Around 50,000 flat buyers in 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, 2018. 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 to recover up to Rs 1,300 crores in stamp duty, it said. According to district magistrate (DM) 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 there was no legal deed registered in the name of allottees. Consequently, several buyers were facing problems due to lack of legal recognition and were 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 with several builders and developers where the 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 be 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 is 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 thousands of home buyers. We welcome the step by the administration,” NP 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 said.
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.