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DLF, Unitech hike square feet, instead of prices

From Mint:

Buyers who bought apartments in Gurgaon and Greater Noida from DLF Ltd and Unitech Ltd are complaining that the builders have increased maintenance charges, sought advance payment of such charges, and increased the so-called super built-up area of their flat resulting in an escalation of costs.

When you can’t raise per-square-foot rates, you increase the square feet.

This happened to my in-laws in Gurgaon. When they wanted to take possession they were told that out of nowhere the “super built up” area was up about 5%, without any increase in carpet area of the apartment. And given that buyers are not given detailed layout plans, it’s impossible to verify this claim. They can simply say, look, we added this garden which wasn’t there when we sold you the plot. You have to cough it up.

My dad bought a flat in 1980 and we got possession in 1992, after paying double the amount we had initially booked at – because the builder raised his hands in 1987 and said I need double the amount or I go bust.

Other friends have been told they won’t be paid interest on delays. Or that their “club membership” has gone up. Or that parking fees are unfortunately double. Same house, same square feet, higher total price.

Two experiences, one lesson: Never buy a flat that is unfinished. Let the builder finish it, and even let someone else occupy or rent it out, and only then buy – it’ll be cheaper in the long run.

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