Implemented across the nation on 1 May 2017 RERA (Real Estate Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 aims to inculcate transparency in the domain of real estate to enhance its credibility that was otherwise an unregulated sector. RERA aims to reduce fraudulent practices by establishing greater accountability while emphasizing on keeping the inflated transaction costs under control.
RERA aims at preventing the interest of homebuyers and instill transparency in the real estate sphere. All States, barring a few, have replicated the regulations under Central RERA with slight discrepancies at some places. For a homebuyer, it is important that they know the key provisions of the Act prior to investing in real estate. Some of the key provisions under RERA as per the central government include – Mandatory registration of all commercial and residential real estate projects larger than 500 sq m, or eight apartments, before the official launch. Mandatory registration of all ongoing projects without Occupation Certificate as on the date of commencement of the Act. As per rule, developers were to be given a three month period to register ongoing projects, however, many states have reported delays. Mandatory registration of all agents, promoters and developers under respective state regulators.
Dissemination of all the relevant details including profile, track record, litigation details about the agent, promoter or developer on RERA’s official website, post registration. Submission of original, approved plans of ongoing projects to the regulatory authority, including the details about the alterations made later, construction, completion and delivery timelines certified by an authorised engineer, architect or a practising chartered accountant. Maintenance of an escrow account for every project, wherein, the developer or promoter would have to mandatorily deposit at least 70 percent of the funds and use it only for the construction or land cost pertaining to the same project. Charging buyers only on the basis of carpet area, instead of the earlier practice of charging based on super-built up area.
Taking a booking advance of only up to 10 percent of the project cost before entering into a written agreement of sale.
Seeking written consent of at least two-third of the project allottees before making any alterations or additions to the sanctioned plan of the apartment, building or common areas
RERA enforces stringent penalties on defaulters and violators of the regulations. Non-compliance is a serious offence, which could lead to imprisonment and a heavy fine. Penalties differ from State to State. Some of the key penalties enlisted under the Act include-
Penalty of 10 percent of the total project cost or an imprisonment of up to three years, or both, on non-registration under RERA. Registration revocation of a project, builder, promoter or agent in case of defaulting any regulations under the Act or violating any of the terms and conditions as approved by the competent authority. Penalty of five percent of the project cost for submitting false information to the authorities or contravening any provisions under the Act. Penalty can rise up to 10 percent or one year imprisonment or both in case of failure to comply with the orders of the Appellate Tribunal. Structural defects, caused by poor workmanship, quality or provision of services, brought into notice within five years from the date of possession, to be rectified by the builder/promoter within 30 days of filing the complaint.
In case of delayed projects:
If homebuyer wishes to withdraw their investment – Promoter must refund all the amount collected so far with the applicable interest
If homebuyer wishes to stay invested: Promoter must pay interest for every month of delay as compensation
In case of delayed payment by you: Allottee must pay a similar monthly interest as compensation to the promoter. Promoter holds the right to terminate the allotment of the property and deduct the booking amount and interest from the total refund in case of repeated violations.
Under RERA, all States are mandated to form an Appellate Tribunal which will look into the conflicts between stakeholders and provide a fair and timely solution. Appellate Tribunals under state regulators will be enforced to settle real estate grievances and complaints within 60 days from the date of filing. You can approach the RERA tribunal under these circumstances – Non-registration of an advertised project with the state’s regulatory authority
Misleading information regarding a builder, promoter, agent or project on RERA’s website
Contravention of any provisions of the Act by the builder, promoter or agent
Builder charging on super built-up area instead of carpet area
Alteration in building plan without written consent of two-third of the allottees of your project
Delayed delivery of your project from the scheduled timeline
Structural defects within five years from the date of possession of your apartment/building
How to file complaint under RERA?
If you wish to file a complaint to report any malpractice by a builder/promoter/agent, you will have to go through your respective state’s application guidelines available on the website, in most cases. The applications can be filed both online and offline, in a format set by the Appellate Tribunal. The complainant must provide:
Information of the applicant and the respondent
Information about the project: Registration number and address
A summary or statement of complaint, facts and other grounds of claim
Details of any reliefs and interim reliefs sought in the past
Benefits of seeking grievance redressal under RERA
Speedy and efficient disposal of complaints
Assure disciple by the promoter/agent to abide to the ruling
Fair compensation for the aggrieved party
Filing a complaint under RERA
Project delivery delays, unexpected changes in construction plans, unaccounted extra charges and coming short on promised facilities are just some of the issues that the buildermight present to the homebuyer. The implementation of the Real Estate (Development and Regulation) Act (RERA) has given these aggrieved homebuyers the power to take errant builders to task. Every State’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) provides a complaint redressal platform on their website. Such complaints can be filed against the builder, developer, promoter, agent or allottees.
When can you file a complaint?
If the builder violates any provisions, rules or regulations under RERA, the homebuyer can take the matter to the RERA authority. The complaint must be filed in a form prescribed by the particular State’s RERA. The official RERA websites of the various State governments have simplified the remedial process for resolving complaints. Just by filling up a form and paying the registration fees, you can file a complaint under RERA. Steps to file RERA complaints
Step 1. Go to the RERA website of your respective State. Find the ‘Online Complaints’ or ‘Complaint Registration’ link. For example, on the website of Haryana RERA, you must click on ‘Complaint Registration’ on the menu bar, and then you may either click on ‘Registration of Complaint with Authority’ or ‘Registration of Complaint with Adjudicating Officer’.
Step 2. Clicking on either of the complaint registration links will take you to the complaint form where you will be required to fill the details of your complaint.
Step 3. Additionally, you will also be required to furnish your personal details such as your phone number, address as well as the project details. Some websites, such as the Delhi RERA website, will require you to make a buyer account before you can file a complaint. Other websites ask you to attach the relevant documents.
Step 4. After filling in all the details, you will be directed to the payment gateway for the payment of the complaint registration fees, Rs 1,000 for a normal complaint and Rs 5,000 for filing a complaint with an adjudicating officer. You may also pay the fees at the office of the sub-registrar.
Finding project details on RERA website
The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA) mandates all registered developers, promoters and agents to submit the original, approved plans of their ongoing projects to their respective State regulatory authority, including the details about the alterations made later. Besides, the Act mandates developers to publish the details of the revenue collected from allottees and the utilisation of funds, construction, completion and delivery timelines certified by an Authorised Engineer, Architect or a Practising Chartered Accountant.
As per RERA, homebuyers must also have unrestricted access to information such as the builder’s profile, track record, litigation details, advertisements and prospectus of their projects, details of plots and apartments, details of registered agents, consultants and promoters, the status of approvals and layout plans.
If you are seeking to delve into the details of a certain project registered under RERA, you can visit the respective State’s RERA website and follow the below steps –
Visit the UP RERA website, and select either HRERA Panchkula or HRERA Gurgaon microsites to check for project details in the respective cities.