Mizanur Rahman, a senior official of a pharmaceuticals company, booked a 1,450-square feet flat in 2010 with all his life savings and had made all installments four years ago by taking out a bank loan.
But, he is yet to get possession of the property, and is not even sure when he will get it as the real estate company has not constructed the promised building in the capital's Badda.
“I am frustrated,” said Rahman while speaking to The Daily Star at the REHAB Fair organised by the Real Estate & Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB), the industry trade body, at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center in the capital's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar. The five-day exposition ended yesterday.
Rahman is not alone.
Amimul Ahsan signed an agreement with a developer to build a high-rise building on his 7.5-katha plot at Rabindra Sarani on Uttara sector-7 in 2008. According to the deal, the developer was scheduled to hand over 14 flats (50 percent of the total flats) within 30 months.
The company has not allotted the flats and is instead demanding Tk 2.10 lakh per flat from Ahsan.
A number of visitors at the fair yesterday expressed concerns about the delay in delivery of flats and plots as the investment involves their hard-earned money.
Shimul, a private university teacher, said he is looking for a suitable flat.
“But I am afraid of booking a flat with unknown companies as some of my relatives have suffered a lot while getting the possession,” he said, adding that some realtors do not bother to keep their commitments.
However, well-known companies are different as they are reliable and sincere about their obligations though the price of their products is high, Shimul added.
Some of the aggrieved customers have legitimate complaints, said Liakat Ali Bhuiyan, vice-president of REHAB, adding that those facing problems in getting possession of their properties can complain to the REHAB office every Saturday.
“We have a complaint cell to settle the dispute. But this cell can settle the case only in case of REHAB members,” he added. Before booking a flat or plot customers should check the legal documents, financial strength and history of the real estate companies as well as the design approval of a project, said Abdul Fazal Mohammad Tofazzal, head of marketing of Tropical Homes.
“The allegations of customers are true as some companies have entered the market to make money in the name of business.”
He advised customers to opt for renowned companies to buy flats. “Otherwise, they will lose their money.”
Customers prefer flats with the sizes of 1,400sqft to 1,600sqft and within the price range of Tk 80 lakh to Tk 1.20 crore. “Affording a flat in the capital city is still beyond the purchasing capacity of the middle-income group,” Tofazzal added.
Mohammad Saddam Hossain, senior executive of Assurance Developments, said their target is premium customers and they have received positive response at the fair.
Most customers want to buy flats at Tk 6,000 to Tk 6,500 per sqft, said Sheikh Mohammed Ibrahim, an assistant manager at Anwar Landmark.
“It is possible to supply flats at that price in areas such as Mohammadpur, Shyamoli, Banashree and Mirpur, but not in posh areas,” he added.