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GUIDE-TIPS-CHECKLIST For Real Estate Housing Buyer's in Dhaka, Bangladesh:

(Initiative for awareness on purchase right & legal agreement (Terms & Conditions) for flat/apartment in BD)

Are you planning to buy a flat in Dhaka, BD? Purchasing an apartment here in Bangladesh is not an easy task. One wrong step can drag you to lifelong pain. Write it in your checklist, you definitely need legal advice/suggestion to buy apartment in Dhaka, if you are not really good at understanding legal documents either in English or in Bangla. Formalities are safeguard for both side. At least consult with one associated with housing business. Best will be one works for sale recovery section of a Developer (except the one you intend to buy from). Most of us did not take and are suffering as well. Here we are going to discuss only the legal issues for awareness and for self-help. A group or forum or association of flat/apartment buyers or owner to discuss housing problems would be great. We don't have much online discussion or document. All you'll find are the sites of developers with lucrative offer to hook you up to just signup with booking money. We learned from our real world experience in exchange of payment & pain. With the hope of fewer difficulties (pay & pain) for you, we are here to indicate the problem areas of real estate & housing sector in Dhaka, Bangladesh from the point of view of buyer.

The bigger (higher profile) the Developer (or real estate project) the more you should be careful as it will be more difficult to enjoy (and even have) your rights. Make sure you are not buying a Property with a Rental Agreement. Be aware of Developers! You've the right to know what you are buying. Don't listen to them that everyone signed so you don't have to be worried, this is just a standard formality. I'm telling you, there is no standard, not in real estate business of Bangladesh, no consumer right protection system. You will see it yourself if you just read the draft agreement from your developer. Your standard is what you sign. Real Estate & Housing Association of Bangladesh is known as REHAB. I don't have any knowledge of any protection by REHAB for buyers. Deed of Agreement is a complex document; you alone may not be capable of understanding the complete document. Take your time, and this document is the only thing that can help to protect your right & money. I can not assure you, but you'll not regret and at least will not find yourself as an educated fool who can sign only. Developers are much more powerful than

any individual like you. Thousands knocked the door of court but failed to help themselves because of signing agreement without knowing what they agreeing. So take your time. Get ready, collect data from different developers (if possible from the selected area) and stock your energy for a lengthy bargain and to increase your capacity. You have to show a lot of patience but you can negotiate. Just remember, "the more you pay, the more you loose control and the more developer gains it". One easy solution is to buy ready flat/apartment (i.e ready to handover) with instant registration and handover. You may feel like you are paying extra but try a calculation and don't miss the weight of giant hassle and waiting..

Thumb Rules:
Do not sign any document (Deed of Agreement or Application with Terms & Conditions): Not even when you are paying booking money, but don't forget to take your money receipt. You'll thank me for this. Do not sign a blank cheque. Do not make any payment (down payment or installment) before signing the Deed of Agreement. Ask for a draft Deed of Agreement with their official offer. Let your sales officer (agent) know that you'll need some time to go through the draft agreement. He'll work best for you if you do not pay the booking money. Remember, "the more you pay, the more you loose control and the more developer gain control". Getting money back is not an easy task. Take your time, consult with someone best on it, and make sure you understand each and every line & word of the draft. Especially when the sentences are long (it can be intentional & trap). Give enough attention to the following key issues: o Legal Description of the property: Make sure it explains the location, size, and the right to the land, common space and infrastructure. o Principle of all agreements: Put something like, "Purchasers are the owner of the property. If any clause or sub-clause conflicts with the principle will be null and void". o Sole Owner: The Developer (seller) herein warrants that it is the sole owner of the said real estate with a full right and authority to sell or dispose or transfer the rights on roads, open space and utility infrastructure in the Building/City including the said apartment to the Purchaser and that no other person or persons or authority whatsoever have any claim, right, title, interest, or lien in, to or on said real estate.

Price: No where in the agreement it is allowed to escalate the price(except if you want) for any future events. o Payment Schedule:: Negotiate dates considering your arrangement. Mind the payment delay (default) compensation condition. o Compensation for delay of Handover/delivery: Consider your bank loan and other losses and condition of the compensation for delay payment. e.g.: Whatever said in other clauses, y% per month on the total amount paid. Be attentive about the term grace period, do not allow it, or try to keep it as minimum as possible. o Management Agreement: The principal of the agreement must be "The purchasers are the owner of the Building/City" and have full authority to manage it, and all sorts of charges including utility & maintenance are the costs only and the costs are verifiable. o Documents, part of agreement: Include the Layout, plan, specification and land measurement approved by Government authority (e.g.: RAJUK) where property for other purchasers including future purchasers are mentioned. o Delivery(Handover) Date: There must be an end, even after a grace period. o Refund: If surrendered by purchaser or canceled by Developer or project is abandoned: To make it balanced for all, all three options may follow the same condition. e.g.: x% on the total amount paid. Compensation clause for delay of refund: Can be same as compensation for delay of handover or delay of payment. e.g.: whatever said in other clauses, y% per month on the balance amount.

Be careful about following conditions in application or agreement or document you sign:



Delay in payment beyond the due dates will entail delay payment at the rate of x% per month on the amount of payment that is delayed. In case of surrender of allotment by buyer or cancellation of an allotment by the Developer due to default in payment of installments by the buyer/purchaser or any other reason, the amount paid to the Developer shall be refunded after deducting x % of the total price only after resale of the apartment in question. If the completion period of the project is affected by unavoidable circumstances like natural calamities, political disturbances, nonavailability and price hike of materials, non-payment of

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installment in time by the buyers and any other force majeure circumstances, the buyer will not be entitle to any compensation. If, for any reason beyond the control of the company, the project is abandoned, the company will refund the paid amount to the allottee. In such eventuality, the allottee will not be entitled to any compensation or damage whatsoever. The buyer has to take written permission from company before carrying out any modification work. You've no guarantee of the quality of the materials will be used for your apartment. No practical mechanism exist here in this trade. You may try the developer for this.

Handover of Flat/Apartment:
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The handover date may (will) change dozen times and delay of months or couple of years is often unavoidable. Example: A project worth Taka 10 crore. Delay of 3 months will allow earning by Developer an amount of Taka 24 lacs considering bank interest rate 10% only. Allow conditional payment of a good percentage of total price with the handover of the flat/apartment/property. Consider time before actual handover and bank interest on the money you'll pay before taking over the flat/apartment/property from the developer.

I'll suggest you not to pay even the booking money before settling and signing an agreement.