The Asia-Pacific Antitrust Review 2016

India: Real Estate

11 February 2016

The residential real estate sector occupies an important position in India. The sector is the second-largest employer after agriculture and the fourth-largest in terms of foreign direct investment inflows.1 At present it is estimated that there are over 9,000 developers in the country, forming a very powerful lobby. With the number of housing projects rising exponentially, so too are the number of disputes between customers and builders regarding quality, penalties payable for delayed possession, the actual versus built-up habitable space, mandate of maintenance by the business, and other similar issues. Traditionally, such disputes found their way either to a civil court for breach of contract or to a consumer court for deficiency in services and occasionally to the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practice Commission as unfair or restrictive trade practice. The general feeling, however, was that buyers were to some extent at the mercy of developers, who invariably impose one-sided terms but fail to deliver on their promises.

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