To regulate the real estate sector, the government has come up with the idea of Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Bill which is expected to help buyers. RERA is supposed to protect the interest of the homebuyer and ensure timely delivery of projects. Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Bill was introduced in 2013 and finally the bill got approved in March last year.
Although RERA is a central law, its implementation will depend on state governments, as real estate is a state subject. Maharashtra government had approved the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) and it will come into effect from 1 May 2017.
Here are few ways in which buyers are likely to be benefitted by the RERA Act:
- Under RERA, each state will have to setup regulatory bodies as appellate tribunals to solve the disputes between buyer and builder within 120 days.
- Developer will have to put 70% of the money collected from a buyer in a separate account to meet the construction cost of the project.
- RERA will make it mandatory for all commercial and residential real estate projects where the land is over 500 sq. mt. or eight apartments will have to register with the regulator before launching a project.
- RERA also seeks to impose strict regulations on the promoter and ensure that construction is completed on time.
- Carpet area has been clearly defined in the bill to include usable spaces like kitchen and toilets imparting clarity which was not the case earlier.
- A developer’s liability to repair structural defects has been increased to 5 years from the earlier 2 years.
- The buyer will pay only for the carpet area (area within walls). The builder can’t charge for the super built-up area, as is the practice at present.
- Developers will be able to sell projects only after the necessary clearances. Under RERA, builders and agents will have to register themselves with the regulator and get all projects with more than eight apartments registered before launch.
- To enable informed decisions by buyers, Real Estate Regulatory Authorities will ensure publication on their websites information relating to profile and track record of promoters, details of litigations, advertisement and prospectus issued about the project, details of apartments, plots and garages, registered agents and consultants, development plan, financial details of the promoters, status of approvals and projects etc.
How RERA will benefit builders
The builders will also benefit from the RERA, as it proposes to impose penalty on allottee for not paying dues on time. Also, the builder will have the opportunity to approach the regulator in case there is any issue with the buyer.
But, builders believe that the bill was heavily stacked against them. The bill provides for penalty up to 10 per cent of the total project cost or even imprisonment, if builders do not honour their commitment or fail to register themselves with the regulator.
How Maharashtra worked towards RERA implementation
The Government of Maharashtra had released a draft version of rules in December, after which state government had sought suggestions and objections from various stakeholders. After seeking out all the suggestions and objections which the state government received, the final rules were approved and will come into effect from May 1, 2017.
After getting piles of complaints from buyers about builders denying selling flats due to buyers’ religion, marital status and dietary preferences, Maharashtra Government also incorporated an anti-discriminatory clause under RERA. Also, the Maharashtra government added news rules under RERA such as parking spaces, which can now be sold by builders, to regulate these sales. State government has mandated that builders should disclose the sales of these parking spaces. Prevailing rules grant co-operative housing societies to distribute parking spaces among its members. Overall, the RERA Act adds many other rules which can regulate the real estate sector more comprehensively.