DT Udhayam Malar and K Mohan Venkataram had booked a flat in a project developed by Cybercity Mangadu Project Pvt Ltd for Rs. 38.70 lakh. The marketing agent for the project was Shriram Properties Limited.
The complainants said they had told the marketing staff of Shriram Properties at the time of booking that they would pay the initial amount of Rs 5 lakh and further payments would be made as per their convenience, as they were not going for any home loan. Though this was agreed initially, they were suddenly asked to pay Rs 9 lakh.
When they asked the deal to be cancelled and return their money, they received a letter stating that the amount of advance has been forfeited. This, the homebuyers alleged, amounted to fraud and breach of trust.
The respondents argued that if customers cancelled after flat allotment but before the execution of agreement, the advance amount would be forfeited as cancellation charges.
But G Saravanan, adjudicating officer, observed that suddenly asking for Rs 9 lakh and forfeiting the advance amount caused mental agony and hardships to the complainants. “The representatives of the respondents acted in an unfair manner with total lack of transparency,” he said.