MUMBAI: The demonetization of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes has delivered a hard blow to the real estate industry. But even as the industry is grappling with this, several dubious deals are being offered to homebuyers, with several real estate agents and developers sending text messages to prospective buyers, claiming that they would accept demonetised notes.
This is in spite of the fact that 500 and 1,000 rupee notes are no longer accepted as legal tender. Any transactions except for the ones approved by the government will be termed as illegal. So why then are these text messages doing the rounds? Real estate experts claim that this is an attempt by investors and developers to get customers on board at any cost. But as a buyer, you should be aware that these transactions can mean serious legal trouble for both the buyer and seller.
“Selling and buying of the currency are illegal and against the RBI rules. Now there are SMSes which are saying that you can buy a property using old currency for 80/20. Now here, if you pay 100 rupees, they will take 80 rupees for the property, and the balance of 20 rupees as a commission or discount. Now if you take this offer, then section 420 of IPC (Cheating) straight away applies to you,” explains noted property lawyer Uday Wavikar.
In spite of the risk, the market is abuzz with various such offers doing the rounds. What’s more, sources tell NDTV that these dubious deals are not restricted to just individual sellers or small developers. A few large developers in Mumbai are also said to be using this through their channel partners and brokers, to offload unsold inventory.
If you do decide to go ahead with such a transaction, experts say you are not only going against the law, but you’re also opening yourself to the risk of being cheated.
“There is a great possibility that the property value is of a certain amount and only because you are allowed to give old currency and make a part payment using the old currency, the prices have been inflated to accommodate this kind of situation. As a buyer, you should not transact and get into any such property transactions using such kind of banned currency notes,” warns Harshvardhan Roongta, A certified financial planner from Roongta Securities.
With demonetization, the government wants to weed out black money from the system but such kind of transactions defeats that purpose. Authorities are keeping a close watch on all such suspicious dealings and as a buyer, you’re better off not falling prey to such offers.
Edited by Nikhil Narayan Sivadas