The last date given to developers to get their projects registered under RERA ends today. This will empower the prospective home buyers to register their complaints against developers on the respective State's/Union territory's RERA website and will also enable them faster grievance redressal mechanism and prompt actions against errant developers.
RERA seeks to address issues like delays, price, quality of construction, title and other changes. Delays in projects are the biggest issue faced by buyers. The reasons are many and the impact is huge. The reasons include diversion of funds to other projects, changes in regulations by authorities, the environment ministry, national green tribunal etc and other bodies like those involved in infrastructure development and governing transport. In many places, land acquisition becomes an issue. Errant builders often sell projects to investors without the approval of plans, the unauthorised increase in FAR, bad quality of construction, projects stuck in litigation etc.
Here are the key provisions provided under RERA:
1) A minimum 70 per cent of the money from investors and buyers will have to be deposited in a separate Escrow account. This money can only be used for the construction of the project and the cost borne towards the land.
2) Developers will have to keep them informed of their ongoing projects to the buyers and prospective buyers on the website of RERA and also other details like submitting the original approved plans for their ongoing projects and the alterations that they made later, furnishing details of revenue collected from allottees, how the funds were utilised, the timeline for construction, completion, and delivery that will need to be certified by an Engineer/Architect/practicing Chartered Accountant.
3) Liability in case of the structural defect arising after possession - The regulator will ensure protection to buyers in this matter for five years from the date of possession. If any issue is highlighted by buyers in front of the regulator in this period including in quality of construction and the provision of services, the developer will have to rectify the same in a matter of 30 days.
4) Developers can't invite, advertise, sell, offer, market or book any plot, apartment, house, building, investment in projects, without first registering it with the regulatory authority. Furthermore, after registration, all the advertisement inviting investment will have to bear the unique RERA registration number.
5) If the promoter defaults on delivery within the agreed deadline, they will be required to return the entire money invested by the buyers along with the pre agreed interest rate mentioned in the contract based on the model contract given by RERA. If the buyer chooses not to take the money back, the builder will have to pay monthly interest on each delay month to the buyer till they get delivery.
6) The regulator will have the power to fine and imprison errant builders based on a case by case basis. The imprisonment can go up to a period of three years for a project.
7) Faster grievance redresal: On receiving complaints from Home buyers, RERA have to give decision within 60 days. This will also include such Government agencies engaged in housing construction.
8) Sale of residential property based on carpet area: Earlier, developers used to sell the house properties based on super area (which includes common areas also in addition to house area) but now it is to be sold only on the basis of carpet area.
Mode of complaint: The registered real estate project against which buyer have to register complaint can do so on RERA's website. For example, for complaining against registered Real estate project in Rajasthan buyers will have to go to RERA Rajasthan's website. Complaints can also be made against Real estate agents. All the documents relating to complaint will have to be deposited in RERA's office.
The author can also be reached at email@example.com.