Someday, Our EMIs will Cover Our Dignity

Trendset-Jayabheri Elevate owners reject rigged ‘lottery’ for parking lot allotment, builder arm-twists owners into accepting whimsical allocations

Hyderabad: Hundreds of flat owners of Trendset Jayabheri Elevate gated community rose up in arms against the builders’ high-handed allotment of sold parking lots, without zero transparency, no declared policy or procedure, no communication with the owners, leading most of them to protest and seek a postponement of allotment. But the builder arm twisted the residents and went ahead with the “eyewash”.

The car parking market slice in Hyderabad, if seen independent of the housing market, is at least worth Rs 1,000 crore on its own. The strange aspect of this segment is that buyers pay up amounts of a minimum of Rs 2 or 3 lakh, or upwards to Rs 5 lakh to even Rs 10,00,000, for a very micro piece of land, while the seller, the builder of apartment, without reference to any law or legal procedure, after collecting monies for months, or years, in advance, decides to randomly allocate such mini land pieces without giving any information on even the exact location, procedures adopted, and any need to heed to any of the concerns of the buyers.

The Sunday morning incident at Trident Jayabheri Elevate in Kondapur, where the builder “distributed” hundreds of sold “parking lots” to owners without procedure, in what several flat owners felt was an outright “rigged affair” to favour some select members at the cost of fairness and without allowing any say to the flat owners, is a regular affair in almost all real estate projects of the city, and across the country.
What particularly made it bad in this case was that the builder did not heed to any of the requests of the owners and residents to delay the lottery and allocation until the owners committee could be elected, or involving them, which led to allegations that the “lottery” was whimsical and rigged.
Worse, when word got out that the allocations would continue, the builders did not even “allow” owners inside the hall, except in small batches of ten at a time, and used the building private security, ironically paid for by the very owners, to physically stop them from meeting builder representatives from seeking clarifications or airing their concerns. The security even physically handled some of them, and forced several owners to sit outside.

When an owner, who was manhandled by a security staffer, asked why he was being physically pushed and stopped, a builder representative at the spot said that they had “no knowledge of it but would look into the issue.”

Meanwhile, ignoring representations from all owners, who in an online vote were unanimous in the unfairness and gross injustice of Trendset Jayabheri builders, the builder finished the allocations.
“The parking lots were not marked or painted for last nine months. Flat owners’ concerns on allocation were not heeded to, including answering questions on back to back or side by side parking, parking lot being allotted to people based on their respective block, guest parking policy, ensuring that all residents with two parking lots are given one each in one level, but the builder did not communicate with any of us. They would not postpone it till we have a proper owners committee to meet the builder and submit our concerns,” said a resident.
Founder president of Hyderabad CREDAI, an apex builders body Shekar Reddy, speaking to Deccan Chronicle said, “It is true there is no legal procedure defined about parking lots allocations. Some builders do it beforehand and some later on, through lottery. But the builder must take into consideration the concerns of owners.”
Saying that it would be wrong, even if not legally clear if a builder just ensured that they deliver as many parking lots as they are committed to in the sale deed, Mr Reddy said, that given the increase in high rise building and ownership of cars, the issue should be scrutinized by government, municipal authorities, builders, buyers and all others in the ecosystem.

Another resident said, “We paid nearly Rs 2 crores to buy a flat. We paid several lakhs of rupees to buy two parking lots. We were physically kept out of the process of allotment. Security we paid for ordered us out. The builder’s staff acted as dictators. We got a flat with a 20 year home loan. We will pay EMIs for nearly half of our remaining life. But did not realise for a modern Indian middle-class citizen and customer, the EMI does not cover for dignity. The builder knows they can get away with it. But someday, maybe, when we buy a flat, we will get a little respect and justice too.”

Speaking on the issue, President of CREDAI, Hyderabad, Rajashekar Reddy said that while he would not be able to comment on specific issues without knowing all details, in general, market variations are huge in real estate, and therefore the best way forward was either the government to create a comprehensive and clear policy, or owners and builders to work together in harmony.
“We at CREDAI cannot coerce our members or create a policy on our own,” he added.
The management of the two builders of Jayabheri Properties Pvt. Ltd., and Trendset, however, choose not to respond to Deccan Chronicle queries.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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