Updated: Feb 20, 2022
Written by - Greeshma G
The ongoing trend in India is of buying and selling flats and apartments instead of buying a land, hiring people for construction, going through related legal matters, walking in and around government offices, etc. etc. Instead of it, giving money and buying flat or apartment or villas has made the buyer an easy way of facing the hindrances before them of building a new house. But there are many troubles behind it. If it is buying a flat or an apartment, or acres of land, that is, whether it is a home buyer or a land buyer, the situation is the same for all. People, nowadays, whether in urban or rural areas, have an increased tendency of buying and keeping lands with them. They are facing many troubles along with it but don’t have any authorities or appellate to hear their grievances except the Consumer court in some extent.
REAL ESTATE (REGULATION AND DEVELOPMENT) ACT, 2016
Real estate market is really both a safe investment and complicated too. There are no specific grievance cells to address the problems of developer, agents or buyers. The Indian real-estate sector was an unregulated market until our Indian government passed an act regarding this, namely, Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act. It is also called Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA). This rule of RERA protects both the home buyers and land buyers from getting exploited by their promoters or developers or brokers. RERA aims at protecting the interest of homebuyers and keep upon transparency in the real estate sector.
An Act to establish the Real Estate Regulatory Authority for regulation and promotion of the real estate sector and to ensure sale of plot, apartment or building, as the case may be, or sale of real estate project, in an efficient and transparent manner and to protect the interest of consumers in the real estate sector and to establish an adjudicating mechanism for speedy dispute redressal and also to establish the Appellate Tribunal to hear appeals from the decisions, directions or orders of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority and the adjudicating officer and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
The Rajya Sabha passed the bill of RERA on March 10, 2016, and got approval from the Lok Sabha on March 15, 2016. The act received the assent of the President on the 25th March 2016. The act came into force then from May 1, 2016. While 59 of its 92 sections were notified on May 1, 2016, the remaining provisions came into force from May 1, 2017.
It hoped that implementation of RERA will make the buying and selling in real estate sector easier with better accountability and transparency without dropping both the state and central provisions of the act.
Every state has its own RERA authority to deal with the matters of grievances related to real-estate sector, which will look into the conflicts between stakeholders and provide a fair and timely solution. These rules are applicable to union territories too.
Its functions include protection of the interests of the buyers or developers, accumulating important information of the participants of the project and creating an uncomplicated grievance redressal system. To prevent the lag in time, the authority has a mandatory order to dispose or settle the applications within a maximum period of 60 days; and the same may be extended only if a reason is present for the delay of the matter. The Real Estate Appellate Authority shall be the appropriate forum for all appeals. The most positive aspect of this Act is that it provides a unified legal settlement centre for the purchase and sale of flats, apartments, etc., and seeks to cop-up the practice across all over the country.
Among the other states, Chhattisgarh was one of the first state to implement the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA). The Chhattisgarh Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Rules, 2017 was enforced in November 2017, viz., Chhattisgarh RERA.0
Maharashtra is the first state in India to initiate the conciliation mechanism under Section 32 (g) of the RERA, by way of Alternative Dispute Resolution (2017 called Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA), vide Notification No. 23 dated 8 March 2017. For this purpose, a website has been created and one can have access to it even via the MahaRERA website.
REAL ESTATE AGENTS UNDER THE RERA
Real estate agents take part an important role in the buying and selling of projects, acting as a bridge of communication between the developers and the buyers. Under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA), real estate agents will need to register themselves, to be able to facilitate a transaction.
With the enactment of RERA, brokers cannot promise the developers or buyers any favours or services that are not mentioned in the documents. Moreover, they have to provide all the information and documents regarding the flats or the land to the home buyers, at the time of booking.
Under this act only registered agents can deal in registered properties, unregistered agents should pay penalties for non-registration, should maintain compulsory book of records, the registration number should be displayed correctly and there should be no false advertisements from their side.
Appellate Tribunals under each state of India will be established under RERA to settle complaints and grievances under the real estate sector and the same shall be addressed within 60 days from the date of filing to the appropriate(name of the State/Union territory) Real Estate Appellate Tribunal. A person can approach the RERA tribunal under the following circumstances –
● Non- registration of an advertised project with the state’s regulatory authority.
