LUCKNOW: Many home buyers who wanted to cancel bookings and get a refund instead from builders following financial crisis due to the pandemic have agreed to a middle path.

On the suggestion of Uttar Pradesh Real Estate Regulatory Authority (UPRERA), buyers can go ahead with the deal by paying smaller monthly instalments for a longer period in comparison to the agreement signed before.

About 100 buyers in the city had cancelled bookings in various private housing projects after their income dropped due to an economic slump triggered by the lockdown. When developers refused to refund the booking amount, they approached e-courts of UPRERA for relief. Developers, however, said that refund would put all the projects in a limbo, affecting others too who still want to purchase homes.

Hearings of about 80 petitioners have been completed so far in which the regulatory authority suggested that buyers and developers mutually agree on reducing instalment amount and increasing the time for payment. For instance: If a buyer had booked a unit for Rs 15,000 EMI payable in nine months, they can now pay 10-20% less for a longer period to complete payment.

Officials said that in these cases, both parties have agreed to the proposed formula, while talks are underway with others.

Mayur Jaiswal, a local businessman who had booked a 2BHK flat in Chinhat said, “The promoter agreed to reduce instalment rate from Rs 17,000 to Rs 13,500. Though I was insisting on Rs 10,000 per month, I agreed at this point.” Aditya Giri, a private developer, said, “The reduction in EMIs will disturb financial planning of builders and they will have to arrange for money from other sources to complete projects but this seems to be the only option in the ongoing crisis.”

UPRERA chairman Rajive Kumar said, “The proposal to decrease the instalment amount and increase the time frame to pay off the money was put up by the regulatory authority bench and the idea was mutually agreed to by most complainants.”

Over 700 complaints were received by e-courts during the lockdown. Of them, 490 have been resolved. These complaints were related to delay in possession, compensation and refunds among others. Kumar said that a survey among complaints found positive responses towards e-courts.

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