RERA for Real Estate Buyers
The main aim of Indian Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA) is to enhance transparency in the real estate related transactions by creating a systematic and a uniform regulatory environment, thereby protecting consumers’ interest and making real estate developers liable for timely completion of projects along with committed specifications, facilities and amenities.
How RERA help buyers?
The rules of Real Estate (Regulation and development) Act are made to give buyers certain rights that will help in protecting their interests and enhance their trust in the Indian real estate sector. Some major rules that will secure buyers’ are:
1) Disclosure and transparency
Buyers have the rights to get project details such as such as cost of land, development agreement, sanctioned plans, open spaces, cost of construction, covered parking lots, phase-wise plans of development, project completion time etc. These details will be available on the respective state’s RERA website.
Buyers can also get the updates related to the sale of units and covered parking lots.
2) Registration of all projects
The law has mandated developers to register their projects with their respective state’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority within three months of the implementation of the RERA rules in their state. The developer cannot advertise, market, book, sell or offer for sale, or invite persons to purchase in any manner any plot, apartment or building until or unless he/she will not register the said project with the RERA authority. Those who fail to register their properties as per the Act will be liable to a penalty, which may extend up to 10 per cent of the estimated cost of the project. The Act states that on continuous violation, the developer or promoter of the project shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term, which may extend up to three years, or with a fine which may extend up to a further 10 per cent of the estimated cost of the project, or with both.
Also, the promoters shall be required to provide quarterly updates on the status of the project to the authority.
3) Benefits for buyers
Developers liable for any structural defect
If a buyer finds any structural or workmanship defect within five years from date of being handed over the flat, then the developer will have to rectify it without any further charge. If he fails to do so then the buyer has the right to complaint against the developer to the RERA authority.
Developers are prohibited to make any changes in the sanctioned plan
A buyer can also file a complaint against the developer if he make any additions and alterations in the sanctioned plans, layout plans and specifications and the nature of fixtures, fittings and amenities etc. without the previous consent of at least two-thirds of the allottees, other than the promoter, who have agreed to take apartments in a building.
Anti-Discriminatory Clause to prevent consumer discrimination
The developer is not to restrict sale on the basis of caste or community. If he does so, the buyer has the right to file a cased against him to the RERA authority.
Penalty for project delays
If a project gets delayed then the developer will be liable to pay the monthly interest on bank loans taken for under-construction flats.
Buyers can claim possessions
The buyer can claim possession of the unit and the association of buyers can collectively claim possession of the common areas as declared by the real estate developer.
Promoters have to execute a registered conveyance deed
The promoter have to execute a registered conveyance deed in favour of the allottee when sixty per cent of the total number of purchasers in a building or a wing, have paid the full consideration to the promoter or within three months from date of issue of occupancy certificate, whichever is earlier
4) Rules for buyers
Consumers have to make on-time payments
The consumers must make the payments on time to the real estate developer as per the agreement. He/she is also liable to pay the share of registration charges, municipal taxes, maintenance charges, ground rent, electricity charges, water supply charges etc.
Must take possession on-time
The consumers must take the possession of the unit within two months of issuance of the occupancy certificate, failing to do so can attract penalties.
Consumers must take part in legal entities formed by the developer
The consumer must actively participate in the formation of an association, a consumer federal or any cooperative society.
5) Penalties for buyers for the violation of rules
If allottees fail to comply with the orders of the Appellate Tribunal, he/she may get imprisonment up to one year or fine up to 10% of the plot/apartment/unit cost for every day during which the default continues or both.
6) Process of filing complaint against the developer/agent
If developer/agent fails to deliver his promise, buyers will have to approach the Authority by filling up a complaint form . The complaints will be heard and disposed of in a time-bound manner. If the buyer is not satisfied with the orders passed by the Authority, he can appeal to the Appellate Tribunal , and eventually the High Court.