Since long, the real estate transactions were lopsided and, invariably, in favor of the developers. The Indian Government intended to bring a more equitable and fair transaction between the seller and the buyer, in the property market. The Real Estate Regulation and Development (RERA) Act, 2016 has been implemented by the Indian Parliament to safeguard the interests of the home-buyers. Stringent rules are laid down so only those promoters, developers and brokers get registered under RERA, who do not take home-buyers for a ride. To bring in transparency in the marketing and advertising policies of a real estate project. By creating an environment of trust, expected RERA benefits include bringing back the investments in the Real Estate Industry too.
Primarily, RERA was enacted as the SEBI, a Regulator for regulating the Real Estate Sector. speedy settlement of under-going cases. RERA benefits are to standardize the process all over the country. By the way of providing a unified legal regime, for the purchase of a property.
RERA Benefits to Home-buyer by way of Regulating the Builders:
Now, the builder/promoter has to take a RERA License, compulsorily, by providing below information clearly. So that an investor is able to make a knowledgeable decision.
- Details about the Enterprise, name etc,
- Photographs of every promoter,
- Details of the projects launched by this enterprise in the past five years, cases pending, type of land, pending payments etc,
- Certificates of Approval, Commencement etc,
- Location of the project (with the latitude and longitude of the endpoints), with clarity about the land dedicated for the project, its boundaries,
- Layout Plan, Sanctioned Plan and specifications about the phases of development,
- Details about the real estate agents, if any, for the proposed project,
- Details about the contractors, architect, structural engineer, if any, and other persons concerned with the development of the proposed project,
- Quantity and Type of Apartments, and the carpet area of apartments selling in the project, and the area of the exclusive balcony or verandah areas and the exclusive open terrace areas, if any. clearly mentioned,
- Proposed facilities to be provided, including garages for vehicle parking facilities, drinking water facilities, fire-fighting facilities, emergency evacuation services, use of renewable energy etc,
- Proforma of the Sale Agreement, Allotment letter, and the conveyance deed proposed to be signed with the Allottees,
- Timely completion of projects and delivery to the Allottee,
- RWA has to be formed within a specified time limit, once a majority of the units have been sold.
The Aim of RERA and Rights of the buyers
Major Compliances to take RERA License, are meant to bring a positive benefit on home buyers in below ways:
A Regulatory Authority formed: This Real Estate segment required a proper regulator, for grievance redressal system. For example, RBI is the regulator to banks. To prevent time lags, its compulsory for the RERA, to dispose of applications within a maximum period of 60 days, to be extended only with a recorded reason for the delay.
Registration made compulsory: Every real estate project (whose total area to be developed exceeds 500 sq meters or more than 8 apartments), has to file with the respective state’s RERA. Existing projects, to which completion certificate (CC) or occupancy certificate (OC) has not been issued, are also required to get registered under RERA. Before they are entrusted with a RERA License, the promoters need to provide detailed information on the project e.g. land status, details of the promoter, approvals, schedule of completion, etc. The project can be advertised only when the registration is complete and other approvals (construction related) have been taken. Promoters are also required to make a warranty on his right to the title of the land. And if any defects found in this title, it can be used against him.
The validity of the RERA License: Once the period indicated in the application as the time required for completion of the project, is over, RERA can revoke the registration granted for this project.
Reserve account: The main reason for delays in the earlier projects was found to be that funds obtained from customers of one project, were appropriated to fund new or different projects. Now, under RERA, the developers are required to deposit, at least, 70% of all project receivables into a separate reserve account. The amount from this account, required to be certified by a professional, can only be used towards land and construction expenses of this particular project. This will ensure timely execution and delivery. The delay was a norm before the creation of RERA.
Continual disclosures by promoters: The promoters, as soon as they complete Registration of Project under RERA, have to publish all the details of their projects, with regularly updating, on the website of RERA. So home-buyers would be able to track the progress of the project.
Standardization of sale agreement: RERA benefits include the introduction of a standard sale agreement. As per the earlier system, any default by the home-buyers brought about heavy penalty on them. Whereas, the similar default by the promoter attracted minimal or absent penalty. But, now the promoters cannot add such punitive clauses. And the onus of liability is quite clear.
Liability: Builders are responsible for any changes or defect in the construction. They have to take approval from at least 2/3rd of the buyers.
Penalty: Very stiff monetary penalty and imprisonment have been prescribed against violators, to ensure that this Law is taken seriously.
The Journey so far, RERA Benefits incurred
It seems too early to have a good understanding of whether or how things have changed, or have a complete Analysis of RERA Real Estate(Regulation and Development) Act, 2016. Because this Act is still in its nascent stages and needs to improve, in regulations as well as performance.
Increase in Transparency: Status of various projects can be seen on the RERA website, along with the stage in which a project is. One website with all the project details.
Property Size: The actual size of the property is clearly mentioned, under one name only, the Carpet Area. buyers. Builders cannot confuse the buyers using the terms, “built-up area” or “super built-up area” etc. For example, now the builder has to clearly mention “a carpet area of ABC sq. ft, more or less by XYZ sq.ft”. If the flat is of lesser carpet area, the buyer shall pay only for space he gets possession of.
Organized the Sector: The industry is getting more streamlined now, with strong builders taking over projects from weak builders.
Reduction in Indiscriminate launches: Because the developers need to make sure that all approvals are in place before launching. Therefore, they are now extremely cautious about new projects.
Possession dates Extended: Now promoters are extending the possession dates for the new to-be-launched projects. Since they are unsure about the approvals and compliances to be undertaken, and with a penalty being imposed on the delaying,
Security: The projects are secured, with the Reserve account. More possibility in projects being finished on time.
Check on Corruption: Bringing various municipal corporations authorized to sanction different stages of construction, now come under Rera. It is expected to help reduce corruption.
The Road Ahead
RERA is to benefit by bringing transparency and accountability in a very unstructured real estate sector. RERA provides to penalize the developer/builder/promoter with similar interest rates for missed payments and delayed construction. Further, in case of violation, the developer risks losing their RERA License and imposition of heavy penalties.
“But the actual RERA benefits will depend on how well it is implemented.”
Under the Act, the central and state governments were required to notify their own rules. These rules were to be framed on the basis of the central Act. Some states have implemented this Act in its complete spirit. Whereas some have drafted their own modules and diluted the essence so severely, that it seems to benefit the builders more. For example, in Maharashtra, it is extremely effective and West Bengal has done worst.
The states that have taken it in spirit, people have hope that they can approach the RERA authority and get an order. The concerned authorities there are functional and doing a good job of keeping the builders in check.
Home Buyers Caution
The transparency aside, you still need to show caution before investing in a RERA registered project. Just as all companies in the stock market are not investment worthy. In the same way, any project that has been registered under RERA does not automatically become genuine.
With some builders not providing authentic documents while applying for RERA License. And RERA doesn’t have the infrastructure to verify their validity. RERA benefits are getting a limited scope. It is still a long road ahead to understand the RERA impact on Real Estate in India.
In case you, as a builder/promoter/developer, are planning to get your project pro-actively registered, give us a call at +91 . To take your RERA License, compliant with all updated and ever-changing statutes, take smooth and fast expert help. Email us at [email protected]. Check our various services on offer, at LegalRaasta.