Diary of a distressed property investor, Part IV.
I headed to Rera for help, and found myself running from one government building to another looking for answers. I got a few.
March 29, 2009 4:59 by Dana El Baltaji
We know that property investors are struggling, and for the most part, we know why. But what most of us don’t know are everyday struggles they’re going through. One investor agreed to write a journal of her experiences for Kipp. We asked her to be ruthless: she obliged.
Ah Rera. I loved the new regulations and announcements you made over the past eight months, and the threats you were making to incompliant developers raised my hopes that you’d come through for me.
I was wrong. Mind you, I know you have good intentions. All the announcements you’ve made recently are very nice, but it’s too bad that no one in your building has heard of them.
After months of waiting for my good-for-nothing developer to come through with either an announcement that they’ve broken ground or that they’ve cancelled the project, I decided to go to Rera to understand my rights, and to know what I would need to do to cancel my contract and get my money back.
Before I went, I called the authority a number of times to know what documents I needed to have with me to argue my case. Aside from the contract and the receipts, Rera asked me to prepare a letter explaining everything that had happened up until that point, and to outline – in detail – why I wanted to cancel my contract. I wrote it, printed it and filed it along with the hundreds of papers I had gathered about my developer.
I was ready!
Unfortunately, however, Rera wasn’t. I was told to get a number and wait for my turn at counter two. There was no one attending to counter two. I waited. I sat there with a file on my lap determined not to lose my temper, and waited for over an hour and fifteen minutes. No one showed up. I asked around if someone actually works at counter two, and I was told to be patient. So I waited some more.
And then, the guy sitting at counter one asked me what my issue was. I told him, and he said: ‘You shouldn’t be waiting here. You should go to the fourth floor, room 413, and speak to a legal consultant.’