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More controversy over Lodha's Aqua project

Customers who have booked property in Lodha’s much-touted project are still struggling to get possession of their flats

Have you ever heard of a home buyer being charged an interest by a developer on a balance amount that the home loan company is not ready to pay due to incomplete work? Here is one such example. According to a complaint file by one such buyer, Mumbai-based developer Lodha Group has been demanding interest on the amount, which is not paid by the home loan company.

This case is related to Lodha’s ‘Aqua’ project near Mumbai that is (still) being advertised in the media. Lodha launched the Aqua project in 2007 and work is still going on. The developer initially had promised possession by June 2009, which subsequently was deferred to September, October, November, December and so on.

The Lodha Group is planning to enter the capital markets. According to a draft prospectus filed by Lodha Developers Ltd with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Aqua project, being developed by its subsidiary Cowtown Land Development Pvt Ltd, is estimated to be completed by June 2010. This shows the false promises made by the developer to various customers.

According a complaint filed in the public domain by one of the buyers, he bought a flat in Pacific A in 2007. “For the past nine months I am struggling to get the possession. Every time I call them, they promise me a date and then easily postpone it without even informing me,” said the buyer in his comment posted last month.

Usually, for any under-construction residential project, home loan companies pay the loan amount after receiving a demand letter from the developer showing the progress of that particular project. Lodha had sent such demand letters to some home loan companies for its Aqua project. In the past, the officials from home loan companies have refused to disburse the loan amount as per the demand letter from Lodha citing false claims by the developer about the progress of construction.

However, the developer wants the buyer to pay interest at a rate of around 12%-18% on the amount not paid by the home loan company as per its demand. It has already collected the interest charges from some of the buyers. One such buyer was forced to pay an interest of Rs58,000 and after the buyer’s home loan provider refused to disburse the next instalment, the developer is asking for another Rs80,000 as interest on the delayed payment. Executives of Lodha have also refused to accept the next loan instalment from the buyer unless they get the interest.

Not only this, the developer has been charging separate amount for parking space. Another buyer was forced to pay Rs2,70,000 in cash for parking space within a week after booking a residential apartment. In case a customer refuses to pay this amount and wants to cancel his booking, he has no chances of getting a refund on the original booking amount.

According to complaints by customers available in the public domain, it seems that a number of them are facing a similar problem. They are neither getting the possession of their flats, nor are they sure about the natural amenities that they have been promised.

Moneylife sent a detailed questionnaire to Lodha Developers to which they replied that they “take care of their customers” and did not provide answers to our other questions. "We have a strong customer-redressal mechanism which ensures that customer concerns are handled and resolved with empathy. At Lodha we also ensure that all information is made available to customers so as to enable them to make an informed decision," said an email from a company spokesperson.

Earlier also the developer could not give any answers to our specific questions regarding their claims over providing natural amenities for the Aqua project. We have reported the same under the headline “Will there be water in Lodha's 'Aqua' project?” (read more here)

After our earlier reports, market regulator SEBI had also questioned the developer on its claims. According to news reports, Lodha has received the final set of comments from SEBI, and will be updating its draft red herring prospectus accordingly.
 

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COMMENTS

vikram

3 years ago

The Quality of work in Lodha Aqua is very Shabby and of poor quality. The walls are not cement plastered, but only Gypsum has been applied directly. The Passage way is covered by false ceiling and when we removed the same, we were shocked to see that there was no plaster inside, on the ceiling or beams. WOW what a way to save cost and make huge profits. The granite on the platforms is also of poor quality. The sliding windows are not powder coated (even the smallest of builder does it nowadays)

mona

3 years ago

is there any lodha resident here , actually i am planning to buy a ready possession investor's flat in lodha aqua . but my friends told me that there are hidden dance bars around that area. do u guys ever faced any trouble due to unpleasant atmosphere around ???plz reply soon as i need to make a decision

REPLY

kishore gada

In Reply to mona 3 years ago

Hope u haven't bought or else one more victim

mona

3 years ago

is there any resident of lodha auqa. i am going to buy a ready possession investor flat there . but my main concern is area around it . some of my friends say there are hidden dance bars around it . do u guys face any trouble due to all this . plz reply i need to make a decesion

Raman Srinivasan

5 years ago

Unethical dealings and cheating
If you ever think of buying a property in India, never ever consider any offer from Lodha Group. If you ever get into the trap laid down by Lodha group, you will regret through out your life. From day one of dealings with them you will lose peace of mind and remain under tremendous pressure.

My son fell into their trap and the sweet talk of the Sales representative. Before launching a new project, the first thing that they do is to print attractive brochure, build a posh office, employ some attractive girls and employ some of their Sales persons who are experts in trapping the customers with sweet talks. Like several victims, my son also fell into their well laid down trap and booked a flat in their so called upcoming project named "CODE NAME DAWN" in Ghodbunder Road, Thane. The Sales representative convinced my son to pay the booking amount of Rs.54,000/-. In order to make him pay this amount, the Sales representative made false claims about Lodha group, told that the flats in the proposed property were being sold like hot cake and the rates would shoot up in the next few days. He was made to sign an application form without letting to read the contents. He was told that a copy of the application form would be mailed to his e-mail id the next day as their photocopying machine was out of order. When copy of the application form was not mailed the next day it struck to me to verify details about Lodha Group and their dealings with innocent customers.