● Misleading information regarding a builder, promoter, agent or project on RERA’s website.
● Violation of any provisions of the Act by the developer, buyer, or agent.
● Builder charging money on super built-up area instead of carpet area.
● Alteration in building plan without written consent of two-third of the allottees of the project.
● Delayed delivery of the project from the scheduled timeline.
● Structural defects within five years from the date of possession of the apartment/building.
The Appellate Tribunal have all the powers as of a civil court, A Central Advisory Council, with the notification of the central government, can also be established. The Minister under the charge of ministry dealing with Housing shall be the ex-officio Chairperson of the Central Advisory Council.
HOW TO FILE COMPLAINT UNDER RERA
Complaints can be filed against promoters, buyers, or agents under Sec.31 of RERA. The steps mentioned under are to be followed for filing a complaint of real estate grievance :
1. Find an RERA lawyer and file a complaint under the appropriate section of violation.
2. Fill the complaint as per the rules prescribed by the concerned state in which the project is situated.
3. Include the following details:
● Details of the applicant and the respondent.
● Address of the project situated area and registration number of the project.
● A brief about the facts as well as the grounds of the claim.
4. Pay the prescribed fees. It differs from state to state.
5. Alternatively, a complaint can be filed online by visiting the appropriate state’s RERA website. It has made the process of filing complaint under RERA an easy and hassle-free task.
6. Any person not satisfied by any decisions or orders of the Appellate Tribunal, may file an appeal to the High Court, within a period of sixty days from the date of order of the Appellate Tribunal.
PENALTIES UNDER RERA
Offense - Non-registration
Penalty - 10% of the project’s estimated cost
Offence - Giving false information
Penalty - 5% of the estimated cost of real estate project
Offence - Violation of laws
Penalty - Up to 3 years’ imprisonment or a fine of 10% of the estimated cost of the property, or both
Offence - Non-compliance with RERA
Penalty - Daily penalty up to 5% of the estimated cost of the project
Offence - Non-compliance with the Appellate Tribunal
Penalty - Imprisonment up to 1 year or 10% of the approximate cost of the project or both
Offence - Non-registration of projects
Penalty - 10,000 per day up to 5% of the approximate cost of the project
Offence - Non-compliance with RERA
Penalty - Daily penalty up to 5% of the project’s estimated value
Offence - Non-compliance with the Appellate Tribunal
Penalty - Imprisonment up to 1 year or 10% of the project’s estimated cost, or both
All the money got by way of penalties, imposed by the Appellate Tribunal or the Authority, in the State and Union territories, shall be credited to the Consolidated Fund of India.
The status of real sector in India was in an unregulated position until the enactment of Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act,2016. It was also in a way that the buyers were not aware of their rights before the implementation of this Act and they were not having any ways to settle their grievances specifically other than appealing a Consumer Court. They are now necessarily going to get much more information and notifications than was available before the enactment of this Act. Buyers or owners who are distressed by any action of the promoters or agents can easily approach the real estate authorities for easy and effective redressal of their dispute. It is expected that these issues would be cleared up gradually.
 THE REAL ESTATE (REGULATION AND DEVELOPMENT) ACT, 2016 ACT NO. 16 OF 2016 [25th March, 2016.] MINISTRY OF LAW AND JUSTICE (Legislative Department) New Delhi, the 26th March, 2016/Chaitra 6, 1938 (Saka) https://housing.com/news/rera-will-impact-real-estate-industry/ (visited on 14/07/2021) https://housing.com/news/rera-will-impact-real-estate-industry/ (visited on 13/07/2021) https://maharera.mahaonline.gov.in/Site/47/Introduction (visited on 13/07/2021)  CHAPTER II, THE REAL ESTATE (REGULATION AND DEVELOPMENT) ACT, 2016, (ACT NO. 16 OF 2016)  CHAPTER VI, THE REAL ESTATE (REGULATION AND DEVELOPMENT) ACT, 2016 (ACT NO. 16 OF 2016)  CHAPTER IX, THE REAL ESTATE (REGULATION AND DEVELOPMENT) ACT, 2016, NO. 16 OF 2016