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Every Indian at some point in his/her life has thought ‘Apna ghar hona chaiye.’ Bearing this in mind, buying an apna ghar is not as simple as it used to be. If you have ever tried to purchase a home in India, the word RERA is something you must’ve heard people tossing around, and most of the time you are not sure what exactly it is.
According to Advocate Pushkar Taimni, “RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) is an act for the regulation and promotion of the real estate sector to ensure the sale of apartment, plot or building in an efficient and transparent manner. It is a dedicated court for the real estate sector and has a fast case-resolution rate. RERA exists to protect the interests of home-buyers in India. The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (hereafter, ‘the Act’), is an initiative by the Indian Government in the real estate sector. The Act aims to set up a Real Estate Regulatory Authority (hereafter, ‘RERA’) to ensure speedy justice to home buyers. The Act is designed to ensure timely recovery of money or possession of the property to the buyers, against the builder.”
If you’ve ever bought a property and faced problems related to possession delay, non-refund for abrupt project suspension, or if the builder started demanding more money than what was agreed to, then, this is the ultimate guide for you. RERA covers all property-related problems, from what to do if the plan of your house doesn’t match to what you were promised, to what actions you can take when a builder doesn’t give possession on time.
In this blog, we’ll answer all the pain-points and help you understand what you can do in such cases.
What is RERA?
Without getting into too many technicalities, here is RERA simplified!
RERA, Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016 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.
Since the RERA act was enacted recently, the question has to be asked - Why is it just being implemented?
So, here’s a little history behind it. The RERA Act (The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 was passed in March 2016 and made effective from 1st May 2016. Only a few of the sections of the said Act were notified to be effective from 1st May 2016. The whole Act was brought into force from 1st May 2017 onwards. The government implemented the RERA Act mainly to protect the home buyers, as they were rapidly losing faith in the real estate industry.
The said Act has mandated every State/UT to:
Notify RERA authority for a particular state within 1 year of the effective date – RERA authority acts as the RERA registration authority. It shall also be the first authority for RERA grievance redressal.
Applicability - Is it even applicable in my State?
According to the current situation as on 22 October 2019, here is a state-wise breakdown of RERA:
30 States/UTs have notified rules under RERA; 4 North Eastern States (Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Sikkim) are under process to notify the rules under RERA
29 States/UTs have set up the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Regular - 20, Interim - 09)
22 States/UTs have set up Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (Regular -13, Interim – 09).
Regulatory Authorities of 24 States/UTs have operationalized their websites under the provisions of RERA.
42,488 Real Estate Projects and 33,702 Real Estate Agents have registered under RERA across the country.
Here is a tabular representation of the same to make it easier to understand:
* Haryana has two Regulatory Authority i.e. one for Gurugram and other for the rest of Haryana.
** RERA was not applicable in the state of Jammu & Kashmir, however, the State has notified its own legislation named as ‘The Jammu and Kashmir Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2018’ on 16th December, 2018 which is identical to RERA.
*** West Bengal has enacted its own Act namely 'West Bengal Housing Industry Regulation Act, 2017' however, the state has been advised by MoHUA to notify the rules under Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016.
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.
The leading benefits of RERA for homebuyers are as follows:
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.
Here is your step-by-step guide to filing a complaint under RERA:
Step 1 – To file a complaint with the Authority, the complainant needs to visit the State’s official website. On the portal, search for the page of Complaint Registration.
Step 2 – Click on the complaint registration link. You will be taken to the complaint form where you are required to fill the details of the complaint.
Step 3 – While filing the complaint, homebuyers would be asked to submit their personal details including Name, Address, Contact details, and Project details. Complainants can also attach supporting documents.
Step 4 – Once the form is fully filled, the complainant would need to pay a sum of Rs 1,000 for filing the complaint or Rs 5,000 in case the complaint is filed before the Adjudicating Officer. Online payment mode is also available for completing the transaction.
