RERA, the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, was passed by the Central Government on 10th March 2016, to address the various grievances of the homebuyers aiming to safeguard them from dishonest builders and channel investments in the real estate industry.

The RERA Act stipulates that on its enforcement, every state must have a Real Estate Authority and Real Estate Appellate Tribunal to give proper redressal forums to the buyers. It further stipulates certain norms for the development of the real estate sector through which will enhance transparency and guarantee accountability in the developer dominating sector.

Impact of RERA on homebuyers-

1. The projects of the builders cannot be delayed: as per the Law, the developers shall pay an interest of 2% points above State Bank of India’s lending rate to the homebuyers of this place. For example, Noida is known as a hub of the Real Estate. RERA also prescribes imprisonment of up to three years for errant developers.

2. Builders are not allowed to charge for an area outside the walls: the buyers will only pay for the area within the walls (carpet area). The builders are not allowed to charge for the super built-up area.

3. The buyer will now enjoy the liabilities is a major advantage.

4. Transparency: the act warrants showing complete transparency from the developers of all the projects. The builder has to show or disclose all the details pertaining to the property like the plan, approvals, layouts, FSI and all other things related to the project.

5. RERA tackles the Real Estate Agents: today we can find real estate s agents in an enormous number working, even they mostly do not have any official number or ID number and no registration resulting to no implications of any barriers. RERA proved very beneficial for the homebuyers in this case. It proposes each and every single broker to get registered which makes it simple for the buyers to track their records verifying them and add a security level.

6. Builders are not allowed to charge extra.

7. Builders are responsible for the defective house: if any defect found within the period of five years from the date of handing over the possession must be rectified by the promoter under the RERA rules.

8. Buyer’s security: An Escrow account is necessary to be opened where the developer can transfer 70% of the funds received for that particular project. He cannot rotate that money anywhere else and the money can be withdrawn as per the stages of the construction approved by engineers and chartered accountants of builders.

Also, RERA has changed the definition from 1000 sq mt to 500 sq mt or a total of 8 flats of the bare minimum for regulatory coverage.

9. Quick redressal of grievances:  as per RERA registration, builders-buyers disputes can be solved within 120 days under the regulatory bodies and appellate tribunals. In parallel to this, buyers’ consent is needed to change the project design. Promoters must have the consent of two-thirds of the buyers in a project before making any change in the number of units or other structural changes.

How to file a RERA Complaint?

Complaints can be filed under Section 31 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, either with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority act or with the adjudicating officer. Such complaints may be filed against the promoters, allottees and/or real estate agents. Most state government rules have laid out the procedure and specific forms, in which such applications can be made.

Step 1: Firstly, a consumer or any association of distressed buyers can approach the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) or the adjudicating or determining officer in charge to file a complaint.

Step 2: The authority then decides the fees to be charged.

Step 3: It is the complete discretion of the authority whether to direct the grievances to be heard and adjudged by a single bench of either the chairperson or any member of the authority.

Step 4: After the appointment of an adjudicating officer, now the Appellate Tribunal holds an inquiry in an authorized manner, and gives the person a reasonable opportunity of being heard.

Step 5: Lastly, the case has to be settled within 60 days from the date of receipt of the application.

Redressal for claiming compensation would be dealt with by the adjudicating officer in charge as efficiently and speedily as possible.

Further, all State-owned regulatory authorities have uploaded the RERA complaint form on the website. Also, you can file the RERA complaint online by going on the RERA website of the concerned state.

It is also imperative that the buyers are aware of all their rights well before buying their flats. They are necessarily going to get much more information than was available before the advent of this Act. Buyers or owners who are aggrieved 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 ironed out gradually.

As the RERA Act is fairly new legislation, it is important that you understand the wide variety of rights that you can specifically assert. It is also imperative that you connect with the best lawyers in the field to assist you in asserting your rights under the RERA.

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