By Dr Sanjay Chaturvedi, LLB, PhD
RERA – The Real Estate Regulatory and Development Act 2016 came into force on the 1st of May 2017. With the aim to regulate the sector and bring clarity in the real estate market and the act is a key reform measure in the vast real estate sector. The Act mainly enacted to protect real estate buyers and enhance transparency.
The first question before you plan a complaint with RERA authorities in India is weather it is registered with the state authorities or not. The question is which are the projects needs to qualify for registration.
- In accordance with the Section 3(1) the RERA Act aims at demanding the promoters to register each of their real estate projects be it commercial or residential with the RERA authority and thus barring the developers from advertising or offering for sale or inviting any such proposal for sale of any project before such registration. With an exception that such builder shouldn’t have received the completion certificate of the project so advertised. If you think and have proof that your builder have advertised in Print, Digital, Social Media, Hoardings, out door media, calls, messages, email or any thing which you can prove on paper.
Mind you, if the project is falling between Commencement Certificate and Occupation Certificate (OC) by whatever name called on 1st May 2017 then the project must be registered with State RERA concerned. By no means, the date was extended and it is statutory obligation of the builder to register the project.
- Section4 (2)(c-f) has provisions for the promoters to provide all necessary and important information relating to the project- sanctioned plan, allotment letter, and the appropriate specifications of the proposed project along with the authenticated approvals and the commencement certificate thus imparting important information of the project to the consumers. Make sure you see that Plan he has uploaded matches with the plan you got in your agreement for sale. If there are deviations then you qualify for complain. Also, builder has to take NOC from 2/3rd buyers at whatever stage the project is.
- With respect to the consumers interest the builder as mentioned in Section4 also has to provide the carpet area for each unit, the verandah or balconies if any, the garages or parking as to be provided to the consumers promoting transparency for the consumers and to gain access to all necessary information before investing their capital in the project. The carpet area must be as per the definition of RERA Act. It says inner surface of the wall to inner surface of the wall and space below internal wall. It varies from state to state as to the definition includes inner column. The Architect certificate uploaded must be seen.
- The provisions as mentioned in Section11 (4) holds the promoter responsible for the obligations, and all the promises made to the allottees and thus assuring the consumers against unfair trade practices of the builders. Keep all the statement made by the builder to you either in written, expression and oral.
- The Act in section 11 provides for the builders being responsible for the repair work of all the structural defects or any such defect that may arise in a period of 5 years from the date of conveyance of all flats in the particular project. Many developers have put conditions in agreement for sale that if without written permission you are not allowed to do any repair. Also a usual wear and tear conditions are imposed. But nothing will stand against this provisions. Builder has to obey the section and give repair to default in workmanship and for every successive occupant within five years.
- Section 14(2)(i) of the Act prohibits the developers from making any alterations or modifications in the approved plans , fixtures, fittings or amenities of a proposed project without the mutual consent of the allottees, so as to safeguard the interest of the consumers unfamiliar to such alteration. It requires 2/3rd member NOC to do so.
- The aim of the act is to ensure that the allottees are provided with their respective units according to the stipulated time as provided by the developer at the time of the registration, failure of which penalizes the promoter under Section 18 to compensate such allottee for the delay in possession of such property. Almost every developer took the liberty to raise possession date by four to five years. But if ou have entered into agreement and the date is given then you can always go to court for recourse irrespective of date filled by builder at the time of Registration.
- Section 19 (4) entitles the consumer to claim refund of the amount of the property along with the interest from the promoter, if the promoter fails to comply or is unable to give possession of the apartment, plot or building, as the case may be, in accordance with the terms of agreement for sale or due to discontinuance of his business as a developer on account of suspension or revocation of his registration under the provisions of this Act, thus securing the capital funds of the allottees who invested in the project.
- The Act provides for establishment of an authority to be known as Real Estate Regulatory Authority under Section 20 for the effective functioning of the provisions of the act and also securing the interests of the buyers against the ill fitted plans and intentions of the project builders. The authority is having cosi judicial powers to make any arrangement to complete the project and charge penalties.
- The provisions in S.29 empowers the aggrieved allottees to file a complaint against a developer to the authority, thus enabling the authority to deal with such a subject of protection of a consumer expeditiously and ensuring the disposal of such complaints within sixty days from the date of filing of the complaint with the appropriate authority. In Maharashtra, its online with a fees of Rs5000/- and in other states, the fees varies and sometime off line.
- The Authority under the act has been vested with the functions of promoting consumer protection under Section 43 which enables the appropriate Government for the formation of a Real Estate Appellate Tribunal for the quick redressal of grievances of the consumers, which also provides of the disposal of cases within sixty days of such filing.
- Section 59 & Section 60 of the Act provides for the penalty of the developers for contravening the provisions of the act, thus keeping in mind to create a consumer friendly real estate sector.
- Section 59- Penalizes the promoter to pay up to 10% of the project cost for non-registration their project with the RERA Authority.
- Section 60 – proscribes that the developer pays 5% for violating the provisions of the act and providing false information to the consumers.
In fact, the preamble of RERA says that the Act is enacted to established RERA Authority in every state and to enhance transparency in real estate transactions and development process.