All State-owned regulatory authorities have uploaded the RERA complaint form on the website. You can file the RERA complaint online using the links below.
|Complaint Form Before RERA Authority (Applicable to buyer, Builder or agent)||Read/ Download|
|Delhi||Complaint to Delhi RERA – Form M||Click here|
|Andhra Pradesh||Complaint to Andhra Pradesh -Form M||Click here|
|Bihar||Complaint to Bihar RERA – Form M||Click here|
|Gujarat||Complaint to Gujarat RERA – Form A||Click here|
|Uttarakhand||Complaint to Uttarakhand RERA – Form M||Click here|
|Maharashtra||Complaint to Maharashtra – Form A||Click here|
|Madhya Pradesh||Complaint to MP RERA – Form M||Click here|
|Karnataka||Complaint to Karnataka RERA – Form N||Click here|
|Kerala||Complaint to Kerala RERA – Under Progress||Click Here|
|Odisha||Complaint to Odisha RERA – Form VI||Click here|
|Rajasthan||Complaint to Rajasthan RERA – Form N||Click here|
|Uttar Pradesh||Complaint to UP RERA – Form M||Click here|
|Haryana||Complaint to Haryana RERA – Form CRA||Click here|
|Himachal Pradesh||Complaint to HP RERA – Form M||Click here|
|West Bengal||Complaint to WB RERA – Form M||Click here|
|Punjab||Complaint to Punjab RERA – Form M||Click here|
|Telangana||Complaint to Telangana RERA – Form M||Click here|
|Tamilnadu||Complaint to Tamilnadu RERA – Form M||Click here|
|Goa||Complaint to Goa RERA – Under Progress||Click Here|
|Chhattisgarh||Complaint to Chhattisgarh RERA – Form M||Click here|
|Jharkhand||Complaint to Jharkhand RERA – Form N||Click here|
|Andaman & Nicobar||Complaint to Andaman & Nicobar RERA – Form M||Click here|
|Chandigarh||Complaint to Chandigarh RERA – Form M||Click here|
|Dadra & Nagar Haveli||Complaint to Dadra & Nagar RERA – Form M||Click here|
|Daman & Diu||Complaint to Daman & Diu RERA – Form M||Click here|
|Mizoram||Complaint to Mizoram RERA – Form M||Click here|
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:
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.
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.
Transparency: Transparency in area measurements, payment structure, project completion timelines, penalties for delay or legal issues will be covered under the provisions of the Act.
Clarity in Area Measurements: The builder is required to quote the price of the carpet area and not other units like built-up, super built-up or PFS, etc. This ensures uniformity in price terms laid down by builders.
Claim Refund: A buyer is eligible for claiming a full refund and interest post the due date. In case the buyer wants to wait it out, the builder has to pay 10% interest every month until handing over the property.
Speedy Trial: Adjudicating mechanism to be put in place for expeditious hearing and disposal of appeals/complaints.
Different forums under RERA Act :
1. 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 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.
2. 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.
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.
In case RERA gives a decision in favor of the builder, you can file an appeal in the RERA Appellate Tribunal within 60 days of receipt of the order of RERA. Section 44 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016 (RERA) deals with the filing of an Appeal against the RERA order. Any person aggrieved by an order passed by the RERA Authority or the RERA Adjudicating officer may file an Appeal against the RERA Order by approaching the respective State RERA Tribunal and file the Appeal in Form L.
Is it safe to buy a RERA-approved project?
Yes, it is safe and recommended. When you invest in a project approved by RERA, your rights as a buyer are secured. RERA ensures legal compliance and possession timings. It ensures the delivery of possession of the property as promised. For other things, it is advisable to go through the plan well and make sure you and the builder are on the same page until handover of possession.
Do we need a lawyer for RERA?
As per Section 31 of the Act, anyone can file a complaint if they possess the knowledge to draft an accurate statement including the relief sought from RERA. Hiring a lawyer is not mandatory. However, it is advisable to get professional help.
I already have a pending case against the builder under the NCDRC. Should I also approach RERA?
You cannot file a complaint before RERA if you have already filed a case against the builder before the consumer forum. If you wish to file the complaint before RERA, you will first be required to withdraw your case from the consumer forum and thereafter file a complaint before the RERA. The law clearly states that complaints before the NCDRC (consumer forum) and RERA cannot be simultaneously pursued. Hence, it is necessary to first withdraw the case from NCDRC before approaching RERA.
How do I check the status of my RERA complaint?
You can visit the RERA website of your respective state and check the status of your RERA complaint. For example, you can check the status of complaint filed in your respective state by clicking on the following link against it.
How do I execute a RERA order?
Once the RERA Authority passes an order under Section 40 of the RERA Act, the builder has 45 days to execute the order and provide the compensation to home buyers. If the builder fails to enforce the order, the home buyer can file for the execution of RERA complaint against the builder before the same RERA Authority.
What happens if the Builder does not follow the RERA order?
Section 40 of the Act states that if the promoter, allottee or real estate agent fails to comply with the order passed by the adjudicating officer or the RERA Authority, the buyer can file for the execution of the order and can recover the amount of compensation as an arrear of land revenue.