How to file a complaint in consumer court against a builder?

How to file a complaint in consumer court against a builder?

The real estate sector in India has seen a major boost in the recent past. For most of the people, buying a property is the safest way of investment in this modern era. Hence, the chances are more that you might fall for a fraudulent scheme or end up purchase a project with a wrong builder.

Though home buyers in India have multiple platforms where they can register their complaints against the fraud builders, many people are still unaware about these forums.

A buyer can register his complaint with the platforms like civil courts, consumer courts and the latest one Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act. While RERA is gaining popularity among home buyers to seek justice against the builders, consumer courts continue to receive a large number of property-related cases.

If you also have a grievance that you need to get addressed, here is a step-by-step guide for you to lodge your complaint with the consumer court.

Consumer court jurisdiction

When you decide to take a legal action against a unscrupulous builder, first question that probably comes to your mind is, where should you lodge your complaint as consumer courts have a three -tier system? Well, it depends on the amount of money involved in the transaction. The consumer protection law establishes a fiscal mechanism to categories the jurisdiction of these bodies.

  • District-level consumer courts: In the district-level courts, a consumer can file a complaint where the amount of money involved is up to Rs 1 crore.
  • State-level consumer courts: At the state-level commissions, a consumer can lodge a complaint where the value involved is between Rs 1 crore to Rs 10 crore.
  • National consumer court: At the national-level, consumer can file complaints where the value involved is over Rs 10 crores.

What kind of complaints can you file?

A person can file his complaint in the consumer court if he has been subjected to any of the following offences:

  • Levying of hidden charges
  • Poor quality of work
  • Delays in possession
  • Project cancellation
  • Illegal construction of the project
  • Forced possession
  • Changed previously approved plan
  • Booking-related fraud
  • Unfair contract
  • Forfeited your amount

Details to be provided

In order to lodge a complaint with the consumer court against an unethical builder, a consumer needs to provide some important details as listed below:

  • Name of the consumer
  • Address of the consumer
  • Name of the builder
  • Address of the builder
  • Location, time, or any other fact related to the complaint
  • Documents that support your claims against the builder

Things to do before filing a complaint

For any legal procedure against the builder, a home buyer needs to do some paper work, proving that you have discussed your problems with the developer but he didn’t show any interest in addressing your grievances. Therefore, you are left with no other option but to make an appeal in the consumer court.

  • Send a prior notice to the builder

Before complaining in the consumer court, you have to first send a notice to the builder, clearly stating your issues. According to the norms, a consumer must inform the concerned developer about the unfair practice and allow him to respond to it. If the builder refuses to address your problem or simply ignored it, then can approach to the consumer court.

  • Draft a complaint

The next thing you have to do is, drafting your complaint on a piece of paper under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. While you can hire a lawyer, it is perfectly fine if you choose to do this on your own.

How to file a complaint with consumer court?

The consumer can lodge his complaint either in writing via Offline procedure or through an online mode.

  • Online complaint

If you choose to file an online complaint, you have to first register your complaint at website. Furthermore, using your login credentials, you can also lodge multiple complaints.

  • Offline complaint

In case you want to file an offline complaint, you can do so either independently or with the help of a lawyer. In the offline process, you have to write down your complaint and mail it via registered post along with the court fee. You need to send three copies of your complaint to the court.

A consumer can also complaint by calling the helpline number 1800-11-4000.

Consumer court fee

As mentioned above, a home buyer has to submit a fee while filing a complaint against any construction company or builder. Notably, the amount of the fee depends on the court where the case being field.

Here’s the comprehensive list of consumer court fee to be paid when making an appeal in the court:

District commission  
Up to 5 lakh No fee
From 5 to 10 lakh Rs 200
From 10 to Rs 20 lakh Rs 400
From 20 to 50 lakh Rs 1,000
From 50 lakh to 1 crore Rs 2,000
State commission       
From 1 to 2 crore Rs 2,500
From 2 to 4 crore Rs 3,000
From 4 to 6 crore Rs 4,000
From 6 to 8 crore Rs 5,000
From 8 to 10 crore    Rs 6,000
National commission  
Over Rs 10 crores    Rs 7,500

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