Mumbai: 8 years on, tenant still waiting for his house in redeveloped tower

Apr 04, 2016, 11:44 IST | Varun Singh

The tenant was to get the flat free of cost but he alleges the builder asked him to pay Rs 80 lakh; the flat is currently occupied by another person

Mohammed Abdul Kadar Lakdawala was 57-years-old in 2006 when he vacated his house in Madraswala building for redevelopment, on Shepherd Road at Nagpada. Now there stands a multi-storey building La Vision, in its place, in which as per the agreement signed in 2008 with builder Salim Bilakhiya, Lakdawala was supposed to get a flat admeasuring 421 sq ft (carpet area), free of cost on the 14th floor. But, flat number 1401 is now occupied by some other person named Karan Mundul, who claims he cannot recollect whether he signed the agreement for it. Lakdawala is still waiting for a house.

Lakdawala outside the flat that he claims should have been given to him. Pics/Ajinkya Sawant
Lakdawala outside the flat that he claims should have been given to him. Pics/Ajinkya Sawant

The builder claims that while constructing a building the plans change and that’s why he couldn’t give him the flat. Lakdawala claims though the builder gave the flat to Mundul, he did not make another agreement with him (Lakdawala) and even the rules state that the builder should first rehouse all the tenants of the building that was demolished for redevelopment.

La Vision building at Nagpada in which Lakdawala was to get a flat
La Vision building at Nagpada in which Lakdawala was to get a flat

Lakdawala vacated the building in December 2006, and shifted to a nearby area on rent. He claims in 2008 the builder got into an agreement with him where he has been promised in writing, a house on 14th floor free of cost. However, it’s been almost eight years and he is still waiting for his home.

“I was called by the builder in 2009-10 and asked to collect the keys, but then when I reached there, the builder told me that I should pay him Rs 80 lakh and only then will he give me the keys. I refused to do so and later came to know that he allotted the flat promised to me as per the agreement, to someone else,” said Lakdawala.

Since then, Lakdawala has been going from one office to another and meeting the builder but has failed to get his house. When this reporter visited the building, he found that flat number 1401 had the name of Karan Mundul on the main door. When asked whether he has any agreement with the builder regarding flat number 1401, Mundul said, “I cannot recall.” The clause for redevelopment of buildings says that till the time the occupants of the old buildings are not rehoused, the full occupation certificate for the sale building will not be granted. However, people are residing in the building, without a tenant — Lakdawala — being rehoused. Bilakhiya claims other tenants have been satisfied.

Builder speak
When asked how he gave the flat belonging to Lakdawala to someone else, Salim Bilakhiya said, “Plans keep changing and Lakdawala wasn’t ready to take the flat as per the agreement.”

Later his nephew Hussain Bilakhiya said, “Lakdawala was asking for the same house as in the agreement, while plans had changed and we were offering him a smaller flat of 380 sq ft, which he refused. We are still ready to settle the matter, and I do not recollect whether we have an agreement for Flat 1401 with Karan. The issue is in court, we are still ready to give him the flat.”

On being asked how people were residing in the building, while tenants didn’t still have houses, Hussain claimed that it was a different issue and didn’t clarify much.

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