Delay in Possession by the Builder, What to do?

Delay in Possession by the Builder, What to do

 While investing in real estate projects, the buyers must be cautious to ensure that the developer is genuine. In case of a delay in the delivery of possession, the buyers have various rights against the builder. Therefore, before executing the real estate contracts and making full/part payments to the developer, the buyers must be diligent. Different forums have been established for the convenience of the buyers to file complaints about delays in the delivery of possession against the builder.


  1. Delay in possession of the property has been the most significant cause of concern for consumers.
  2. Due to the distress caused to home buyers by such delay, the judiciary system of India has taken eminent steps to regulate the real estate sector.
  3. The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) has been appointed as an adjudicating mechanism for prompt redressal of real estate disputes matters.
  4. A complainant can file their complaints under RERA for any claim amount.
  5. Suppose the builder has failed to perform their duties and delayed the property’s construction and possession. In that case, one can claim the payment amount with interest claim compensation for damages caused due to the delay.

Investing in real estate projects has become one of the trends in the present times. People invest in the properties to get a better return on their invested money by renting out the property or selling the same at better prices. However, there are genuine buyers too who invest their hard-earned money in real estate projects to reside and have a home for themselves. These projects can either be entirely constructed, i.e., ready to move or under construction. Most of the issues arise when the property/project is under construction, and the home-buyers invest in those properties and, in return, face delay in possession by the builder.

Must Read: How can an NRI handle land dispute in India?

Delay In Possession by the Builder

There are many occasions wherein the builder or the real estate developer lacks in providing timely possession to the investors and the home-buyers. Despite paying almost full payment towards the property, the builder does not give timely possession, which is why the buyers are forced to approach the courts to seek legal remedies and file complaints against the developers. This even worsens the situation, and possession of the property gets more delayed. There are even stances when the builder does not provide an occupancy certificate to the buyers, and the buyers further decide not to take possession without the occupancy certificate.

Reasons for Delay In Delivery of Possession by the Builder

Many reasons are responsible for the delay in delivery of possession by the builder, and the builder does not provide timely possession to the buyers, such as:

  • When the developer/builder finds it difficult to collect the capital sum which is required for the construction work.
  • As the real estate sector is unregulated, and due to this reason, the demand and supply patterns keep on changing. This may lead to the buyers’ cancellation of certain properties, which can affect the builder’s financial situation. It takes time for the builder to get stability to resume their work further.
  • Due to the developer’s negligence, the buyer may refuse to take possession, thereby adversely affecting the builder-buyer relationship. In case the builder does not provide the occupancy certificate, the buyer may deny taking the possession till the same is received, which ultimately delays the possession.

Rights of the Buyer In Case of Delay In Delivery of Possession by the Builder

  • The buyer can send the legal notice for the delay in possession by the builder.
  • According to Consumer Protection Act, the buyer can file a consumer complaint against the developer for deficiency in service and can claim a refund of the entire amount paid along with compensation and damages.
  • The buyer can also file a complaint against the builder in a special body, namely RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority). For filing the complaint in RERA, the project must be duly registered. The complainant cannot file the consumer complaint if the builder has provided the occupancy certificate.
  • Suppose the builder cannot provide the possession or does not finish the construction within the stipulated time. In that case, the buyer can initiate insolvency proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, in NCLT (National Company Law Tribunal).

The buyer’s rights benefit them to claim either the possession or the refund of the entire amount paid to the developer. The developer can be held liable for the deficiency in services and delay in possession of the property and must pay the buyer the amount of compensation.

Must Read: Buy and Sell Property in India


Hence, the delay in possession by the builder of the property can be due to many reasons. Therefore, it is always recommended to take precautions while investing in real estate projects. Also, the buyer-builder agreement must be thoroughly examined before buying or investing in the desired property to avoid any discrepancy in future transactions. Therefore, investing in real estate projects can be easy; however, one must be vigilant to ensure that the developer is genuine.

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