The observations were made while dismissing an appeal preferred by Hiranandani Realtors Private Limited against an order passed by the Tamil Nadu Real Estate Regulatory Authority in favour of Hiranandani Amalfi Owners Association on December 21, 2022. | Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO

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When a realtor promotes a township with multiple high-rise residential towers, the entire township must be registered as a single project under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, the Tamil Nadu Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (TNREAT) has said.

TNREAT chairperson Justice M. Duraiswamy (retired Acting Chief Justice of Madras High Court) and judicial member R. Padmanabhan wrote that builders could not circumvent the provisions of RERA, 2016 by “cleverly” registering individual towers under the Act.

The observations were made while dismissing an appeal preferred by Hiranandani Realtors Private Limited against an order passed by the Tamil Nadu Real Estate Regulatory Authority in favour of Hiranandani Amalfi Owners Association on December 21, 2022.

The tribunal pointed out that the appellant had commenced promoting a township named House of Hiranandani on 120 acres at Egattur in Chengalpattu district in 2012, much before RERA came into force in 2016. Multiple high-rise towers were being built in phases under the project.

Since the creation of the township was an ongoing project even as on date, it ought to have been registered as a single project under Section 3 of the Act whereas the builder had registered only individual towers from May 1, 2017 when Section 3 came into force, the tribunal said.

“The appellant/promoter had themselves admitted in their written submission that the Amalfi tower forms part of the entire township project. Simply because the Amalfi tower was registered as a standalone project with TNRERA by suppression of facts, it cannot be held as a standalone project,” the tribunal observed.

It directed the builder to handover copies of all documents pertaining to the entire township to the Amalfi Owners Association and not just the documents pertaining to that individual tower. TNREAT also directed the builder to repay 70% of the Township Corpus Fund to the individual tower association.

After recording the submission of the Amalfi association that the builder had collected ₹98,500 towards the corpus fund from every individual flat owner and that 70% of it worked out to ₹1.23 crore, the tribunal ordered return of that money to the individual tower association forthwith.

Since that money had already been deposited by the builder at the time of filing the present appeal last year, it said, the association would be entitled to withdraw it along with accrued interest. The rest of the 30% should be returned by the builder to the apex association of all towers after the completion of the entire township.

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