Mumbai: In yet another judgement that leaves property buyers in further ambiguity over the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Act, it has been held that a building need not be registered under RERA if it is occupied by residents but still lacks occupancy certificate. There are approximately 20, 000 buildings in the city that do not have an Occupancy Certificate but have thousands of occupants.
In a shocking revelation, Ramesh Prabhu, president of Maharashtra Society Welfare Association, revealed that there are over three lakh buildings across the state that don’t have an OC. He said, “These project did not receive the certificate due to various conflicts of that particular land. These residents will have to approach higher authorities to lodge a complaint against their projects since they are not required to be registered with RERA.”
Buyers have criticised the act which puts the occupants of buildings that do not have an OC in jeopardy. Jay Shah, Ghatkopar resident, said, “We have already occupied our houses and the building does not have an OC. What if we have to register complaints regarding the project with RERA in the future? The RERA authority will straight away dismiss our plea on the grounds of non-registration of the project.”
Under the RERA Act, developers across the state were supposed to register their projects without OC with RERA before July 31. Hearing a property buyer’s complaint in which the developer hadn’t registered the project under RERA, the committee in its final hearing said that the said building was not part of the project registered under MahaRERA. They stated that since it was not registered, the matter was dismissed for want of jurisdiction.
Sejal Gandhi, the complainant, alleged that the builder had not registered her building Kamala Vihar at Kandivali (West) with MahaRERA inspite of the building not having received occupancy certificate. She added that the developer has not added her name in the list of occupants displayed in the name display board.
The developer’s representative argued that the said building is not part of the project which is registered under RERA. He further claimed that Gandhi is neither a member of the Kamla Vihar society nor a buyer in the building and said that her father is the actual buyer. Agreeing to this, Gandhi pleaded that her father’s name be added to the display board to which the developer agreed. The committee directed the developer to add the name within seven days.
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