Before directly going to court for resolving the dispute, it is necessary that a person should use all the possible alternative options to resolve the matter. Sending a legal notice is one of the alternative option before directly moving to the court. Through this legal notice, one party gives a chance to other party to resolve the dispute without taking any legal help and without even approaching the court. Further, in the legal notice, the sender expressly states all the possible liabilities against the other party so that the other party will understand its liability and complete the work/responsibility on time.
A legal notice is a formal intimation in writing by the plaintiff or one party to the defendant (other party) stating the dispute between them. It serves as a warning to the other party/person who is expected to resolve the issue within the stipulated time period, failing which a legal action/ proceeding might be initiated against him/her by moving to court.
There are various details that also need to be added in the legal notice. Some of these essential details include the problems faced by the plaintiff, supporting documents, evidences to back the claim of the party, the relief required and the applicable laws.
In India, the construction of a building gets started when the agreement is signed between the two parties i.e. builder and the landowner. These agreements creates a very high profitable opportunity for the builders and developers. But unfortunately, if the agreement is dishonored and sometimes if a builders fails in performing his/her duty appropriately and do not complete the construction on time, then it becomes highly necessary for the property buyer to send a legal notice to the builder for delay in construction.
When a legal notice should be sent to the Builders?
In a matter or any dispute of real estate, the aggrieved home buyers can first send a legal notice to the builder before proceedings with a complaint in RERA or a consumer complaint in a consumer forum. Under both these legislations, it is mandatory to send a legal notice to the builder before proceeding with legal action.
When the builder is not completing the construction on time and delivering the possession to the aggrieved homebuyer within the stipulated time promised and provided for in the contract and even neglecting to provide the amenities and other required facilities which the builder had promised earlier in the terms of agreement for sale, the aggrieved homebuyer can send a legal notice to the builder for such delay in construction and possession.
A legal notice to the defendant builder can also be sent on violation of provisions of the real estate laws or the builder-buyer agreement between the parties seeking cancellation of his booking and refund along with interest/compensation of the amount paid. Further, a legal notice can also be sent when the builder is not registering the property in the name of the purchaser even after giving the full payment of the property or if asking an amount which is higher than the amount mentioned in the agreement.
Some important points that must be present in the legal notice have been highlighted below:
- Details and address of the builder
- Details and address of the buyer
- Details of the property for which legal notice has been served
- Details of the dispute or problems
- The applicable laws
- Reference to the agreement signed between the parties
- The relief sought from the builder.
- The legal action that will be taken against the builder in case of non-adherence or lack of reply to the legal notice.
Damage and reliefs that you can claim against the Builders
If the builder has failed to perform his/her duties and delayed in the construction and the possession of the property or deprive you then you can claim the following reliefs which are mentioned below-
- You can ask for the sum required to buy an alternate accommodation at the current market price in the same area.
- You can also claim the money that you have given to the builder. Further, you can also claim the interest on the payment/amount given by you.
- If you are purchasing the property for your personal use and made the agreement on the same then you can file a complaint against the builder seeking relief in the Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission.
- Due to the delay in construction, you could not get the property on time and now you can claim compensation for the money that you are going to spend as rent on any alternate accommodation.
- You can also claim damages for the loss of opportunity caused to you, because the same money you could invest elsewhere.
Legal Action that you can take against the Builder
Since the drafting of a legal notice includes researching on applicable laws and legal provisions, it is advisable to consult a lawyer for the same. A legal notice also considered as the base of your complaint against the builder in RERA or in a consumer court. No response to such notice or no development towards resolution of such dispute can be used as a point of non-cooperation in the court against the builder.
A legal notice will always be sent on the letterhead of a lawyer and it must be signed by the lawyer along with the name, address, and bearing the stamp of the lawyer. Further, it should be clearly mentioned in the notice that how your property rights have been infringed due to the non-performance of the duties by the builder and for that what type of relief you want from the builder. A specific direction in respect of the relief shouted by the sender must be given to the opposite party and time limit must also be given.
In case you want to send a legal notice to builder under RERA, the lawyer will include all the necessary provisions of the RERA Act in the legal notice. Similarly, if you would like to file a consumer complaint against the builder, then the lawyer will include the appropriate provisions of the Consumer Protection Act in the legal notice to the builder. A well drafted legal notice has the power to convince the builder fearing legal action, to resolve the dispute amicably outside the court. Lastly, if you want to consult a good lawyer, you can visit various legal service websites where you will get the details of various good lawyers in just one click! These websites help you in finding the legal experts or lawyers who can easily draft a legal notice and to represent you in the court without any hassle.