Is a homebuyer truly free?
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Is a homebuyer truly free?

City Spidey spoke to flat owners from Indirapuram to find out what independence means to them. Turns out, we are fighting the same old battle, only with a different enemy.

Is a homebuyer truly free?

This Independence day, City Spidey caught up with some flat owners from Indirapuram to find out what independence means to them. Turns out, we are fighting the same old battle, only with a different enemy.

The obligatory 'What does freedom mean to you?'

If all the homebuyers had answered together, one would've heard a resounding: Freedom from opression of builders! It's been 70 years since we won our independence, but is the working class hero truly free?

The NEW struggle for independence

The British are long gone. They, however, have been replaced by a new oppressor - the builder. And the average middle-class man is still a slave - to EMIs and rents. Most of the time, burdened by both at the same time as their 'dream homes' are far from ready, thanks to the real estate developer. Every homebuyer has to go through years of struggle, spread across different phases, till he can have a place he calls home. 

The tyranny

A homebuyer books a flat and plans to shift in as soon as it is ready. Till then, he continues to pay rent and home loan EMI. In most cases, however, the home is not ready by due date. Far from it, in fact. The buyers end up paying both rent and EMI as possession of their flat becomes a distant dream, with projects delayed for years at times. Several homebuyers are crushed under the financial burden. Some even consider suicide. The oppression is much more serious than what it looks like on paper. Add to it the helplessness of a homebuyer, as builders are usually hand-in-glove with the authorities. 

Rage against the machine

The only option homebuyers have is through protests. Peaceful ones. Perhaps form groups on social media and voice their angst. Or escalate the matter to ministers, asking them to intervene. Spread the word, knock as many doors as one can. It's years of struggle, post which they do receive their flats, their independence. Or is it?

The betrayal

Not long after the buyer receives his flat, he realises that he has been cheated. He finds that it's not exactly the dream he was promised. The builder has cut down on the quality of materials along with the promised amenities, all the open space, parks and greenery has been sized down to make way for another extra tower. But he can't complain, the other tower is also home to many like him. Gradually, when more people take up residency, the demand for the apartment owner's association or AOA, comes into play. The demand arises mainly to oust the builder and take control of all the amenities and gain freedom from the coercion in the form of maintenance charges from the builder. Once the buyers get their homes, the buyers, now flatowners muster enough courage to take up arms against the builder.


United under the banner of AOA/RWA, buyers start firing letters to civic bodies, file petitions at the court of law and even lodge FIRs against the developer. The most popular weapon in their arsenal has been the UP Apartment Act, 2010, till now. With the addition of the Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA), which is yet to be applied at the state level, however, the homebuyers are bound to go nuclear on the builder in the near future.

The handover

The homebuyer soon finds out that despite being charged a fortune by the builder for the society's maintenance, basic amenities such as water supply and fire-safety clearances are still not in place. What this means, is that after investing over a decade of struggle for that perfect home, they have to start afresh, struggling with the civic authorities to get the basics in place.