DLF Ltd — delay in delivery, cheating in agreement
I wish to draw your kind attention to an extremely unreasonable, unjustified and high-handed behavior by DLF towards its customers.
I am a purchaser of a residential flat in DLF’s project in Rajarhat, Kolkata named ‘NEW TOWN HEIGHTS’. I had had applied for a flat in this project on 31st October, 2007 with a Cheque of Rs.3,00,000/- vide Cheque No.390625 dated 31.03.2007 drawn on HSBC Bank, the Receipt of which was issued by DLF vide No.QEC/SALES/NHK/NRC152/NUC055#NHK/R-158067 DATED 31-DEC-2007. You will please observe delay of 3 months in issuing the receipt.
Since very beginning, there were delays and non-communication about documentation. I was only give a Letter of Allotment and that too, in January 2008. Meanwhile, DLF sent Demand Notices asking me to pay
Rs.524,637.75 on 29-Feb-2008,
Rs.412,318.87 on 30-Apr-2008,
Rs.412,318.87 on 30/06/2008,
Rs.411,707.78 on 30/09/2008
Rs.412,215.87 on 31/12/2008
Rs.961,975.20 (including a Rs.412,216.70+ interest) on 31.03.2009 which were paid by me.
In August, 2008, I received a copy of below Agreement and we were asked to fill up various information, sign and return back to DLF. I did so in September 2008. Thereafter, there was no response or reply on the issue of Agreement.
I wrote a letter on January 20th, 2009 asking about Agreement. I received a reply from DLF on February 3rd, 2009 that the Agreement has been sent to IDBI Bank from where I have taken home loan. In that letter I had also raised following issues:
1) The project was launched by DLF at a very high price and in today’s market scenario the same is not at all justified. Hence DLF should reduce the prices by way of discount to all the customers.
2) A payment holiday of at least 6 months so that I am able to manage my cash flows and start paying again after 6 months. No interest should be charged during this period. This request was made considering the fact that financial position of mine had badly affected due to financial meltdown & stock market crash.
3) As per the original schedule the construction is scheduled to be completed in 30 months i.e., by October 2010. Please confirm the same also. Further please give me a detailed activity schedule which should clearly specify all the critical activities, their start date & completion date, along with present status, so that I can clearly understand whether the project is on schedule and whether it will be completed within the scheduled period of 30 months. This activity chart should be sent along with every payment advise. I wish to know very clearly whether all construction activities are presently as per original schedule or there is any delay. You have posted some photos on the website, but one does not get any clear sense of progress out of those. Since the payment schedule of yours is not linked to construction progress, it is very important for me to understand the progress. Hearing the state of “galleria” development which is very delayed, home buyers like me are very worried. Two of my friends have also bought flats “New Town Heights” and they share the same view.
4) I would expect a very correct, factual and verifiable reply to my point (2) above as I don’t want to be in a situation where after 2 years I am told that the project will take another one or two years to get completed, which is the case with many other real estate projects at present.
5) About 3 months back I had signed 3 original copies of the agreement, but have not received back any signed original copy as yet. Would request you to please send me one signed copy for my records.
In its reply DLF said that they are committed to complete the project within October, 2010 and asked me to pay amounts or face delayed payment interest of 15% for first 90 days and 18% thereafter.
Since the issue raised by me were unresolved, I had not made any payment. On 6th March, 2009 DLF wrote me a letter wherein they mentioned the following milestones:
a) Ground Floor Slab – End March 2009
b) 4th Floor Slab – June 2009
c) 8th Floor Slab – August 2009
d) 16th Floor Slab – December 2009
e) Painting to Start – September 2010
f) Handing over of Possession to Start – January 2011
The milestones given by them were very general and broad. If you observe that there are only 6 milestone dates for a project of this magnitude. Hence from very beginning the intention of DLF was to mislead customer and give them false sense of completion of project with an intent to take moneys upfront and then leave customers to their own fate when the project is delayed.