When inter-net search was done, I found that there were many similar innocent victims of the unfair dealing of Lodha group. After several follow up attempts by e-mail and phone calls, my son received a scanned illegible copy of the application form by e-mail. When I went through the contents of the form, it was found that all clauses in the form were defective and against the principal of fair play and equity. They refused to show me the land ownership document and draft sale agreement and insisted that the payment of 20% of the flat cost will have to be made before 42 days of booking and only after investing this amount, they would provide me an opportunity to look of the draft sale agreement. They also insisted that my son should pay the 1st installment of 10% payment of the cost along with cash payment of Rs. 3,60,000 towards car parking within 21 days and that no receipt would be issued for this amount. They told that as per Supreme Court order, they are not allowed to accept cheque payment towards car parking charges. They said that for any delay in adhering to their stipulated payment schedule, interest @ 18% compounded on daily basis would be charged.

On realizing that Lodha group is involved in unfair dealings, my son requested them to cancel the booking and refund the booking amount of Rs.54,000/-. They simply refused to refund the amount. This is a large sum for my son who never expected that the entire amount would be withheld particularly when they failed to fulfil their commitments to show even the land ownership document that is a prerequisite to commencement of any building project.

REPLY

Ashish Thatte

In Reply to Raman Srinivasan 5 years ago

Dawn in Thane is absolutely new project by Lodha. I saw its advt few days back on hoarding at GB road. I thought Lodha has improved on its workings and style specifically after so much being written about him on Net. But i am surprised that he is still cheating with people.

Anyways welcome to trap now !

Murli Mundra

5 years ago

Hi, Was looking for flat in Lodha Aqua, if anyone has a investor flat, please call me on 28152052, 9323812659

Rajesh

5 years ago

Can just comment , be careful with this builder.
If you type "Lodha Complaints" on your web browser,you will find plenty of such cases.

Virendra Vikram

5 years ago

Hi All,

I have recently booked flat at Lodha Dombivali. I was going through the comments which is not encouraging at all.

I have paid my initial contribution. The possession date given to me for Antartica cluster is by end of 2012. Can anyone let me know if the date given to anyone of you is ealier to this and that Lodha has already defaulted on the possession date.

REPLY

Buyer

In Reply to Virendra Vikram 5 years ago

Will not recommend buying in Lodha - its mistake

creative

In Reply to Buyer 4 years ago

hi.. can you please explain why...

Anish

In Reply to Virendra Vikram 5 years ago

Hi Vikram,

Thats what they have committed, however i am not sure that they will abide by that. Currently, for Antartica C they are on the 10th slab, consider atleast they will have all the 14 slabs ready by April 12, its technically impossible to have all the internal work to be completed within 8 months i.e. by Dec 12. Hence i definately believe that there will be a delay in possession.

Rajesh

5 years ago

BEST CASE OF UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICE / FRAUD / CHEATING BY LODHA BUILDERS :

I booked a 2BHK flat for a newly launched project by Lodha builders in Thane called “Casa Univis” in December 2008.I kept paying then in the stages they had set out. The agreement was also signed with the builder in June 2009 stating possession date as December 2010 with a 6 months grace period, failing which the builder is liable to pay penalty @ 12% per annum after the grace period, until physical possession takes place...Since this project was self funded, I was told by the builders customer care that the Stamp duty & registration can be done close to possession date. I have already paid 95 % to the builder. The project as of now is delayed by 6 months from the date of grace period(3 years from booking date).The builder’s new possession date is March 31st 2012 ,& he is asking for a further grace period of 1 year.

Recently, I was told by the builder to complete the Stamp Duty & registration, for which I was asked to prepare Pay orders for Stamp duty & registration which I did very promptly. We fixed up a date for registration at the registrar’s office in Thane.

On reaching the registrar’s office, to my utter disbelief, the builder attached stamp duty receipt on a brand new agreement (which I had never seen before) with all clauses altered, the penalty clause on delayed possession removed & compelled me to sign it, for which I refused. On speaking to the builder, customer support, as to how they could pay stamp duty on a new agreement which I had neither seen nor signed, I was told that their company policy has changed & I had no choice but to accept the changes.

I refused to sign & just walked off with the new agreement which had the stamp duty paid to study it. In the meanwhile the builder’s office called me several times & insisted that I return the new agreement back to them, but I declined.

On studying this agreement, I found that the builder has changed almost all clauses to his favor even mentioning that all agreements made previously becomes null & void & this agreement supersedes all commitments whatsoever in oral/written that the builder had ever made in the past.Further, he would have the right to terminate the agreement if he is unable to complete the project.

