Subject: Sudden changes in New City Heights Project in Hyderabad
I had booked a two bed room flat in “The Summit” project at Kokapet, Hyderabad during the pre launch phase. The base price was Rs.2000 per sft for an 1186 sft apartment, which was within my budget. Also I was told that permissions would be due in another 2 months and the possession of the flat would be given sometime in March 2012.
Even before the two months could end, I was told that the Kokapet project would get delayed indefinitely and I was given an option to move to new project location at Poppulguda. I wanted to withdraw my money but on persistent efforts of your marketing team telling me to trust DLF, I agreed to shift to the new location at Poppulguda. The floor as well as the view for the apartment underwent some change. I thought it’s fine and signed the new application form as well as the transfer letter entitling you to transfer the money from DLF, Kokapet to DLF, Poppulguda. Curiously the letter also stated the following:
I/We also agree to sign the Application form for allotment of an apartment in New City Heights and abide the terms and conditions set out therein.
I felt some what uncomfortable with this line saying that I would abide by the conditions that would be set in the new application form. Your staff reassured me that this was standard clause and I should not worry about it.
I was also told that the permissions would be due by September 2009 after which I could sign the agreement of sale with the company (DLF)
I waited for September’2009 to December’ 2009 but the permissions had still not come. I was told by your marketing manager that it would happen by January’2010 and was asked not to withdraw the money since I had already waited for about 6months. I grudgingly agreed. Again I waited but permissions came only by March’2010 and in March I was asked to make the payment of the next installment. I made the payment before the due date of 25th March, 2010. I was told that in another two months we can sign the agreement for sale. I silently computed that now the possession of the apartment would get delayed by a year (assuming it would be given in 3 years).
However on 26th May, 2010 I received a mail from DLF stating that:
“”You will be happy to know that the specifications of the project are being upgraded to make it one of its kinds in the vicinity. Due to upgradation, an additional cost of Rs.400/- per sq. Ft is payable and further there is a revision in the Township Infrastructure Charges (TIC) from Rs.140/- sq. Ft to Rs.220/- per Sq.Feet”
Obviously I am not at all happy when I have to incur more than 20% extra on the price paid by me (Rs.2000 per sft). Just this act increases the cost by 5.70 lakhs. But this is not the only “happy” change. More was to follow:
“Further, due to revision in the building plans, the apartments of the following sizes only are available. As you have opted for an apartment admeasuring 1186 Sq. feet, you can upgrade yourself to any of the 3 options available, which are as under:
1530 sq. feet 3 BHK and 2 Toilets
1770 sq. feet 3 BHK and 3 Toilets
2126 Sq. ft 3 BHK, Study and 3 Toilets
Due to both these changes my cost now goes up by Rs.14.22 lakhs. Thus the apartment which was earlier costing me Rs23.72 lakhs (base price) is now costing me Rs.36.72 lakhs (excluding increased TIC by Rs.80 per sft). Obviously I get a bigger apartment. But the point is that I can-not afford a bigger apartment and for this reason chose the 1186 sft apartment.
The letter now asks me to do the following:
You are requested to please intimate your option within 10 working days from the date/receipt of this letter”.
“Accordingly, as per the options availed by you, the amount paid for the 1186 Sq.Ft Apartment shall be transferred to the opted apartment.
Now in 10 working days I have to decide whether I am ready to pay 54% more than what I could afford to pay. Obviously there is a large probability that I would say, I can’t and so you would return my money. Also DLF would pay me back my first installment, may be with some interest but in the mean time the cost of the apartments which I could fall back on has gone by 20% to 30%. The interest that you might give would not cover the increased cost that I have to bear to shift to a new apartment.
At all times, whenever I was asked the reason for booking an apartment with DLF even when no permissions were in sight, I always replied that with DLF at least you have the trust that what they promised would be delivered may be with a small margin of error. But when the biggest company in India, revises the estimates of apartment size and price per sft at their sweet will what can we say to others. I think I can-not fight with such a big company without having even a basic agreement for sale. As regards the application form, it seemed to be fully loaded in your favor but I still signed because it was DLF and not just any other builder. So I think the only option I have is to silently pay the increased amount or take back the money.