for more than Rs. 10 Crore. It allows consumers to receive a refund with interest or possession with a delay as compensation for mental harassment, litigation fees, etc.

National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT):

If the builder is unable to continue or complete the real estate project, the buyer may commence insolvency procedures under the 2016 Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. This well-established law, with its appellate authority, the National Company law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), resolves issues for registered companies in bad financial standing with a disputed amount over Rs. 1 lakh.

A comparison of the legal remedies available to an aggrieved home-buyer:

Points of difference


Consumer Forum



Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016

Consumer Protection Act, 2019

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016

Appellate Body

RERA Appellate Tribunal

District Forum to SCDRC




NCDRC to Supreme Court

National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT)


All real estate matters. However, if the occupancy certificate has been granted, then a complaint cannot be filed. It can be filed for any claim amount.

File in Dispute forum – Claims up to Rs. 1 Crore


File in SCDRC – From Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 10 Crore


File in NCDRC – more than Rs. 10 Crore 

The bad financial condition of a registered company with a disputed amount above Rs. 1 lakh


Refund of payment with interest OR Monthly interest till handing over of possession

Refund with interest OR Possession with delay compensation for Mental harassment, litigation costs, etc.

Dissolution of Company, and claiming your share upon liquidation


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