Having paid 95%, I don’t know what to do. The builder being politically well connected does not care for poor investors like us, who have put together their life time savings.

In any case,I have sent him a legal notice to stand by his original agreement & adhere to all terms mentioned there on.

I await a reply from him.

REPLY

Ashish Thatte

In Reply to Rajesh 5 years ago

Dear Sir,

Please saught for injunction on property immediately. He is capable of cancelling your payments and sale the same to other. Go ahead in proceuting him on criminal offences like cheating 420, Consumer Offences etc.

If any help is needed, i will be there.

Rajesh

In Reply to Ashish Thatte 5 years ago

Hello!

Thanks for your reply.Would like to know whether you are a lawer ?

Narendra Kale

In Reply to Rajesh 5 years ago

Hi Rajesh,
I have also booked a 3 BHK flat at Ghodbandar road and they are are demanding me lots of money even if Lodha has no permission to build the same. Also, he is demanding 4 Lakhs of interest on the delayed payment. I refused and sent a legal notice. Lodha replied to my lawyer saying that, he will reply in 10 days and denying all the clauses mentioned. Now after 15 days, my lawyer has not received any letter. This lawyer was suggested by Ashish. You have paid 95% which is too much. I think every customer is facing issues. Some are paying and rest are fighting in court. Let us talk when you get time.
Narendra Kale
9892055671

Varun

5 years ago

Every second day Lodha group launch one project in Mumbai viz. Casa bella,casa rio, univis,aqua.... so on all Casa's without completing a single project in time and upto customer's satisfaction. Infact this group collects the initial 20-30 % from customers and then forget the project.

Baijal

6 years ago

I think it is enough with Lodha. They should be arrested and put behind bars like 2-G/Commonwealth game players to teach a lesson. Otherwise this group will continue to make customers fools and do all kind of frauds IN FUTURE TOO.

Pritam Shah

6 years ago

Thanks for information. I wish to buy the flat for invetsment so possesion is not the problem. But is this property at Rs 4100 /- is good for investment? or someone can suggest me another good scheme in Navi Mumbai with having good connectivity by rail and road and good for invetsment.

REPLY

pp

In Reply to Pritam Shah 6 years ago

i guess nothing can beat lodha..its a very good investment.

Pritam Shah

6 years ago

Please give information on Casa Bella Gold, a Lodha Groups project. They are asking around 4100 Rs/sq ft now in April 2011. Is it a right value for this property. As I seen some disputes of customer with builder. Please suggest me.

REPLY

pp

In Reply to Pritam Shah 6 years ago

Mr.Pritam
The price they are qouting is right.But be very carefull while dealing with these cretures.Man they will make a hell out of your life if you are not prepared.I wasnt and have been living on rent from the last 2yrs and still paying interest on the delayed amount as told by their coustomer service rascals.I am helpless..but you can be smart.Be very carefull while dealing with them.

Man

6 years ago

Hi all,

I had booked flat in Casabella Megnifica A wing 1 year ago still Lodha group doesn't have approvals to start the construction.

Is there any body who have booked the flat in Magnifica A ??

REPLY

vijay sahu

In Reply to Man 5 years ago

hello man, i also booked flat in magnifica A wing, i dont know what to do

Ravi

6 years ago

I am not sure if the below comments are truly reliable.. These might be because of the very high expectations.. morever the other people in this buisness are more dangerous... Regarding MVAT these are not new and not unique with Lodha only but everyone is doing this, then why so much escalation

Shipping freight rates may recover in March

Freight rates, which had fallen considerably by end-January due to the Chinese New Year closure, may show some recovery by March. However, they may not touch the November 2009 levels

The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) has fallen considerably over the past few weeks till end-January due to closure for the Chinese New Year. The BDI may show some recovery by March, but it would be lower than the November 2009 level, says an industry expert.

BDI, which is a major indicator for the dry bulk segment, has fallen to 2,963 on 28th January from an average of 3,572 in December. “The reason is very clear; we are entering the Chinese New Year. In China they have a complete shutdown during this period. We will see a revival in these falling rates in about a month, in March 2010,” said Capt KS Nair, director, bulk and tanker division, Shipping Corporation of India (SCI). State-run SCI is the largest shipping company in India with a huge presence in the dry bulk and tanker segment.

However, the BDI may find it difficult to retain its earlier level reached in November 2009. Capt Nair said,”After this New Year period, the rates will recover only up to the December levels, but the November level may not be possible.” The BDI average in November was 3,941.

Contrary to the decline in the BDI for the dry bulk segment, certain amount of recovery has been witnessed in freight rates for the very large crude carriers (VLCC) segment. The freight rates in the VLCC segment had zoomed to a high of $50,620/day on 26th January.

However, Capt Nair does not see any long-term relief. “The rates in the VLCC segment have recovered due to the winter effect. However, for the long-term period, they will be still steady at $28,000 to $30,000 (daily) levels,” he said.
 

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