RERA which means Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016, the act has been enacted to regulate the real estate industry. RERA Act seeks to bring transparency and accountability that would protect the interest of home buyers and regain the lost faith in the real estate industry. The Act establishes the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) in each state for regulation of the real estate sector. RERA also acts as an adjudicating body for speedy dispute redressal.
Impacts of buyers under RERA Act
- Security: Under the RERA Act, a minimum of 70% of the buyer’s money will be kept in a separate escrow account. A separate escrow account will ensure that the money collected for a particular real estate project is not diverted to other activities/ projects undertaken by the builder/ developer. The builders cannot ask for more than 10% of the property’s value as an advance payment before the sale agreement is signed.
- Transparency: Builders are supposed to submit the original documents for all projects they undertake. Builders are not supposed to make any changes to the plan/ layout of the project without the consent of the buyers.
- Fairness: RERA has now instructed developers to sell properties based on carpet area and not super built-up area. In the event that the project has been delayed, buyers are entitled to get back the entire money that they have invested or they can also choose to invest and receive monthly investment on their money.
- Quality: For 5 years from the date of purchase, a home buyer can raise any issue before the builder which must be resolved by the builder in 30 days from the date of notification of the issue to the builder.
- Authorization: A builder cannot advertise, sell, build, invest, or book a plot without registering with the regulator. After registration, all the advertisements for investments should bear a unique project-wise registration number provided by RERA.
Benefits of RERA for homebuyers
- RERA is a dedicated authority established to redress the disputes relating to Real Estate.
- RERA has defined timelines for faster and time-bound resolution of disputes arising between builders and homebuyers.
- RERA cases costs are cheaper as compared to the cases in other Forums such as Consumer Court and National Company Law Tribunal.
Documents required for filing a complaint
The complaint before the Real Estate Regulatory must be made with the following details and documents:
- Name of the complainant with complete address, email id and phone number
- Name of the builder/promoter
- Facts to be disclosed in brief
- Documents as proof such as the agreements entered/mail transactions/letters exchanged/ Legal Notices sent
- Payment of INR 1,000 as a fee
When can RERA complaint be filed?
A buyer may file a complaint with the RERA Authority for any violation or contravention of the provisions of the RERA Act by a builder, developer, promoter or real estate agent. Conditions under which a buyer can file a RERA complaint include:
- Delay in Possession: If a builder delays delivery of possession of the property, the buyer can file a complaint against the builder to get immediate delivery of possession or get a full refund along with interest.
- False Advertisement: A complaint can be filed against the developer, promoter, and even the endorsers if a buyer was misled by false advertisements on the basis of which he/she decided to deposit a sum with the promoter.
- Advance Payment: A builder can ask for only upto 10% of the cost of the building, apartment or plot as advance payment. If a builder asks for more than 10%, the buyer can file a complaint against the builder.
- Improper Registration of a Project: It is imperative that all projects be registered under RERA. If a builder has sold or is trying to sell an unregistered project, the buyer can file a complaint against the builder.
- No details about the Project:All details regarding the project including project plan, layout, and government approvals need to be updated on the RERA website. One can file a complaint if a builder or developer doesn’t adhere to this provision.
- Structural Defects: In case of any structural defects in the workmanship and quality of the services, the promoter will have to compensate the amount paid by the allottee. If not compensated, the buyer can file a complaint.
- Ownership Transfer: A promoter cannot transfer majority rights to any third party. In case he/she is found transferring majority rights to a third party without the consent of the two-third majority of allottees, one can file a complaint.
Different forums under the RERA Act:
- RERA Authority
- RERA Adjudicating Officer
- RERA Appellate Tribunal
- The RERA Authority was introduced by the Central Government to regulate the workings of the real estate industry and enforce transparency and accountability. It mandates builders/promoters to disclose all project details without false advertisements or fabrications. It also works for the RERA benefit of the property buyers by acting on a quick redressal of disputes. The RERA Authority has also made it mandatory for all the real estate agents to register with them along with their projects.
- The Adjudicating Officer is appointed by the Central Government to exercise jurisdiction, powers, and authority conferred by or under the Act. It is also empowered to award remedy in the following cases:
- Refund along with interest for false presentation or advertisement.
- Compensation for alterations in the original plan without the prior consent of the buyer.
- Compensation for structural defect or any other defect in workmanship, quality or provision of services or any other obligations of the promoter.
- Refund along with interest/monthly interest for the period of delay in giving possession.
The Adjudicating Officer (AO) has the power to award compensation to the aggrieved homebuyer. Both AO and RERA have the authority to award interest or impose a penalty. While adjudging the quantum of compensation or interest, the adjudicating officer shall have due regard to the following factors, namely;
- the amount of disproportionate gain or unfair advantage, wherever quantifiable, made as a result of the default;
- the amount of loss caused as a result of the default;
- the repetitive nature of the default;
- such other factors that the adjudicating officer considers necessary to the case in furtherance of justice.
3. The Appellate Tribunal has the power to revise any order or decision of the RERA Authority or Adjudicating officer. The Appellate Tribunal can also call for the records that are relevant for the disposal of such appeal.