PRICE TRAP: AFTER THOUGHT CHARGES

What is your reaction when someone shouts SURPRISE!
Let me tell you, you are excited and worried both.

Anticipation gets the best of you and if the surprises are from the real-estate then you should buckle up. The most expected yet hidden surprises (or rather shocks) are being given in the real estate investment; these are “After-thought charges” which are hidden and come out later.

This is another PRICE TRAP in the series of Price Traps set by the builders. We have discussed 8 such price traps earlier:

  1. The Big Brand Builders
  2. Location
  3. Heavy Marketing Push
  4. Cosmetic Improvement in Design
  5. The Value Trap
  6. Hidden Charges
  7. Super Area
  8. Increase in Super Area

Today we will discuss another price trap – AFTER THOUGHT CHARGES!

What are “AFTER THOUGHT CHARGES”?

Let me explain you this through an example, you buy a house for 2 crores and have paid 90% of the total charges. The house is under construction and it will be up for possession in 3 years. The possession keeps getting delayed and this can be due to various reasons. After much reasons the house is up for possession in about, let’s say 7 years.

You receive a letter saying that you are welcome in your house which you can make your home. You are expecting compensation and an explanation for the delay caused but to your surprise, you are being asked to pay another 15 lakhs. The 3 lakh compensation which was to be paid according to the agreement, vanishes into thin air.

Your anger knows no bounds and all you can understand is that you only had to pay the balance amount i.e. 10% and not the additional sum of money.The note explains the additional charges as follows:

  • An increase in the Super Area (this is usually done to usurp the delay in compensation).
  • An additional and separate charge that includes electricity charges, gas connection charges, and sewage connection charges including taxes.
  • Advance Maintenance charges (ranging from 6 months to 2 years) plus taxes are also included.
  • You are also expected to pay for the power backup charges which you thought were included earlier but they are for 1 or 2 KV and now it has increased to 5 KV. It will support the air conditioning load as if this wasn’t supported earlier.
  • Interest on delayed payments, like it is your fault.The delays which happened due to the late demand notes. Sometimes the demand notes are not being sent at all and the builder keeps on adding the interest in his accounts. These affable builders don’t disclose this fact and sometimes they charge interest on interest. How convenient.
  • Now keeping the most disreputable for the last, you thought that VAT of 12% was included in it, guess what? IT’S NOT.

This is just the starting.

When you are sure that you cannot do anything about it, you start collecting money from everywhere. This takes some time, say 10 days and then you head to the builder for the possession of the house. Now as if you were not defamed enough, two additional charges are slapped on you as there has been a delay in the payment.

  • Interest on the interest
  • Holding charges. This one should deserve a round of applause. The builder explains that since the possession offer was made but you delayed the rights and we kept holding the space or house for you so we have to sustain the charges for that.

You refuse to believe that what you just heard is true as the prim and polished attendee, standing in a crisp suit is firm and non-negotiable about the charges.You lose your confidence and the remaining respect and have two options. One is to either fight with them or to agree to their demands.

What should you do?

Property Advisor

Always keep one thing in mind that you have the power to accept or refuse the offer. You have the authority to bargain and negotiate the deal before paying. While selling, the builder will go to any lengths to finalize the deal with the buyer and this would be the time when the developer would be at its weakest.

Don’t get looked down upon by the builder just because you are paying for the house. Debate hard and ask all question and about the hidden charges. You should have all the details whether hidden or not about everything, from visiting till possession.

WHAT SHOULD THE BUYER KEEP IN MIND

  • Ask for the complete charges including the govt. taxes. If the builder is not sure about the taxes then ask him for the present charges.
  • Ask for a disclosure stating that there would not be any other charges except for the one that has been mentioned in the “Schedule of Charges”.
  • While making a deal, do not accept anything in verbal, and always ask for a written commitment. This is only possible before finalizing the deal.

Rera

If the builder does not disclose the details then don’t be afraid to walk away from the deal.

It’s just a psychological upturn; you lose if you drop your weapon. Keep your hand up and ask for the disclosures in written. Just make sure you are not brainwashed by their sweet talks and don’t fall over.

Imagine if Bob, The Builder had said, “This is the best construction site ever”, then you can expect Roley the cement mixer also.

DON’T LET BOB THE BUILDER DESIGN YOUR DREAM HOME.