Who will buy the argument that for any real-estate project, the only mile stones of progress are casting of slabs? In fact slabs of the various floors are mere initial construction activity and it just results in erecting the structure of the building. After this structure is erected, substantial time is spent on completing flooring, internals, electric connections, drainage, water connections, getting various statutory approvals like CMC Certificate, Water Certificate, Fire Fighting Certificate etc. and then only the building become habitable and can be called complete.
In my reply, I had asked DLF to break this milestones into detailed activity chart so that I can monitor the actual progress and see whether payments made by me are being properly utilized by the developer and there is adequate progress or not. I have not received any detailed schedule in spite of 10 (ten) reminders.
I was even prepared to forgo all of these if only DLF committed to me that just like they are asking me for delayed payment interest, they would also pay same rate of delayed payment interest, on money paid by me, if the flat completion is delayed by them, to which they did not reply and kept on asking me to pay moneys as demanded by them.
One will appreciate that for a salary earner like me, buying house is one of the most important decision of life – financially and even otherwise. Any action of the developer or any default of the developer’s intention result in any sort of risk to my money will be something of very gross implication to me and without company satisfied 100% I cannot be expected to pay money. I have all alone told DLF in writing vide 10 letters by me dated March 12, 2011, March 9, 2011, February 21, 2011, November 15, 2010, July 16, 2010, August 29, 2009, May 30, 2009, February 10, 2009, February 16, 2009 & January 20, 2009.
My only intent to pay money just only on these 2 conditions:
i) The agreement to be amended by executing a small amendment on stamp paper to mention the delivery date as December 2010.
ii) Since the scheduled delivery date has already passed, what will be the estimated delivery date now and what will be the compensation to the buyers for the delayed delivery? As I have mentioned in my previous letters, you can charge same interest rate for the delayed payment by buyers and also for the delayed delivery by the builder. I think that would be very fair or alternatively you can waive both the interests.
Any one will vouch that these demands are very basic and justify payments form my side for paying money.
DLF did not bother to reply to any of these letters.
In March 2011, I became restless and got extreme doubt on the intention of DLF, because of their non-business-like and elusive behavior and contacted the officials of DLF particularly Mr Kamaljeet Singh Jassal consecutively for 7 days through phone. Mr Jassal never came on line for 6 days. on 7th day, upon raising my voice, he came on line and told me that my flat has been cancelled, becaseu of non-payment. Upon my asking where is the proof or intimation to me, his reply is that his legal department is looking into the matter. My response was that this cannot be done as it is grossly illegal and arbitratory, more so without any intimation to me and when there are outstanding issues. Even till date, I have not received any written reply from DHL which itself proof that the intention of the company is cheating and just to take money without any consideration or justifiable progress.
Through this communication, I wish to draw your kind attention to this kind of unjustifiable and grossly unfavorable customer treatment being done by DLF. I have other friends and relatives who have purchased flats in this project and many of them are equally aggrieved. I have also heard a legal case by customers against DLF because of their unfair customer treatment. I, being an individual buyer, more so a salary earner who has to develop his entire time and effort for earning salary, it would be next to impossible for me to find resources and time to fight with a giant like DFL. I can only count on some sympathy and support from your esteemed organization which has business relationship with DHL. Although it is completely optional and discretionary on your part to act, but I would earnestly beg for some indulgence from you in this matter by requesting DLF to be some considerate and customer friendly organization and treat their customers in a fair manner. If cost of money for them is 18%, so is it for me and they cannot penalize me for delay and go completely scot free or take shelter under a clause of the agreement in which they will be paying just 2% per annum for any delay. This is the reason organizations like DLF force customers to pay almost the entire money midway of the project so that thereafter customers are at their mercy – just cannot do anything other than wait endlessly for completion of their building and getting their dream home. The dream turns into a nightmare by the time actually flat is handed over to the buyer.
For your kind information, the schedule date of completion was December, 2010 which has passed 3 months back and there is no news from DLF.
I hope I have been able to put before you my plight and you will kindly do something by way of requesting DLF to be reasonable.
Arun Kumar Kedia
[Apr 23, 2015] DLF customer support has been notified about the posted complaint.
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