Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad
Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad

Mumbai: In a significant move, the state government proposes to amend the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) Act to crack down against builders who sell a flat to multiple buyers by tweaking the provisions of the Act.

Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad told The Free Press Journal, “It has come to the government’s notice in several cases across the state wherein the builder has sold a flat to multiple buyers, causing severe hardship to the latter. The government plans to amend the MahaRERA Act whereby an offence can be registered against such builders and they can be arrested for cheating the flat buyers.” He said, after the proposed amendment, the original buyer would have a claim on the flat.

Awhad said the matter was serious and therefore, in a bid to bring in more transparency in such transactions and avoid cheating of flat buyers, the government plans to amend the Act. “There have been several cases in which a builder sells a flat to one person and then sells the same flat to several people by adapting the provisions of the MahaRERA Act. After the amendment, there will be provision for the arrest of builders who commit such offences,” he noted.

The realty players have hailed the state government’s move. Builders Association of India Chairman (Housing and RERA Committee) Anand Gupta said a builder making such a sale to multiple buyers was a criminal offence and unacceptable. “If the government is taking any steps to curb it, that will be welcome. However, the buyer has ways and means to verify whether the same flat which he has booked has been sold to others,” he noted.

Poddar Housing and Development Managing Director Rohit Poddar said, as the sector continued to achieve milestones with a historic surge in registrations, an amendment like this would help the realty sector in creating more transparent environment for the home buyers, to ensure the security of their life savings and investment. “This amendment will not only help in obliterating the foul practices of certain developers but will also inspire homebuyers and investors to trust the sector and the laws that safeguard their investment while making their home-buying experience more seamless,” he opined.

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