When greed and carelessness consumes human lives, we are woken from slumber to realize that the violation of construction laws can indeed be life-threatening. Why do we not learn from our mistakes and let history repeat itself?
On 10th July 2019, in an unfortunate incident at Thomas town near Hutchins road, Pulikeshi Nagar FIVE people were killed and FOUR injured when an under-construction building fell down like a pack of cards.The building was the first to fall which caused the four-year-old apartment standing adjacent to it to collapse at the ground level immediately. The building housed 8 apartments and all the 40 residents were safely evacuated by the rescue operations personnel.According to G.M. Ravindra, Joint Commissioner of East zone, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, a faulty design was the primary reason behind the tragedy.The second floor of Sai Adi Ambal was sandwiched between the third and the fourth floors above the building and the first below it.The foundation was only four feet deep.
The quality of soil which was used was of inferior quality and the construction work was poorly executed.The officials assured that strict action would be taken against the builder, owner and the engineer who permitted the construction of extra floors. A compensation of Rs. 5 lakhs has been announced for the kin of the deceased victims.
This is not the first time that such a misfortunate incident has happened.
Let's take a look at the recent incidents of building collapse in Karnataka.
October 5th 2016: Four people were dead and several injured when a multi storey building collapsed in Bellandur.
February 15 th 2018: 3 people were killed and 15 trapped as an under-construction building collapsed in Kasavanahalli.
November 10th 2018: One person was reported dead when a newly constructed four-storey building fell in Basvanagandi, Bangalore.
April 5th 2019: 2 people were killed and 8 injured when a building collapsed in Kengari satellite town.
Why do buildings collapse?
According to Siddegowda K, chief engineer of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagre Palike (BBMP), defective design and improper foundation are the two primary reasons that lead to the collapse of a building. If the foundation cannot hold the weight and is shallow or if the building is standing near a valley or wet bed, then the chances of a mishap increase tremendously.
A home is the most important investment that a person makes in a lifetime. It is also the biggest investment. Every home buyer should go for a realty check before buying a home. Some people look for a convenient location trying to make their commute time shorter and easier while others would look for a certain size or style that will fulfil their idea of a dream home.
In India, home buyers often compromise on the budget, by ignoring or overlooking the structure of a building or essential amenities. For example, a property by a well-reputed builder is being sold for 70 lakhs while a few kilometres away a home builder with not much experience or credibility is selling a house of the same dimensions for 50 lakhs. Which house would you choose to invest in? It would be tempting to buy the house that costs 50 lakhs, but one can't be sure about the quality of the property. If the builder is selling a piece of property for a lower price, the chances are high that they would have negotiated on the quality of building material used. Will that be a wise choice to make? Will you concede for the price and put your family's life at stake? Rather go for a realty check of the property. Such properties will not stand for a very long time and natural calamities like earthquakes or safety hazards like a fire outbreak will destroy your dream home.
For this reason, it is essential to buy a home built by an established builder with years of experience. A home buyer should definitely check the background of the builder and the number of projects they have completed. Also, a builder with impending criminal cases or civil disputes should not be trusted. Create your own real estate checklist and make sure that all your expectations are met before buying a home.
Emotion and logic should set you in motion to take action while investing in a property. A house is not an electrical appliance that can be used and discarded. It is an important and a valuable investment which is why concession should not be made on the quality of the property you invest in.
It is imperative to carry out a diligent background check which is the best way to safeguard your priced investment.
How can you determine the credibility of the builder?
Reputation and background check
Check the internet to see if there are any negative reviews about the builder or the projects they completed. You can also visit a completed project to get a firsthand experience of the residents living there. A realty check would give you all the information about the property you're planning to buy.
You can get a clear understanding of the construction quality of the builder by visiting the actual sites of the projects they have undertaken. This will make you aware of the raw materials used by the builder, interiors and exteriors of the building, parking and green open spaces.
Inquire with friends or family who have invested recently to get a realty check about reputed builders in the industry, famous projects and information that you are seeking during your search for your ideal home.
Member of the Builder's association
To authorize the reputation of the builder, make sure that the builder is a part of the organization such as Builders Association of India (BAI) and Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI).Such government bodies follow a mandatory ethical code of conduct. If the builder is committing fraudulent practices, you have the option of filing a complaint with the grievance cell of these bodies.
Action will be taken against the defaulter builder and they will be blacklisted.
Do not put your money in a property that will get delayed. One way of ensuring this is by investing in a builder who doesn't construct more than to projects at a time. This will lead to the compromise in the quality of the project.
If a builder has a good reputation in the market, then they would be renowned for their construction quality, pricing and timely delivery. In such cases, vacancy rates will be lower. On the other hand, if the builder has a negative reputation, then they will have high vacancy rates for previous projects. Consider going for a realty check to get a hold of the reality.
Real Estate Appreciation Rate
You can check for the appreciation rate of a particular property or project from builder or third party websites in the realty market. This will allow you to understand the future expectations of the project.
Plan of the Layout
Make sure that the project plan has received approval from the Muncipal Corporation. You can request for a No Objection certificate (NOC) from the various departments like fire, water, pollution and power. You should also take a guarantee for the construction quality as a lot of builders are compromising on the quality due to the increase in the labour rate and raw material cost. In India all building is done, as per the National Building code (NBC).
National Building Code
A reputed and ethical builder will follow all the safety and design rules laid in the rule book called the National Building Code. Any structure whether legal or illegal, if following all the norms laid in the NBC will be safe and secure.
Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 seeks to protect the interest of home buyers by introducing several provisions. It has increased the liability of developers from two to five years for structural defects. Any change in building plan must be approved by two-thirds of the buyers interested in the property plan.
A Real Estate Checklist for buyers
It is important to consult a lawyer with the documents before purchasing a property.
Many lakes and wet lake beds have been illegally encroached by greedy builders and are sold with attractive marketing gimmicks by visiting regulatory websites maintained by the government. If you see anything suspicious, be cautious before taking a decision.
Soil testing can be done from various agencies in Bangalore and checked for SBC values to determine how much weight can the ground underneath hold.
Conduct a check of the bylaw violations of the property.
Check the history of the builder. One must particularly make sure that the developer wasn't involved in criminal cases or building violation cases.
Ask the builder to show the documents and drawings related to the structural plan, sanctioned plan, and approval details including approvals from the Fire and Emergency Department and builder’s tax details.
Assure that the building has proper entry and exit points, especially emergency exits.
To know how to value a property, please check this blog 9 ways to carry out a practical property value estimation
The average life expectancy of a concrete structure is estimated to be around 40 years. Since prevention is better than cure, it is better to take precautions to avoid any untoward incident.
Buying a home is a significant milestone in a person's life. Most people invest in a home once in a lifetime and generations reap the benefits.
Before taking the keys of your new home, it is crucial to know that you for a realty check and are moving into a safe structure. You must exercise caution as to whether you have made the right choice. A right choice for a home is the one that doesn't loosen the strings of your purse, fulfils all your needs and gives you and your family a comfortable living experience.
Go through your realty checklist before investing in a home. It would be a wise decision to consult real estate consultants like homes 247 for your realty needs. Armed with years of experience and a customer friendly approach, we will gladly assist you to select a reputed builder in the realty market who will understand your needs and mould them into your dream home.
You must assure yourself that the most important decision of your life doesn't get compromised for a few thousand rupees. Embrace the reality, so that your dream home just doesn't remain a dream.